Just like any other youthful person of my generation, moving to any foreign country in search of the so-called ‘greener pastures’ is not always what it seems to be in pictures.
With the fast-rising of social media, many would be quick to conclude life abroad is sweet and super.
Simple advice is you really need to work hard to achieve your dream in that foreign land.
Most people (me included) relocate completely ignorant of the possible dangers and costs associated with such a move.
In this day and age, people need to be careful when travelling or relocating to another country.
For those of you who don’t know, Dubai is a city and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the country.
I have encountered situations where some confuse the two and think Dubai is a country on its own.
In recent years Dubai (UAE) has been a preferred destination for many migrant workers seeking better lives for themselves and their families.
This is due to the fast technological developments currently taking place in the Middle East country, many professionals want to be part of it and that it is one of the safest cities in the world.
There is a growing demand for workers at junior levels of the employment ladder in the UAE.
Africans are sourced to fill the vacuum.
It is for this reason several companies have emerged to connect Africans to employers in Dubai.
The other reason which can be attributed to this fact is the easy and hassle-free visa application process which the UAE government has put in place.
The UAE continues to amend its Visas in a bid to attract more investors, tourists and talent.
The new system of entry and residence aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers from all over the world.
You also need to be conscious about your health before moving to the UAE. Do your medical exams in your country.
Many are times when people must accept reality. Life in Dubai is expensive.
This is not to instill fear in you in case you want to relocate but to make you aware of what you should expect.
Be aware of the “things not to do in UAE” and avoid under any circumstances to do such. Do what the law requires as the fines are quite high.
Once you decide you want to relocate, make sure you have enough funds that will see you through for the period you want to stay, maybe before you get a job if you are a job seeker.
Do enough research and ask people who are in the UAE.
I will give a rough estimation on the costs you will likely have in your relocation process and these may differ from country to country so it’s a generic estimate.
Assuming you visit on a three-month visa, these will be your expenses in USD;
· Visa: $300 (return)
· Ticket: $600 (return)
· Accommodation: $200 (bed space / shared partition)
· Food: $300 (3 months)
· Transport: $240 (3 months)
· Airtime/Phone recharge: $30
· CV Printing: $10
The total budget will be – USD1,680.00
Don’t expect to live in fancy housing as you see on social media, learn to start from low on a budget level life.
We know and believe in our countries, they have value we put in our attained qualifications.
This may not be the same here, expect to start as a junior in the field of your study and grow from there.
Invest in UAE accredited courses once you get employed and take advantage of the labour law which allows you to change your job after six months of employment with your first company.
One interesting fact is that many of the Curriculum Vitae (CVs) presented by foreign job seekers are not up to international standards. Before you begin your job search journey, invest in a good quality CV.
Avoid copy-paste CVs from other job seekers or those who have been here for long.
Make or craft your own unique CV with the advice you get from those within the industry.
In some cases, you may need such services from professionals, look for them online they always advertise.
The world is now digital and so is Dubai. You need to have a laptop for your job search to be easy.
Do your job search online, make use of the available sites and visit company website career pages for any possible opportunity.
As an expat, know the reason why you moved from your country to the UAE and that should be your driving force every day.
Many have lost focus due to the need to make “quick money” and have indulged in activities which may be detrimental to their health and social well-being.
Be open to your families if you are getting an average salary so that they do not expect much from you.
Live within your means and budget, avoid over-spending.
One other area you must always approach wisely is shopping. Do your shopping in shops that match your earnings.
Desist from getting carried away by social media competition. Be you and budget accordingly.
Crime in UAE
The UAE is generally a peaceful and safe country. You can travel at any time of the night without fear.
One cannot deny that we can find dirty linen in dry clothes hence it’s the same with crime in UAE.
As much as we keep working to reach our goals, some of our brothers and sisters seem to have forgotten the reason they came to the UAE.
Some migrants have been involved in criminal activities, but thanks to the UAE police as they are always quick to respond and nab such people.
Africans suspected of committing crimes have been arrested.
The Gulf Today of 1 July 2020, reported that the Dubai Police “Operation Shadow” led to the arrest of 20 Africans for blackmailing and cyber extortion crimes as well as fraudulent activities against social media users.
Another article in the Khaleej Times 22 Jun 2021 reported that three men were arrested within 24 hours after they stole Dh170,000 from a woman, who had withdrawn the money from a bank.
As a migrant you must decide the path you want to take in your journey to accomplish your goals and set targets.
Deportation in UAE
Getting involved in criminal activities in the UAE will get you deported.
The legal type of deportation is through court order and is usually used for criminal offences like murder, sexual offences, etc.
On the other hand, the administrative type of deportation is applicable for individuals who are considered as a threat to the safety and welfare of the public.
Judicial or legal deportation, as it’s called, is the result of a foreigner being convicted of a crime in the UAE.
Crimes that predominately carry automatic legal deportation orders are crimes of sexual assault, violence, and drug dealing.
In these cases, the foreigner will be convicted of a felony by custodial punishment, and a court order will be issued for legal deportation.
This is directly referenced in Article 121 of Law No. 3 of 1987 on Criminal Penal Code, as amended by Federal Law No. 34 of 2005, as amended by Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2016, provides that a foreigner who is sentenced for a felony by a custodial punishment for crimes against honour such as sexual assault shall be deported out of the UAE.
If an individual is deported from the UAE, he or she cannot re-enter the country (it hurts but that is the truth).
This is in accordance with Article 28 of the Immigration Law of UAE, which states: “A foreigner who has been deported may not return to the country except with special permission from the Minister of Interior.”
Once you have been deported from the UAE, you cannot return unless you obtain special permission from the Director-General of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
This is outlined in Article 28 of Law No. 6 of 1973 on Entry and Residence of Foreigners.
My advice, If you come to the UAE, abide by the laws.
*Written by Zvakwana Nomore Sweto, is a digital marketer and content writer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.