Many foreign workers, including overseas Filipino workers, stay in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) temporarily. Except for programs like the Golden Card which offers long-term residence status to highly skilled workers or investors, there is no other eligibility for foreigners to obtain permanent residence status in the country,
Typically the length of stay for foreign workers in the UAE depends on the terms of their work contract and visa. Some workers may have contracts for a few months, while others may have contracts for several years. The length of stay is typically determined by the employer and can be renewed, subject to the applicable laws and regulations of the UAE.
Therefore, as your tenure in the UAE is limited, make the most of your time in the country by doing any or all of the following activities:
Explore the country
Take advantage of your time in the UAE to discover its rich history, diverse culture, and natural beauty. Visit popular tourist destinations such as the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
To make the exploration more exciting, consider the following activities:
- City tours: Take a tour of the major cities in the UAE, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, to see famous landmarks, shopping malls, and cultural attractions.
- Desert safari: Experience the unique beauty of the Arabian Desert with a desert safari, which typically includes dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding.
- Marine adventures: Get up close and personal with the marine life in the UAE by going on a dolphin or whale watching tour, snorkeling, or diving.
- Cultural experiences: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional markets, museums, and cultural centers, and experiencing local food and music.
- Adventure activities: Thrill-seekers can try out a range of adventure activities, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and indoor skydiving.
Build your professional networks
Attend events, conferences, and workshops related to your industry to meet other professionals and expand your network.
- Industry events and conferences: Attend industry events and conferences relevant to your field to meet and network with professionals in your field.
- Professional organizations: Join professional organizations and associations in the UAE to connect with others in your industry and attend networking events.
- Online platforms: Use online professional networks such as LinkedIn to connect with others in your industry and expand your network.
- Business forums and clubs: Attend business forums and clubs, such as the chamber of commerce events, to meet other business professionals and make valuable connections.
- Volunteer opportunities: Participate in volunteer opportunities in the UAE, such as charity events, to meet and network with professionals from different industries.
Learn a new language
Consider learning Arabic, the official language of the UAE, to better understand and connect with local people. There are multiple ways to learn the Arabic language in the UAE.
- Language schools: Enroll in a language school that offers Arabic language classes for foreign speakers. Some popular language schools in the UAE include Berlitz, Linguaphone, and British Council.
- Universities: Universities in the UAE offer Arabic language courses as part of their language and culture programs.
- Private tutors: Hire a private tutor to receive one-on-one lessons and personalized instruction in the Arabic language.
- Online courses: Take an online course in Arabic language through platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Babbel.
- Language exchange programs: Participate in a language exchange program to practice speaking Arabic with native speakers and learn the language in a cultural context.
Participate in volunteering activities
Get involved in community service and volunteer work to give back to the local community and enhance your personal and professional growth.
- Environmental conservation: Participate in volunteer programs focused on environmental conservation, such as beach cleanups and wildlife preservation.
- Community service: Get involved with community service initiatives, such as working with underprivileged children, the elderly, and those in need.
- Health and wellness: Volunteer with organizations that focus on health and wellness, such as health clinics and hospitals.
- Education: Contribute to education initiatives by tutoring students, helping in schools, or mentoring young people.
- Disaster relief: Assist in disaster relief efforts, such as providing aid to those affected by natural disasters.
- Animal welfare: Volunteer with animal welfare organizations and help care for animals in need.
The cost of living in the UAE can be high, but with careful budgeting and saving, you can make the most of your time there and potentially leave with a nest egg.
- Budgeting: Create a budget and stick to it. Track your expenses and prioritize your spending to ensure that you are saving as much money as possible. You may consider buying bargain at certain shops for cheaper prices.
- Carrefour: A French hypermarket chain that offers a wide range of products, including groceries, electronics, and household items.
- Lulu Hypermarket: A popular supermarket chain in the UAE, offering a range of products at competitive prices.
- Plug Ins: An electronics store that offers a range of products, including computers, smartphones, and home appliances, at competitive prices.
- NMC Trading: A retailer specializing in consumer electronics, offering products at discounted prices.
- Unbeatable: An online retailer that offers a range of products, including electronics, home appliances, and fashion items, at competitive prices.
- Reduce food costs: Cook at home as much as possible and bring your own lunch to work instead of eating out. Take advantage of supermarket deals and buy in bulk to save money on groceries.
- Avoid unnecessary purchases: Limit your spending on non-essential items and avoid impulse purchases.
- Shop around: Compare prices at different stores and online before making a purchase to ensure that you are getting the best deal.
- Use public transportation: Use public transportation or carpool instead of driving to reduce transportation costs.
- Utilize discounts: Look for and take advantage of discounts and promotions, such as using discount coupons and shopping during sales.
- Cut back on entertainment costs: Limit your spending on entertainment, such as dining out, movies, and other leisure activities.
Foster strong relationships with your colleagues and make new friends from diverse backgrounds to broaden your cultural understanding and social network.
- Communicate effectively: Good communication is key to building strong relationships. Listen actively and respond in a clear, concise, and respectful manner.
- Be respectful: Treat your colleagues with respect, regardless of their position or background. Avoid making negative comments or engaging in gossip.
- Show appreciation: Acknowledge your colleagues’ efforts and achievements, and take the time to thank them for their contributions.
- Be a team player: Work together as a team, share ideas, and support each other. Be willing to help others and offer your assistance when needed.
- Be professional: Maintain a professional demeanor at all times, and avoid engaging in behaviors that could harm your reputation or damage your relationships with others.
- Be open to feedback: Listen to feedback from your colleagues and be willing to make changes if necessary.
- Celebrate successes: Celebrate successes together, whether it’s a team project, a company milestone, or an individual accomplishment.
To make the most of your limited time in the United Arab Emirates, it’s recommended to prioritize activities that showcase the unique cultural, historical, and modern aspects of the country.
You don’t want to regret down the road that you did not make the most of your time in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or any other place in the UAE.