Information on United Arab Emirates
For OFWs

Dubai Skyline at Night, Information on United Arab EmiratesDubai, United Arab Emirates skyline at night

Are you looking for information on United Arab Emirates for OFWs such as major cities and jobs in United Arab Emirates, UAE visa requirements, working and living in the UAE? Read on...

The country is a federation of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah.

Most Filipinos are most likely in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These are the largest and richest emirates, and major cities.

UAE has the world's third largest oil, and fifth largest natural gas reserves. These resources fuel its non-oil sectors.

Building and construction, retail, entertainment events, tourism, air transport, manufacturing and port operations make up about 75% of the economy. 

Job information on United Arab Emirates

Most jobs come from the non-oil sectors given their share in the economy. The country relies on migrant workers because of shortage of workers. In fact 85% of its population are migrant workers. Filipinos are the fourth largest group after Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. 

Health care, construction and hospitality sectors need more OFWs as UAE aspires to be the leisure and financial center of the gulf region. But experts say the global financial crisis reversed that after October 2008.

Then Dubai Mall opened, creating 10,000 jobs. Here should caution come in. You may not find jobs after paying huge sums to recruiters. Reports show many Filipinos cannot find work and are stranded outside UAE renewing their visas. Crisis or not, it is best to secure jobs before flying there. Check here on how to look for UAE jobs at the POEA website. 

UAE visa requirements

Your travel, school and other papers must be valid and processed by POEA or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. You can then apply for a job so you can get a working visa. Your job contract helps you get a working visa or permit.

Travel agencies arrange for visit or tourist visas with a price. They often say that jobs are waiting for you or they will help you find jobs. Why don't they give you the job first before going there?

Tourist or visit visa is not advised if you intend to work there. You must leave UAE before your visa expires or risk paying costly fines. People exit for a few days then return to look for work again. The problem starts when you cannot find work sooner.

This becomes costly. You must exit to renew your visit visa. You cannot get a working visa if you do not have an employer. Then the cycle goes on until you find a job or return to the Philippines. And you have to start from scratch.

Working and living in the UAE

Domestic work puts you at risk. But that would change. A standard contract for such workers and their employers has been in effect. The contract covers salaries, holidays and air tickets, rest periods, health care and other terms of work. I hope this information on United Arab Emirates would improve the lives of domestic workers.

Other workers will also have a standard contract with the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Philippines and the UAE.

And that is just a part of being an OFW in the country. All migrant workers are required to register for the national ID instead of using multiple ID cards. 

And if you are in Dubai, there is tolerance with certain conduct. But don't expect too much. Playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing and even holding hands in public is inappropriate behavior under new guidelines. Any breach of the guidelines carries a prison penalty.

Filipinos go to the UAE because of better chances of finding work there. Many can raise their chances through prudence and proper information. The United Arab Emirates should be a better place for OFWs. It's your choice...

› United Arab Emirates

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