Are you a Filipino seeking for a better life for your family in the Philippines?
Do you believe that Dubai can support your family financially back in the Philippines?
Most of the Filipinos way of thinking is that the only way to give a better life to their family back in the Philippines is to work abroad. They instill in their mind that life is much greener on the other side of the world than the Philippines. Any country beside the Philippines will always be a better place to earn enough money to support their family economically. Almost 11% of the population of the Philippines are working abroad which is 10.2 million people.
There are 450,000 Filipinos migrants living in Dubai which form the 21.3% population in the city. Dubai is home of the largest population in the entire United Arab Emirates. Primarily, these Filipinos are employed in the architecture, constructions, cargo shipping, design engineering, energy, information technology, marketing, medical, real estate, retail, telecommunications and tourism sectors or as domestic helpers.
HOW TO FIND WORK IN DUBAI AND WHAT ARE THE PROCESS?
There are 2 ways on how to find a job here in Dubai, these are finding job in the Philippines or flying to Dubai first and find the job.
First, I will discuss the process in the Philippines. If you are still in the Philippines and you wanted to work here in Dubai, you can try to look for a legit recruitment agency in the Philippines that offer a lot of opportunities to work here. You can visit Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA site (www.poea.gov.ph) for the list of legit agencies that will help you to avoid scammers. There are tons of job offers in the site for sales lady, accountant, information technology, bartender and many more.
Mostly, agency in the Philippines will ask a huge chunk of money as a payment for processing your job offer, visas, plane ticket etc. but, most of the company here in Dubai are paying the agency separately for these expenses. Just to earn vast of cash these agencies are asking unimaginable payment from these desperate applicants. So, you better be careful in choosing the accurate agency.
In my case, I got lucky in finding the right agency. I have searched all the information of my agency in the Philippines from POEA site and checked whether this agency is a legit company, fortunately it is. I have visited the agency’s site which is www.unistaff.us. The agency will ask you to upload your resume and credentials in their own site. Universal Staffing Svcs., Inc basically is a land-based agency in G/, 2/F & 3/F, 5477 Boyle Street Palanan, Makati, Philippines. Once you are shortlisted based on your credentials that you have uploaded on their site, they will call you for a face to face interview.
I uploaded my credentials on 1st week of April 2013 and by 10th of April on the same year I was also interviewed. The interviewers were Indian HR manager and one of the Emiratis (a citizen or inhabitant of the United Arab Emirates) owner from Dubai company. I applied for the cashier position, since I think this position suited well in my work experience. Basically, the interviewers will ask questions based on your resume and experience which is very generic. There were vast of people on queue for an interview, the face to face interview last for 5-7 minutes only. Once your name called, there were 2 humans from Dubai in a close office meeting room that will ask you about your work experience only. The interviewers were very intimidating, and I was sweating all over my body, nonetheless it went smoothly.
I felt that time that I got the job, but it took me 6 months before I have received the result that I was hired. The agony of waiting is real, by June 2013 2 months after the interview and still there were no calls from the agency I already gave up. I thought that it wasn’t for me, and I just continued my current job; never expect anything from then. However, on 1st week of October 2013 I got call from the agency that totally change my entire life. They summon my presence in the agency in Makati for the contract or job offer signing, I went there, read the job offer (basically state your salary, length of contract, job timing and other benefits), I signed it, hand-over my original passport and the next couple of days I was asked for the medical exams. Medical exams were paid by me which was around 3000.00 php and it took 3-5 days to get the result. After this I have waited 2 weeks for my visa, once my visa came the agency sent me to Commission on Filipinos Overseas in Malate, Philippines for a 1-day seminar of Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) or Peer Counselling Session this is required for all the Filipinos leaving the country to settle permanently abroad. Topics discussed include travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences, settlement concerns, employment and social security concerns, and rights and obligations of Filipino migrants.
After a day, the agency hand-over my passport, visa, job offer, one-way ticket and Philhealth indicating that they have paid it for 1 year. I was expecting that they will collect money from me for the agency payment or something but then there were no payments being collected from me. Basically, I only paid for my travel fare going back and forth from where I am in the Philippines to the agency and the medical expense, that’s all. So, if you’re company is a legit agency then there will be no payment shall be imposed by the agency to the applicant other than what I have mentioned. The next day which 12th of November 2013 I already flew to Dubai. It took me almost a month on processing all the necessary requirements.
Secondly, if you’re already here in Dubai through visit visa you can find jobs in the following websites:
There’s also group in Facebook for all Kabayans that can be helpful for you to land a job here in Dubai to name a few you can check out these group UAE, Saudi & GCC Jobs, Part timers in Dubai, JOBs WANTED FOR KABAYAN “FB” FRIENDS IN THE GCC, M2M Jobs and many more. They are posting jobs daily that might be suitable for you. Some people also are searching personally, they go to the office or any other establishments submitting their resume personally and enquiring if there’s any job vacancy available for them. There are abundant fishes in the sea, just look and it will be given to you.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN DUBAI AS AN OFW MONETARILY (COST OF LIVING)?
Normally, as a Filipino expatriate you will be offered a minimum of 1500.00 Dirhams (more or less 20,000/- php) to 10,000.00 Dirhams (more or less 130,000/- php) depending on your experience profession, upon signing your contract in the company that hires you; you will have a 2 year contract that can be renewed depending on your performance. I have heard that the minimum salary offers hinges on your passport. Usually, for European and Western people their minimum salary ranges from 7,000.00 Dirhams up to 20,000.00 Dirhams depends on the position and experience, these jobs are usually the lower positions for them.
Some companies offer free accommodation and transportation apart from your salary, which is totally cost-effective. The accommodations type for bachelors are usually the typical studio or condominium units which can accommodate 3 people only and for family they offer 1-bedroom apartment, but still it depends on your company capacity. Ever since, I never tried living out from my accommodation. I have seen couple of apartments here for Filipinos and some are totally crowded, not a good place to live with. The bed space rent typically hinges from 500.00 Dirhams to 800.00 Dirhams (6500.00php to 10,500.00php) which is a bit expensive if you convert into Philippine peso. But if you fancy to have a whole apartment or with partition the rent starts from 1000.00 Dirhams to 5000.00 Dirhams (13,000.00php to 65,000php), this is the cheapest rent so far. In terms of transportation, metro is there which become crowded during rush hour. Metro fare ranges from 3.00 Dirhams to 7.50 Dirhams. Bus is also a good form of transportation the fare is almost the same as metro. I wouldn’t recommend taxi as a good form of transportation going to work, since there’s a minimum fare of 12.00 Dirhams and this is not economically responsive if you’re earnings is on the minimum bracket.
There are vast of groceries store in the area. If you love eating and cooking your own food, you can survive with a minimum 50.00 Dirhams budget in a week. You can find a lot of Filipino items in the grocery store everywhere; you will not miss Filipino foods at all. But if you prefer eating outside, there are a lot of variety to choose from. There are few Filipino restaurants in the area, fast foods chain (e.g Mcdonalds, Jollibee, Hardey’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and many more) and if prefer extravagant restaurant like Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs and likes you can find them easily. You can order online as well, and it will be delivered at your doorsteps.
Malls are ubiquitously in the expanse, if you feel like you are home sick you can stroll and do shopping at the same time. They offer sales almost every month, that is why people travel a lot in Dubai to shop. Diverse luxuries brands are visible in the zone, there are also shops for average people. To tell you frankly, if you don’t know how to control you urges to buys a lot of stuff under your reach, you’ll definitely a penniless and you will not be able to support your family in the Philippines. There are tons of temptation that is lurking around the corner of Dubai, so you better watch your spending thoroughly. Manage your earnings very well, things could get out of hand if you have the tendency to try to keep up appearances.
IS IT SAFE TO LIVE IN DUBAI?
Dubai is one of the safest places in the entire world. The crime rates are less, you can walk at night alone. If you forgotten your belongings in the public place, you’ll definitely find it at the same place where you left it. Don’t be afraid to use your mobile publicly there will be no snatcher who will grab it anytime. People in Dubai are afraid with cops or police, though police officers here don’t bring any gun you can feel the respect and fear of its residence. Just make sure that you always bring your emirates ID card everywhere you go.
THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WHILE LIVING IN DUBAI
Primarily, Dubai is not your own country but still live like a good human being or be a good citizen. Everything comes with a cost, every violations that you do like eating in the train or bus, jay walking, sitting on the wrong designated area in the train or bus, not paying your debts or drinking liquor in the public place and many more will be either cost you money or worst you’ll be deported. Government are very strict with their laws, and as a resident of this country you must obey their rules.
People and things here in Dubai are temporary; people come and go so you better choose the right person you’ll get involve yourself with. Trust-worthy people are not so common in this place, everyone has their own ulterior motives. If you are single woman, you better watch out to those men who are pretending to be single. The most common scenario in here, specially for those who are married in the Philippines they are pretending that they are not committed and find their partner here in Dubai. Alternatively, both partners knew that they are both devoted and yet they silently enter to errant relationship. I really don’t know where those people getting their guts to have this kind of relationship, since this city does not tolerate such iniquities.
At the end of the day you must remind yourself that Dubai will not love you as much as you love this place.