Work in the UAE Ukrainians as a restaurant administrator
Two years ago, Vladimir graduated from studies at the hotel business administrator. For two years he worked in a restaurant in Lvov, but the money he earned did not suit him and Vladimir began to look for work abroad. There were many offers, after thinking a little about, he was ready to dwell on the choice of work in London, but he did not take into account the twists and turns of fate that soon after a long search he would be the manager of a restaurant in Dubai.
Looks like a slightly original script. However, this story did happen.
How did you get to Dubai and why here?
The very possibility of leaving appeared very quickly and unexpectedly. In principle, 3 days before my choice to work in London, I received an offer to move to the Emirates. I used to work in Lviv in a similar company, where I currently work in the Emirates, but at a much lower level – as a barista. I received offers in the Middle East to create a newly created branch of our restaurant, train new employees in the concept of our company, their rules, etc. This happened in April 2016. Ultimately, I was supposed to stay here for the first three weeks after opening, but the quantity and quality of the work I did impressed the owner, and I received an offer to promote. This is due to the possibility of settlement in Dubai. I accepted the offer without thinking.
Therefore, the answer to the question “why Dubai” is clear. In fact, this was the only way out in terms of career opportunities, because after returning to Lviv I would not have had a chance for such a rapid advancement in the company.
What were your first 24 hours at a new place?
I was in shock the first night. The biggest difference in comparison with Lviv and Europe in general, is the splendor and wealth that surrounds all places in many parts of the city. The temperature and climate are especially shocking, which for the most part of the year are completely unbearable. On the first day, I did not have time to inspect the area, because I immediately had to complete the task related to my work.
How did you adapt to such an exotic place as the United Arab Emirates?
One thing that was exotic for me and was personally surprised was the multiculturalism of Dubai. You are in a multinational society, I have never seen such a thing in Lviv. Summertime temperature is something I probably never get used to. It is difficult to explain to those who have never experienced temperatures of 55° C and 100% humidity. These factors are present for about 5 months a year, so for the most part almost half a year you can not comfortably spend time outdoors. Fortunately, every seat in Dubai is air-conditioned: from garages, apartments and restaurants, ending even at bus stops.
What is your official status in the Emirates in the light of local legislation?
Officially, according to the law here, I can be called the so-called expat occupying a leadership position. The process of getting a job in Dubai and an identity card is often associated with a large number of documents and visits to many offices.
The United Arab Emirates has a very restrictive immigration policy, which is clearly seen in the employment process. From this year, the law is even more stringent. But preference also remained for workers with a European appearance. To work in the UAE, you need a certificate of good behavior in the country in which you have been for the past 5 years and a health certificate confirming that you are not suffering from any specific infectious diseases, such as AIDS or tuberculosis. If you are applying for a position, you also need a higher education certificate, translated by a sworn translator and approved by the Emirate Embassy in the country where the school was completed. The absence of one of these documents ends with the deportation.
Each visitor is also required to create a so-called Emirates ID, which is necessary, for example, when representing the police. During the creation of this card you must provide all your personal data. Without providing this information, an employer cannot create a work visa for an employee, due to which people who come to Dubai can legally reside here. The absence of this visa usually ends in deportation. A similar situation occurs after getting a job. During the first half of the year they obey the so-called law Probation Period.
At the end it’s worth mentioning another important document. Your passport can be obtained only if you have a so-called net emirate. No one who is not a native of this country can ever become a full citizen of the United Arab Emirates.
It is worth discussing the issue of accommodation. How did you find the apartment? What is the standard and size?
Now I rent an apartment of about 30 m2, which is a pretty good standard. The apartment is located on the outskirts of the city, about 25 minutes from the center. Finding an apartment in Dubai at a good price in a good location is very difficult, so most people decide to share an apartment or room with another immigrant. I know this from my studies, so I quickly agreed to this option.
On the Internet, you can meet more and more people from all over the world, with Ukrainians who live in Dubai.
You mentioned the multiculturalism of this place that caught your attention on the very first day. How much is this seen in everyday life?
The multinationality of Dubai is extremely memorable. According to some data, the native Emirates make up less than 10% of the entire city. The overwhelming majority is a cultural mixture, in which the majority are Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis, Ukrainians and Russians (often very wealthy). I am convinced that representatives from most countries of the world are present here. Although it is an Arab country, Dubai bears the image of a liberal and tolerant city. According to this law, any manifestations of religious, racial and, moreover, gender discrimination are strictly punished.
Have you found compatriots?
Ukrainians in Dubai are not a very large group of immigrants, we are here according to unofficial estimates, about 6,000 people. For a city where 2.4 million is not enough. The only Ukrainians I contacted were my family working with me in the company and three more Ukrainians who work near our restaurant.
What are the original origins of the people you encountered?
In addition to the omnipresent Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis and Russians, I was able to meet nations that I could not find anywhere else. These are people from Sri Lanka, Cameroon, New Zealand, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. As I already mentioned, with high probability you can meet people from the most exotic corners of the world.
The ban on kisses and hugging, in other words, the opening of Dubai, but to a certain extent.
The problem with the language seems interesting. How do you communicate with people here? How do you need Arabic and need to learn it?
Arabic is mostly not needed, both in Dubai and in the capital, Abu Dhabi. I do not know what the situation in the rest of the Emirates looks like, but most of them are locals. In my city, however, English is enough. It’s true that the official language is also Arabic in multinational Dubai, but in any office, store or other public place, communication in English is the norm.
The UAE is located in the heart of the Arab world, and according to the data, almost three-quarters of the population adheres to Islam. Do you think every day the fact that you live in a Muslim country?
Of course, yes. Mosques are visible at every turn. Wherever you look, you see minarets in sight. As for an hour in any public place (restaurants or shopping centers) for about 2-3 minutes, the music is turned off to hear the call for prayer, which is played from loudspeakers when there is no mosque nearby. In addition, each mall should have separate prayer rooms for women and men. Most Arab women use different, often extremely different forms of clothing. The so-called kabay or burka. They cover only the hair or literally the whole body, including the face, depending on the person. Men, in turn, with an emphasis on local Arabs, dress in white clothes with a suitable headgear depending on the region.
Have you encountered any hostile actions because of your background?
Never. Perhaps this is due to the strict, above-mentioned relationship of the local code to all manifestations of intolerance and hostility towards foreign countries. The United Arab Emirates is mainly a country that works only because of tourism, and other countries that come here to work make a huge contribution to the development of this country.
What is the problem of transport in Dubai? How do you travel to work or to stores?
Life without a car in this city is almost impossible. In most parts of the city there are no sidewalks. Every other car is a taxi, which is relatively cheap (30 minutes is about 10 dollars). Of course, the metro and buses are functioning, but they work only in the city center. The car is extremely necessary, because the distances in the city are very large. Especially in the summer it is impossible to reach on foot. Only one bus leaves my residence. I usually drive to work by taxi or with a friend of mine, who has a car and lives from me through several buildings.
When it comes to shopping, I rarely go to the store to buy something. Most often I use an application that delivers right to the door of the apartment.
To be continued …