Filipinos: the UAE’s super workers

Social issues aside, credit is to be given where credit is due: I truely believe that the UAE government was blessed by God when the Filipinos found their way to the UAE. They are, by all means, ‘super workers’ and they have had a big role in shaping the country.

I can’t imagine what sort of mideival age setting the country would be in if they hadn’t come, or if they chose to leave. They are in high demand and often naturalized in Western countries. However, that’s not the case here in the UAE, where they are victims of racism and inequality.

Filipinos are more than 20% of the Dubai population, a higher percentage than Abu Dhabi, and the difference is notable. They can be found in all sorts of fields, from cleaners all the way to CEOs.

They are a resilient race, able to tolerate the craziest Arab managers, face off against the rudest customers, work under extreme pressure, and literally sleep at the job if they have to, all of that while still managing to generate an endless stream of jokes and laughter.

As a customer, you would be in safe hands being served by a Filipino staff. Running into one, you would come to know why. Your first impression would be an experience of the highest level of education, professionalism, heigeine, physical appeal, communication skills, and overall pleasant manners. There are commonly hired at the Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, to be the face of the national, simply for the lack of a better alternative.

You would NEVER come to guess that this person in front of you is probably under-paid, living in a cramped shared apartment, has access to scheduled and limited shower times, just got grilled by his manager, or has been racially abused about a 100 times by Arabs on that day. It would never show on their faces.

Highly efficient, they usually come into work with their lunch boxes, that they are able to consume in tight lunch breaks or by a quick peek under the counter (if there’s no break). They vibrate together with other Filipino staff similar to honeybees, flawless, coordinated and conflict-free. They solve their differences among themselves peacefully, and almost never violent or hostile. But it’s best not to badly provoke them, behind the scenes they form a secret illuminati-like organization within your company, interconnected between all departments, slowly pulling strings behind the shadows. The secret word is “Kabayan”.

It’s a shame that these profit making machines are being valued less than other employees that get paid more but are lazy, stupid, break under pressure, can’t follow simple SOPs, talk like tribesmen, or haven’t even heard the concept of a daily shower.

I would strongly recommend the president of the Philippines enforce higher minimum salaries on governments that want to bring in Filipinos to work in their country, I have no doubt that all terms will be accepted. I could not imagine Dubai or Abu Dhabi having any form of touristic appeal without them.

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Shaheed S Hasan

The Philippine people are really superb people