Work in the UAE Ukrainians as a restaurant administrator (part 2)
Continuing the conversation with the restaurant manager in Dubai.
In Dubai, Everything is constantly being built or updated. What are the prices in Dubai compared to Ukraine?
The currency of the Emirate Dirham. One dirham is 7.5 UAH. The stores have different prices. Fresh vegetables are extremely expensive, as they usually need to be imported from Europe or other countries, far from the UAE. A kilogram of celery can cost 40 dirhams, a kilogram of tomatoes 50 dirhams and potatoes, depending on the region from which they were imported, from 10 to 45 dirhams. Meat is much more expensive than European prices, especially pork, which can be bought only in specially allocated, tightly closed areas, only in the largest shopping centers.
It is extremely difficult to buy alcohol, which is not available in ordinary grocery stores. You can get it either in the restaurant, which is part of the hotel, or in very well hidden shops, where, however, you need a special card to buy alcohol. This is not the end of the restrictions. With this card you cannot spend more than 30% of your monthly salary. The map is very important because it is illegal to drink alcohol in Dubai. The alcohol itself in the region where I live is incredibly expensive, but, for example, in Ajman, about 40 minutes away, it is extremely cheap. In general, going shopping for the same products for which you would spend 750 hryvnia in Ukraine, you will spend here about 3-4 thousand hryvnia. Food in restaurants is often cheaper than grocery shopping.
Can Dubai be called a safe city? How does it look comparing with Ukraine?
This is the safest and cleanest place I’ve ever seen. Since it is illegal to be unemployed and homeless, the phenomenon of social margin and any related problems are almost unheard of. Of course, crimes happen from time to time, but the state is very much fighting them. Even when you go to the poorest areas of Dubai, the sense of security is still great.
Dubai is known for its space buildings, with the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa. Have you already found a moment to visit this place?
I have seen most of the popular buildings here. For example, I was inside the famous Burj al-Arab hotel, which, by the way, is incredibly overvalued. In fact, many local buildings are space buildings, and the fact that this city was built in almost 20 years is an amazing achievement. We have here the tallest building in the world, the largest shopping center, the largest observation wheel, the most luxurious hotels created for the settlement of the island. Of course, after some time spent here, all this omnipresent luxury ceases to amaze and becomes everyday life. Wherever you go, you are surrounded by marble, gold and the most expensive brands in the world for cars, clothes, etc.
After a year spent in the Emirates, and more than a year and a half in exile, do you feel homesick for your relatives?
The only thing I miss so much is the weather and nature. In addition, there may be Ukrainian food. However, I never had the idea to return to Ukraine. This is the place where I can come for a holiday, for a week or two, but I don’t think I will ever return to my homeland again.
Looking at Dubai in retrospect – what’s the most amazing thing here?
I was surprised by the many restrictions imposed on residents, although this does not affect my perception of this country. Paradoxically, despite the many strict provisions of the law that I cite, in my opinion, Dubai is a place where the sense of freedom is strong. It turns out that the introduction of such a large regulation makes life here more comfortable, safe and calm.
What do you think are the biggest problems in this place and what disappointed you?
One thing that really disappointed and frightened me was the huge segmentation of people living in Dubai. There is a huge stratification and diversity between social classes. I have never seen this before. Other diseases of this city are undoubtedly tedious summer temperatures.
Do you plan to stay here longer, or is this a rather transitional stage in your life?
While I have no opportunities for development, but I am satisfied with the work in the UAE and I will stay here. This is definitely not a country where I want to grow old, but I think for the next 4-5 years this will be my place where I want to live.