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Life In UAE: Expat’s Tale Of Job Hunting, Dreams

As one of the most attractive ex-pat destinations in the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers many opportunities for those looking for exciting new prospects. However, life here in the UAE, despite its charm, can be challenging, especially when finding the right job and adjusting to the high cost of living.


The seven Emirates of UAE have been a base for expatriates from all over the globe for many years. With its vibrant culture, the standard of living, and, most importantly, tax-free environment, it's no wonder many call the country their home.


The job market here in UAE attracts many qualified professionals from around the world who come here to secure better jobs and a higher standard of living. One of the main reasons people come to the UAE with big dreams is the country's reputation as a land of opportunities. The United Arab Emirates economy is booming, creating numerous job opportunities in various sectors, including oil and gas, construction, hospitality, and finance.


Job Hunting


When people come to the UAE hoping to find work, they face several difficulties. The language barrier is the most significant and foremost challenge for most ex-pats


Although English is widely spoken and most of the population speaks Arabic, this is still a significant hurdle for non-native speakers, making it difficult to communicate and understand instructions in the workplace.


I was talking about my personal experience, being a middle-class Pakistani boy who moved to the UAE with his wife in search of better job opportunities and a higher standard of living. Upon arrival, I was thrilled with the prospect of working and living in a new country. Not long before, I realized that finding a job wasn't as easy as we thought.


I started looking for jobs online and submitted my resume to various companies, but most of the time, I didn't even get a response from the companies I applied to. It was frustrating to spend hours writing a cover letter and updating my resume and never getting a response.


Having a Master’s degree in journalism from the Institute of Business Administration (which is one of the renowned educational institutions in Pakistan) was not enough. Despite working for a reputable company in Pakistan, I am struggling to find a job that matches my skills and experience.


Moreover, I have had to go through a lot of rejections in the past six months, and I am yet to find a job. I have work experience in my home country and found that most employers prefer candidates with experience in the UAE.


My experience is nothing special as many expatriates feel the UAE job market is highly competitive, and employers tend to favor candidates with experience within the Emirates.


The cost of living

The cost of living depends on the city and personal lifestyle. The expenses will generally be considered high, especially in emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi Grocery, rent, bills, internet, buses (intercity, intracity), and other means of communication are detailed separately in this section.


Food prices in the United Arab Emirates vary by supermarket and product type. However, on average, his weekly grocery bill for a family of four ranges from AED800 to AED1,500. The most popular supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates include Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, and Spinneys.

Rental costs in the United Arab Emirates also vary depending on location, type of accommodation, and equipment. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai is priced around AED 5,000-8,000 monthly, and a two-bedroom apartment is around AED 7,000-12,000 monthly. In Abu Dhabi, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around AED 4,500-7,000 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment is around AED 7,500-12,000 per month.


Moreover, other utilities such as electricity, water, and gas are relatively affordable. The monthly bill for a family of four ranges from AED 400 to AED 600. Cellular and Internet charges may vary by provider and package one consume. On average, monthly bills for mobile and internet services range from AED 200 to AED 400. High-speed internet is widespread in the country, and prices for internet service vary by different factors, ranging from AED 200 to AED 300.


Public transport in the United Arab Emirates is relatively affordable, with buses being the most common form of transportation. Intercity bus fares range from AED 25 to AED 60, depending on the destination. In the city, the cost of a single bus trip ranges from AED 2 to AED 8, depending on the distance


Taxi services such as Uber and Careem are widely available in the United Arab Emirates. They are relatively affordable, with prices ranging from AED 20 to AED 50 one way, depending on the distance. Dubai and Abu Dhabi also have metro and tram services, with one-way tickets costing around AED 2-8 depending on the length.


The weight of ‘Dreams.

The burden of dreams can become even more complicated with time if it takes a long to find a job, or even worse if you don't find a job at all. This can be especially difficult for people who have come to the UAE after spending all their savings and taking out large loans in the hope of making their dreams come true.


The economic burden of unemployment is increasing, and stress and anxiety can affect mental health and overall happiness. This can also lead to strained relationships; the responsibility of providing for themselves and their families rests solely on them individually. Individuals may sometimes be forced to return to their hometown with an unfulfilled dream, a sense of defeat, and disappointment.


Many ex-pats deal with homesickness by staying in touch with their loved ones back home through video calls, messaging apps, and social media. They also try to recreate a sense of home by cooking traditional dishes, celebrating cultural festivals, and participating in ex-pat communities.


Additionally, the dream of becoming a citizen of the United Arab Emirates remains unattainable for most ex-pats. Government policy does not allow ex-pats to become naturalized citizens of the country. They are always considered foreigners, leading to a pay gap between ex-pats and locals, with the emiratis having more jobs and receiving higher wages.


The UAE government does not grant citizenship to ex-pats, regardless of how long they have been living and working in the country. This is because the UAE's citizenship is based on blood ties and is only granted to those born to Emirati parents or who can prove their descent from an Emirati tribe.


This policy has led to frustration and resentment among ex-pats, especially those living there for many years, and has significantly contributed to the country's economy and society. Many ex-pats feel they have invested much time, money, and effort in the UAE and deserve citizenship or at least permanent residency.


Overall, the issue of nationality and salary differences in the UAE is complex and sensitive. While there are no easy solutions to these problems, governments and employers must continue to work towards creating fair and equitable systems that recognize the contributions of all residents, regardless of nationality.


Despite the challenges, the UAE remains an attractive destination for many ex-pats willing to take risks and work hard to build a better life for themselves and their families. With a positive mindset, determination, and willingness to adapt, expatriates in the United Arab Emirates can be successful and achieve their dreams.





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