More than 700,000 Filipinos live in UAE and most of them can be found in Dubai followed by Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Sometimes you will never feel that you are not in our country as you can see Filipinos everywhere working in different industries.
Some are employed in Architecture, Engineering, Information Technology, Marketing, real state, tourism, medical industries, sales and some are domestic helpers.
No doubt on this large numbers of OFWs in the Gulf as Filipino’s solution to attain financial stability is to work abroad. Long time back a lot of Filipinos already traveled in a different part of the world to work. We cannot question them as the opportunity in our country is very limited and job qualifications are more than expected.
But still, despite these reasons we should not be hasty in our decisions to work abroad, we need to think carefully and consider few things.
Let’s take Dubai as an example since this is the apple of the eyes of many job seekers aspiring to work abroad.
(The below 10 to considers are based on my judgment and observations, another expat might have their own perceptions)
1. Dubai is 08 hours away from Manila via straight flight, ask yourself if you are strong enough and if your determinations to work here would be enough for you to survive in this far country. I am not discouraging anyone, but as an expat here for more than 10 years I saw a lot of Filipinos who didn’t overcome the homesickness and they went home not even reaching their 1st month. It is fine to go home if you can’t really survive being away from your families but the effort, money and time you had spent will be totally waste. So rather than wasting ask and ensure to yourself that you can make it.
2. If you answer to above is you can make it and you are strong enough, that’s a good sign you have a potential to be a Dubai expat and, and you have a chance to finish the employment contract. Keep in mind that employment agreement here is between 2-3 years, once you signed it you need to fulfill whatever mentioned in its clause, it is a legal agreement that cannot be changed. Huge penalty to be imposed if you will break it.
3. But before jumping in processing anything make sure that you are fit to work, it is suggested to have a medical check-up first in our country. There are some experiences of Filipinos who able to landed a job but wasn’t able to pass the medical test. Dubai is very strict for those people who had a history of Tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis once proven that you had this illness they will process your immediate deportation to the home country and will be black listed in entering UAE.
4. If you passed the medical test, congratulations you are completely healthy and no hindrance for your dream to work abroad, now you need to think the best way on how to exit from our loving country without any hassle and risk of being offloaded. As you know if you don’t have any first-degree family here a lot of questions will be asked from our immigration and enough documents should be presented specially your financial capabilities of travelling. This is the 2nd test that you need to pass to enter Dubai (it is much harder to convince Philippines Immigration than the officers in Dubai airport)
5. And of course after doing the above make sure that you are financially prepared.At least you have an amount between Php60-80 thousands, I mentioned below rough estimate of the amount you might be spending.
Package for 3 months with air ticket = AED2800-3000 or roughly Php33,660 I based it in currency exchange of 12 but the normal exchange lately is 13.5
(You have an option to buy the visa separately and it will cost you around AED1000-1100 (3 months valid) + search for a good promo fare, but to avoid any hassle it is advisable to book the package deal from any trusted travel agencies)
Accommodation – normally the bed space rent per month including the internet and electricity bill is AED700 or Php 8400 be thankful if you found owner who doesn’t require a 1 month deposit and 1 month advance (if you have a friend or relative who are kind and generous and have owned space check if they will agree to let you stay with them for a while, it will save you huge amount)
Foods – let’s compute it in the cheapest amount you can spend roughly AED300 / month or Php 3600
Transportation – Of course you need to allot a budget for the transportation to attend job interviews, job fair etc it would range around AED250-300 or Php 3000 using bus or trains
Total amount for the 1st month is ; Php 48,660 (This is only an estimated cost, it depends on how fast you can find work, but of course you should be ready for any unexpected scenarios, you should always have a plan B lets say you will be able to get the job on your 3rd month the amount you will be spending is PHP78660.00 if you can afford it and willing to spend it you are free to do so
6. You had prepared everything and you are ready to fly, but before that you need to ready your self for the situations waiting for you and the reality in Dubai, impossible for you to have your own private room, comfortable bed and with peaceful environment, as most of the apartments are crowded and with different working schedule so expect a not so quite place.
7. Leave the pride and sensitive attitude in Philippines, there is no space for that in Dubai, Most of the Arab employers or even colleague has a high peach of voice when speaking and bossy personality, I am not saying that you will follow whatever they ask instead just go with it and eventually you will learn how to play their games.
8. Filipinos are friendly and happy persons, I think no major adjustment for one to adapt their new environment, but if you are not willing to learn and adjust to work in the multicultural environment, Dubai will not be the place for you, expect that there are few racist out here.
9. You are a manager, supervisor has a good position in your work back home, but once you have landed a job in Dubai forget those experience for a while, learn first on how to build rapport with your colleague, try to be friendly in professional way and if someone needs your help though it’s not your job, be humble and help. Working in Dubai is like joining a politics it is not always about your experience for people to like you instead it is based on the way you treat them, be kind at the same time you need to know your limitations.
10.And most of it, do not expect too much when it comes to salary, Dubai maybe a land of luxurious things but salary is not that much, especially if you don’t have any gulf experience. But this is better compare to a minimum salary in the Philippines at least in here the opportunities for career growth, financial stability is more broad and achievable.
But to avoid many hassles, it is always suggested to find a reputable manpower agency in the Philippines. There are some agencies who charge a minimal amount for placement and there are some who don’t require it is wiser to leave your families with a sure job waiting for you instead of risking not only the huge amount but your families & you’re future.
But if you are decided and firm to do a visit here we don’t have any right to stop you, but only to wish you the best and enjoy expat life in Dubai.