There are a lot of Filipinos who struggle with their daily lives and wish to have a better life. It is a Filipino dream to be able to fly out of the country and work abroad. Most Filipinos think that working abroad will help them have a better life. They think working abroad is similar to working in the Philippines. I think I need to write a different article comparing working in the Philippines and working abroad. Anyway, for many years now… Dubai has been a favorite destination for Filipinos to try their luck and find a good job. I am one of those Filipinos who tried my luck and found it here. However my journey to have a good life in Dubai was not, is not and will not be easy. I came here in October last year and started working by the end of November. That’s why I came up with this list of things that every Filipino who wish to come here should remember…
1. You should know someone in Dubai.
It is very important to have a family or friend while you are still starting your life in Dubai. You need REAL guidance and ADVICE. Although there are a lot of Filipinos here, but this is a different country and the survival of the fittest still apply.
2. Bring lots of CASH with you.
They say that the cost of living is low in Dubai. Yes that is true if you are already earning in Dubai. However, if the money you will spend here is still from the Philippines – you will definitely find it hard to use your hard-earned money in buying stuff; even food. Just imagine that one dirhams is equivalent to one peso. The bus minimum fare here is just 3 dirhams but if you converted it to peso it is arounf 36 pesos. If you wanted to take a taxi, the flagdown rate is 5 dirhams which is 60 pesos~ but the minimum fare is 12 dirhams and that is 144b pesos. When you are starting here, you get to spend most of your money in transportation. You get invited for an interview and you need to go to places you never thought existed. hahaha 😉 However, the good thing is… Once you get hired and offered a job.. It will all be worth it.
3. Learn/Study the UAE culture.
Life here is very different from the life in the Philippines. Search the internet about how people live in the UAE. In buses and trains, there are designated areas ONLY for WOMEN. So, MEN should not stay there or prepare to suffer the CONSEQUENCES. Eating, chewing gums and drinking inside public transportation are also not allowed. Dubai is a free city, that’s why women here are more liberated and open minded. You can now see women wearing very short skirts or short shorts. However, there are areas where it is dangerous for women to wear these clothes. You might also be forced to stay in a different Emirate because flats in Dubai are quite expensive. Other Emirates have different rules and culture.
4. Bring WORKING CLOTHES with you.
This is not the Philippines where casual clothes will be fine when you have an interview. Wear your best attire when you have an interview. bring formal clothes with you as these will impress your prospective employers. Polo, polo shirts are not considered formal clothes so you better leave them behind. For men, bring long sleeve shirts and black pants. For women, if you don’t have a formal dress just make sure to have a blazer and wear it on top of your regular blouse. Never wear jeans when looking for a job or if you have an interview.
5. Start submitting your CV before coming here.
You may visit different job sites and submit your CVs there. It is a must to have a local number on your CV that is why you need to know someone here. You may use your friend’s mobile number while you are not here. So that if you are scheduled for an interview, he/she can inform the hiring officer that you are still in the Philippines and that you coming soon. Hiring officers usually ignore foreign numbers, so don’t even bother giving your Philippine mobile number.
6. Make sure your CV is updated and Presentable.
Don’t submit a regular CV. Be artistic! Highlight your talents. Sell yourself! Exaggerate everything! And be sure you know what is written on your CV.
7. Make sure your documents (school records) are ready.
It is a must to have RED RIBBON on your documents. They must also be attested by the UAE embassy! This is not a problem because when you get your school records, you can easily ask the registrar’s office to provide you with the red ribbon documents. All you have to do is pay. And if you live in a province you can go to any DHL office and ask them to send/get your Red Ribbon documents in DFA- Manila. After getting your Red Ribbon documents you may go back to DHL and this time ask them to have the documents attested by the UAE Embassy. They already know what to do and all you have to do is pay. After paying you just have to wait for a couple of weeks for them to deliver the documents.
8. Have your VISA processed in the UAE.
Here in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE the processing of a Tourist Visa is very easy and affordable compared to being process in the Philippines. You may apply a 1-month visa or a 3-month visa. If you have enough money try the 3-month visa. I tell you, looking for a job here is NOT EASY!
9. When you have your VISA, never book a DIRECT flight from the Philippines to Dubai.
If you have a FAMILY in Dubai, then you may book a direct flight. It won’t be a problem with the Philippine Immigration Officer. However, if you don’t they would then accuse you of looking for a job here and won’t allow you to leave the country. Leaving the country to look for a job is not permitted by the Philippine government. Our government is afraid that you might have a hard time looking for a job and would end up being a TNT. That is why it is advisable to book first a flight somewhere else and claim that you will just have a vacation. The perfect places to go to first are Singapore, Malaysia and Hongkong. We don’t need VISA in those countries. You may then book your flight to Dubai from any of those countries. But…. NEVER tell the immigration officer about this. NEVER.. NEVER… Did I say NEVER…. NEVER! hahaha
10. Try to enjoy DUBAI while looking for a JOB.
When you are looking for a job, explore Dubai. Dubai has a lot of beautiful places for tourist. You also don’t need to spend a lot because most of the places here are free or cheap. Dubai doesn’t have natural wonders like the Philippines, but they have MAN-MADE wonders. Explore the Dubai Mall – the largest mall in the world. Beside the Dubai Mall is the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world. Have pictures taken in these places. These are just for free. The reason why I tell you to enjoy is that once you found a job, you won’t have time to enjoy. You would rather rest on your rest days and do the laundry. Working days here are usually Saturdays to Thursdays. We only have one-day off. If you are lucky enough, there are also companies which provides two-days off. You may also go to Abu Dhabi and try looking for a job there or just visit the capital of UAE. If DUBAI is comparable to MANILA, ABU DHABI is to DAVAO. Life there is much more laid-back.
There you have it. That’s my 10 Reminders if you wish to come and try life here in Dubai!
Thanks for visiting! See you again next time!