What is life in Dubai for expats or migrant workers? Based on the accounts of many Filipinos working in Dubai who have willingly shared their stories, life in the city of gold is indeed gold. But as it is with this treasure, we toil to find it. We give time to mold and shape it.
So what does life in Dubai look like for expatriates?
1) Jobs are available. No matter what work you take in the beginning, so long as you remain focused on your career goal, chances are, you will eventually end up having your dream job. As a bonus, you get to imbibe world-class standards and learn to be more diverse and inclusive as you work alongside different nationalities.
2) Dubai is simply beautiful. You look around and see glitter and splendor everywhere. The emirate is home to renowned attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and the Burj Al Arab (the world’s only ‘seven-star’ hotel). During the day, you can enjoy breathtaking views of beautiful parks and beaches. At night, you can relax while viewing a majestic skyline.
3) The fun never ends. There are a myriad of activities to choose from. During your days-off, you can visit state-of-the art cinemas while munching on your favorite cheese-flavored popcorn. Alternatively, you can try the zip line, do a sky-dive or ride a hot-air balloon with friends. Oh, and who forgot the word ‘shopping’? Dubai has the best malls with sales and shopping festivals every so often. On salary day, reward yourself and go shop your heart out.
4) Who said that the best things in life are not for free? Watching Dubai’s glorious sunset is completely free of charge. There is nothing more nostalgic than sitting by the beach and watching the sun as it sets. During winter, you have a bonus of the cold and crisp breeze with seagulls hovering over the waters.
5) Food is great. If you’re a certified foodie and love experimenting on food, you would be happy knowing that Dubai does not only have the best of ‘both worlds’ but of all parts of the world. With Dubai being a melting pot of different cultures, it certainly offers the very best culinary mix.
6) The karaoke nights are on. If your fear is letting go of enjoyable things that you used to do back home, then you are wrong. The barkada culture is so alive in Dubai. There’s no keeping you from singing your favorite songs with friends so long that you don’t wake your sleeping neighbors with very high volumes.
7) If you’re a sports aficionado, Dubai is the place for you. There are padded jogging paths along beach fronts or around parks. There are biking lanes all over. There are numerous basketball courts available in every district and, the best is, there are people who support and encourage one another to remain active and healthy.
8) You will meet friends and forge life-long bonds. Yes, leaving your friends and family back home may be painful, but there are people in Dubai worthy of your friendship, and people worthy to be called your friends. You will find many who will spend time with you when you feel alone and many who you can run to when you are lonely.
9) There are labor laws that protect you. The Dubai government has put in place laws that protect the rights and welfare of employees. Try to familiarize yourself with these so you know where you stand in any case.
10) You can take your family along with you. When the dust has settled and you are more established financially, there is no stopping you from bringing in your mom and dad or your hubby and kiddos. You can even have your dog, your cute kitty or even your furry bunny. Before you know it, everyone you care for is working, studying and living the life you have come to love.
As you work in Dubai, you would not notice the months unfolding into years and the years turning into decades. In all those years, you find yourself returning over and over to this city that has widely opened its arms and welcomed you as its own. And as you fall in love with everything that Dubai has to offer, it won’t be long before you call this place your second home.
In the job landscape, recruiters acknowledge that hard skills are nothing without an employee’s soft skills, sometimes, even most important in a resume. What used to be black and white in employability skills are now introduced with gray areas that we need to take notice of.