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To our readers, here’s another kabayan interview. Meet Phil, a sales assistant selling mobile phones inside a mall here in the UAE. He used to work for a bank in Abu Dhabi but his contract was abruptly ended. Luckily, he got a new job and was able to transfer his employment visa without getting banned from the Ministry of Labour. His previous employer belongs to a semi-government organization which gave him the option to transfer to his current company. Read more of our interview with Phil below.

OFW Interview with Phil, a Retail Sales Rep in Dubai

OFW Profile: Retail Mobile Sales Rep in a Mall
Name: Phil
Education: BS Office Administration in Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)
How Long in Dubai: 1 year (7 months in Abu Dhabi and  months in Dubai)

ofw pinoy philPinoy at the Desert adventure in the UAE

1. Tell me about yourself.

Good day! I’m Phil, 29 and yes still Single. I finished my college degree in Polytechnic University of the Philippines year 2005 with flying colors. (Cum-Laude daw… Lolz)

2. Why did you come to Dubai?

An employment agency in Ortigas called me and offered a Sales Officer post to one of the major banks in UAE. They were hiring up to age 28 only and I was already 28 that time so I just decided to grab their offer before I get disqualified because of my age. Anyways, I won’t pay a single cent plus I will have the chance to work overseas with good compensation. Optimistic and thinking of sending more money to my family and saving more for my future.

3. What were your previous jobs?

5 years in automotive industry (Toyota & Honda) then 2 years in financial institution (BPI-Philam). I was able to embrace the SALES life because I earn more in selling instead of pursuing my degree in Office Administration.

4. How do you find your current job? Are you happy/satisfied with it?

I started working in Abu Dhabi as Sales Officer where I got the job from an employment agency in the Philippines. This job was a bit hard because I was a newbie and didn’t know nobody. I needed to go on field to look for prospective clients and offer Personal Loans. (Take note of the heat outside is more than 40 degrees Celsius!).

I transferred to DUBAI and landed a new job as Sales Assistant (long story how I was terminated). Presently, I sell mobile phones inside the mall. The first few weeks was very tiring because my work requires standing 8 hours but after some time I got used to it. Five months and counting, I am now enjoying my job. Less stress, less pressure and most importantly, I work inside an air-conditioned Mall. ;))

pinoy burj khalifa
selfie with Burj Khalifa

5. Are you able to save in Dubai? Why/How?

Honestly I’m trying, but to date, very little savings I have in my account. I work inside the mall that’s why temptations are everywhere. I buy this, I buy that… Buffet here, party there…

6. Is it difficult to live in Dubai? What are your struggles? What’s life like outside work?

It’s not difficult to live in Dubai if you know how to adjust. Adjust to living in one room together if you have friends here, or get a bedspace if you are alone, or pay higher rent for a small room/partition. It will depend on how much you are earning and how much you want to save.  Also, you need to take into consideration whom you want to live with because they will serve as your family to battle homesickness.

7. What do you Like about Dubai?

Skyscrapers. Tourist destinations. Huge Malls. SALE everywhere.

And if you’re a jetsetter, you may plan to travel to other countries with less process and no need of spending too much money. Booking a flight from Dubai going to other countries is way cheaper than booking from the Philippines.

8. What do you NOT Like about Dubai?

The summer season that’s too hot to handle even at night. Taxi has minimum fare of 10aed even on a short distance travel. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to offend people but I just can’t manage the smell of others. Peace!  (SORRY!)

at the top dubai burj khalifaview from the top
At the Top in Burj Khalifa

9. What are your plans in your career/family/future?

I want to go back to working in a bank when my contract expires. I will continue to save for my future as working far from your family is a true sacrifice. I need a forced savings set-up so I’m planning to invest in Mutual Funds in the Philippines when I take my annual vacation leave.

10. Tips for Kabayans when working/finding work/living in Dubai?

To those who are presently working here, continue working hard. We can easily adopt and get along with other nationalities. Be kind and respectful in dealing with them.
Let’s learn how to save for our future, remember that working here will not take long.

To those who are searching for jobs, few tips:

  • Check the online job hunting sites
  • Do walk-ins aside from online applications
  • Saturate the buildings floor by floor
  • Ask for referrals from other kabayans
  • Never lose hope!

Find time to go to church. Pray to God for all the blessings He has given and will be giving to us.

pinoy in emirates palace abu dhabi
at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi


*Photos provided by Phil.

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