26 August 2016

Lady Anne - Expat in Dubai, UAE

Lady Anne - Expat in Dubai, UAE

We’ve had the chance to talk to Lady Anne, 32, a Filipina expat who has moved to Dubai with her husband. Mrs. Anne who has been living there for eight years now works as a medical laboratory technologist.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I am from the Philippines.


Q: What made you move out of the Philippines?

A: I began to seek for independence when I turned 25.


Q: Where are you living now?

A: Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is now my second home.


Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A:  An opportunity to live and work in Dubai came when I was yearning for personal growth.


Q: How long have you been living in Dubai?

A: 2015 is my 7th year in the UAE.


Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Dubai?

A: On my first year, Ramadan season was tough for me. It was hard to cope with the restrictions, especially with the no eating and drinking in public during daytime rule.


Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance were particularly difficult in Dubai? What was your experience with these?

A: Acquiring residence visa and international health insurance weren’t difficult for me as those were provided by the company I am working with.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I am living with my husband.


Q: How are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: My husband came here to work as well. He came ready for changes and some sacrifices, so lifestyle adjustment wasn’t that hard. 


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Dubai? How did you manage to find a social circle in Dubai?

A: Making friends is quite easy. Dubai is a melting pot of races; hence I get to interact with different nationalities every day at work and public places. It’s amazing how people of different cultures get along really well. 


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: Exploring Old Dubai is one the best things to do, especially for someone new in town, to get to know the Emirati culture and traditions. There’s so much to see in the modern part of the city as well; from record-breaking structures to out of this world architecture. I highly recommend seeing such places in order to appreciate the city even more.


Q: How does the cost of living in Dubai compared to your home?

A: The cost of living in Dubai is twice higher than that of my home province in the Philippines.

  • How much is a cup of coffee?

A: A cup of coffee in cafés cost 10 to 20 AED.

  • How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A:  You can get a rice meal in a hole-in-a-wall restaurant at 15 AED, 25 AED if in a food court. Light snacks (shawarma, falafel) along the road cost 5 AED.

  • How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: A complete 3-course meal in a specialty restaurant in a shopping mall cost more or less 100 AED, while fine dining in a hotel costs 200 AED up.

  • How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: I don’t drink and I don’t smoke, so I have no idea. L


Q: How do you find the local culture and people in Dubai?

A: The local culture is very interesting. I only get to interact with the people when I’m in government offices and most of them are welcoming and helpful.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Dubai?

A: Dubai is one of the safest cities to live in. It is cosmopolitan and tax-free. The constantly increasing commodity prices and not having the chance to own a property are the downsides.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: Of course, I miss the Philippines and my family every day.


Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Social media updates and video calls helped me a lot.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: My husband and I have a plan to settle in a place we can call our own in the future. But, we like to live in the present, so we are taking one step at a time while enjoying our expat life in Dubai.


Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: Being away from the family is the hardest. It’s a sacrifice that involves a lot of patience and prayers.


Q: What tips can you give other expats living in that country?

A: *Respect is very essential. Take the time to know the local customs and traditions; how to dress up and how to behave in public.

*Have a room for growth.

*Make the most out of your stay in the UAE. Explore this amazing country!


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Dubai?

My favorites are Dubai OFW (a website for Filipino expats), Sandier Pastures (expat lifestyle blog) and Time Out Dubai (city guide).