Expats in UAE share why they love their adopted home

by Ray Clancy on December 9, 2014

Expats in the United Arab Emirates are happy in their adopted home, citing peace of mind and a comfortable lifestyle, according to new research.

The emirate has a universal appeal and expats living there feel it is safe and a place where they can forge lasting friendships.

UAE expats

Expats feel safe in the UAE and like they can form lasting friendships

The research, by global payment services company Western Union, also says that expats say they have been able to realise personal goals such as buying a home, having a better lifestyle and better savings.

The survey was conducted as part of the My Yellow Brick Road campaign in the UAE, which aims to showcase the lives of expats and their journey in the emirate. It brings to life the personal stories of individuals from different countries who participated in the survey.

The campaign’s theme derives its title from the popular children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where the main character embarks on a magical journey travelling along the Yellow Brick Road.

‘The stories of these expats are not only a reflection of their personal accomplishments, but are also a great source of inspiration for other residents of the UAE,’ said Hatem Sleiman, Western Union’s regional vice president for the Middle East.

He explained that the results from the survey reflect the expat community’s appreciation for the opportunities the UAE has provided them and how their journey to the UAE has helped them achieve several personal goals to make their lives better.

‘We are proud of this initiative in telling the stories of customers’ lives and their integral role in strengthening and enhancing the positive and dynamic environment of the UAE,’ he added.

Among them is Diego Salazar, an American citizen originally from Colombia who has made the UAE his home for the past three and half years. ‘As an engineer in a local aircraft maintenance company, my work contributes to achieving my company’s vision of being a world class company by establishing the company’s processes and management systems and training the local workforce to think customer first,’ he said.

‘I am also involved in transferring knowledge to the local workforce. Working in the UAE has helped me to save money and I plan on staying here for another five years,’ he added.

Armando Santos, a native of the Philippines, said he loves the culture of the UAE and has learnt to speak in Arabic to help him communicate better as his work place at the Al Ain Zoo.

‘I have made suggestions to segregate general waste materials like bottles, papers etc., to maintain the cleanliness of the zoo for the sake of the animals and enhance the natural surroundings,’ he explained.

‘Having been in UAE for seven years, I truly feel at home here because I have a better lifestyle and I have made good friends. Working in the UAE has helped me save money, buy a home, and start a business and I plan on staying here for a long time,’ he added.

Asel from Kyrgyzstan said he has made some good friends, which makes him feel at home and happy with his job in the travel and tourism industry. ‘The work I do is important to the economy of the country. Working in UAE has helped me to save money and buy a home,’ he added.

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