As an expat, the things you need to know being in a foreign country aside from shelter, food, temperature, are… ITS PEOPLE…
Changing your environment is not that smooth as you can imagine, especially if you will be away from your home the very first time, adjusting your life in a strange land will take time. One of the factors that affect us are the one who surrounds us.
“Mag-adjust na nga lang sa kapwa mo kababayan ang hirap minsan, ibang lahi pa kaya?” (Dealing with your own countrymen are sometimes difficult, what more with other nationalities?)
Good thing for first time Overseas Filipino Workers, UAE doesn’t give much hassle to adjust with its residents, you know why? You will see almost all establishments have Filipino “kabayan” (fellow countryman). This also applies with other nationalities here, expatriates from different parts of the world reside and work here, UAE is on the top 10 countries where expatriates choose to live and have a job.
Either you will live and work with your own country people, other nationalities and combinations (for big companies). You will not be only seeing locals here (Arabs) rather than a bunch of expatriates from all over the world.
Most Expatriates that resides here are from:
- Sri Lanka
- and so on, if you wanna check the full list of expats, visit Ethnicity of UAE Immigrants
Don’t worry much of your English knowledge and accent, you will be fine, this is not a Western Country that you need to be, hmmmmm, slang, good at diction and pronunciation, not everyone can articulate English well. Although you will meet different kinds of people here from different parts of the world, the thing you need to worry is how to deal with each and everyone of them, their attitudes and characteristics, which I think are the same when dealing with your own countrymen, there will be irritating, rude, sensitive, lazy, kind and arrogant. The government here treats people equally, and there are rules about being racist and all which is strictly prohibited. So if you wanna show your bad manners here, I suggest that you won’t.
I’ve been living here for almost 6 years. In general, UAE residents and locals are fine and there’s not much to be afraid of, in fact I feel safe here and already built friendship with my co-workers, their families and others. Let me consider myself lucky being with other nationalities who treats me well and even as their own family.