UAE: First Destination Away From Home

By Jalene B.D.S.

 

United Arab emirates (UAE) is a federation of 7 emirates namely: Abu Dhabi ( the capital ), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. UAE is a rich country because of its oil reserves which makes it as seventh-largest in the world. It’s population is composed mostly of expats than Emirati citizens.

 

EXPLORING UAE

 

Abu Dhabi: The Capital City

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The Galleria Sowwah Mall is the only place I’ve been to in Abu Dhabi. This is where my mom works. I stayed most of the time here since there’s wifi and the mall is not that crowded because all the shops here are of luxury brands.

 

Dubai: The Shopping Capital of the Middle East

 

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I worked in Dubai as marketing executive for 3 months only. I’ve been to quite a few places: Dubai Marina, Dubai Miracle Garden, Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat Mall, etc.

 

HOW DID I GET THERE?

My mother sponsored my papers so I can go there and have a vacation for 1 month. My stay was extended because I was able to find a job as Marketing Executive and my employer sponsored my visa. I didn’t finished the contract so I came back.

 

REFLECTIONS OF AN EXPAT

 

My first solo trip to UAE was on the eve of Christmas. I went there without doing some research, I depend solely to my mom who live there for almost 7 years.

 

It’s quite easy to go to UAE especially if you have a sponsor there – relative/mother/father/spouse, who will process your papers to get tourist visa. Usually, tourist visa is valid for 1 month or 3 months (maximum). As for my case, it’s only a 1 month visa because originally my mom just wanted me to unwind from stress and frustrations at home, at work, with the country, and so forth.

 

I did quite some adventures while I live there for a few months. When I was there, I didn’t miss everything in the country because there’s Filipinos everywhere. You won’t get lost, they’ll guide you and give advises and lessons to learn from their experiences. But be careful of whom you’ll trust, that’s my mom’s advise always.

 

So then, we did tour some of Dubai’s tourist attractions. And on the sideline, I’m also passing some CV on some companies we came across, I also did applied online at dubizzle site. I did blind application – just keep on passing CV to companies that are hiring for Marketing/Sales executive and waited for calls for interviews. There’s two jobs I have to choose  from: Front Desk Officer and/or Marketing/Sales executive. I chose the latter, and that leads me to a series of adventures.

TIP: English communication skills is definitely a plus when looking for a job in this country. They tend to overlook your experience if you communicate with them spontaneously. I was accepted though I don’t have any experience in the Marketing field. I just did some research on tasks and responsibilities of a Marketing Executive and planned out what I should do to contribute to the company’s revenue growth.

 

I was hired. After a week of working at the company, I got stressed out because my paper is about to expired and I haven’t got an update yet when my employment visa will be processed. Then this happened, the CEO got mad at me he started talking on their language (which I don’t understand but it seems like it’s negative pertaining to me).  The following day, I’m totally at my wit’s end with all those problems. I  even forgot to tap my NOL card (transportation card with top up balance)  to the bus so when an inspector came he asked me to drop off asking for a penalty fee of 200 AED = 2400 PHP. I kind of panick because I don’t have that amount with me, but the inspector told me to call my friends/sponsor to pay for the penalty fee. Mama called my employer to pay my fines, they can’t find where I was because I don’t know the place as well. Anyway, I got a bail out without paying the penalty fee because the inspector let me go, he just said “Kalas,”after almost a couple of hours of no one showing up. Mama calm me down saying that the Lord let it happened to shake ’em up and do something with my papers. I’m still blessed with all that happened to me that day and for the days to come.

 

Because of that incident, I initiated that I’ll exit the country and wait in Oman for my employment visa and I will shoulder the expenses. They agreed.

 

Then, we came to know that going to Oman, you have to coordinate with the travel agency 5 days prior to departure. It left me no choice, I need to go to Kish Island in Iran (notoriously known as “Patay na Isla” / “Dead Island” according to others who went there already).  I’m quite terrified of what is to come so I texted the wife of the CEO to let her know. They promised that it’ll only take 1 day to process my employment visa. But promises are meant to be broken.

 

To be Continued . . .

 

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