View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, February 15, 2008

Filipino Workers in UAE and the Gulf

You’ll see them in the UAE at the checkouts, the hotels and in thousands of homes serving as domestic workers. They are from the Philippines. They are extremely hard working, polite and proud of their home country.

Filipino Expats in the UAE reports:

“There are more than 150,000 Filipinos residing in the UAE and the population is
increasing every year with very few intending to go back home. Those Filipinos
who came in the 70s have established businesses, some brought in their families
and relatives while some have children who studied and set up family here. Some
even have three generations here.”

“In spite of the non-assurance of permanent stay in the UAE (there is no
permanent residency), Filipinos still flock to the country to earn good income
and consider the country as an ideal place to raise their family -- a concept
that is inevitable considering the unstable economic and political situation in
the Philippines.”

An interesting article, Migrants and Maids in the UAE, was posted earlier on this site concerning the Filipino diaspora—the amazing tradition of Filipinos going to many parts of the world to work and send money back to their families.

A recent Human Rights report has revealed the unfortunate abuse to which many Filipino maids have been subjected.

Significant Contribution to UAE Economy
How much money they send back from many countries of the world to the Philippines is reported in a newly (15 February 2008) published article entitled, ‘Filipino Remittances Set Record 14.4 Billion Dollars in 2007’. Here are the main details:

Overseas workers sent home a record 14.4 billion dollars to their families in
the Philippines in 2007, up 13.2 per cent from the previous year, the central
bank said Friday. The bank said the dollar remittances exceeded government's
forecast of 14.3 billion dollars for last year.

In December 2007 alone, remittances totalled 1.4 billion dollars, the highest
monthly total on record.

"Robust remittance flows in 2007 were due to continued demand abroad for
Filipino workers and enhanced remittance services provided by banks and non-bank
remittance agents," the central bank said.

According the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, 1.07 million
Filipinos found work abroad in 2007, up 1 per cent from the previous year.

The major destinations of the workers were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, Qatar and Taiwan, with professionals and skilled workers accounting
for the bulk of the new hires.

The top sources of remittances were
the United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates,
Canada, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Fun-loving Filipinos