From MARCH – JUNE 2017
A little poem
My labyrinth has no exit
My crossword’s words don’t cross
These pieces from my puzzle won’t fit
My life-an unsolvable riddle,
But I won’t quit
I have spent 3 months going back and forth between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in attempts to find work or more precisely- the work of my dreams.
In those 3 months, I managed to get robbed, assaulted, lied to that I will get a call back, lied to that I will begin work, lied to that they are preparing my visa, lied to that the company has an HR department, lied to for interviews and positions, did not get paid for work I did, betrayed by trusted people, being offered indecent and immoral proposals for work, ditched, sworn at, yelled at, kicked out of my own place, etc.
My mom is eager for me to get away from this strange blend of money hungry individuals forming a society with not an ounce of humanity left.
Most of the time in Dubai, I had nowhere to sleep and I didn’t eat regularly. Often, I waited 6 hours for a friend to give me a ride back to his far away neighborhood after his working hours where I stayed a week. P.s. I want to thank him for his hospitality.
- I have sent 1000 cv’s or More, my right eye began flickering and vibrating from exhaustion and staring at the screen until the early morning hours.
- I went in person, taking people’s recommendation to give away CVs, presentable in high heels and well dressed. It brought me 8 blisters, 3 bleeding and no callbacks.
- I then proceeded with Linked in connections. I added people and chatted them up. No response.
- Networking was my best chance. With my charisma and ease of communication I met many people who were however much more interested in having drinks, going to a tango class or inviting me to stay in their villas.
A multi-billionaire Indian man also offered me to take me shopping. He said I need a new purse, and dresses. He said I could stay for as long as I want at his house with 7 pools across the Burj Khalifa. He said I have a great ass and asked to know about my bra size. I was too shocked to respond. After all-this was a business meeting discussing job opportunities. He promised me work by next week as admin in one of his companies. Then we met his connection-the director of a major fashion brand for Dubai. He also showed me the job listings for this brand and said I could pick. As I refused all his advances and offers outside the professional limits, he then stopped responding to me. I messaged him very nicely that I am ready to begin work. Sent him my passport copy for visa processing. Silence.
Then there comes another Israeli individual working in fashion who was encouraging me like a proper bully manipulator to flirt with these older men, pretend that I am interested in order to secure a job, to accept their offers for free clothes and play their game. He actually yelled at me twice that I am way too honest and don’t know how to lie.
The one person I met networking was actually the man who became my boss for a month- Fadi Al Baghdadi. He lied to me the most-about so many things. At the end, he ended up Not paying me my salary at all. Hurray Dubai~~~
Is it still worth it? To compromise my own beliefs and myself for an unreachable promise, buried behind the blinding blinking sparkly glitzy lights of this world wide famous mega-polis.
I had what is called the Bright Lights symptom.
I came here because of the Expo 2020, people’s promises created great expectations for me for well paid career in Exhibitions and Events with no taxes, an exciting and upper class lifestyle, my own place, car, a view of the beach. That was the vision. But the reality of Dubai is this:
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MOVE TO DUBAI:
1- Currently the market is so slow that you have better chance to find work (and maybe better-paid one) in Pakistan. Literally, my first friend from Pakistan left Dubai for this reason. Everyone is getting laid off. The job ads are so few, since I monitored them daily.
2–The pay. I am a Canadian and got offered a few times to come in for interviews for a salary of 500 USD, including accommodation in a shared room with 4 more girls and food. 500 USD monthly…in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It was outrageous. I now was supposed to make 2500 USD, which sounds down right incredible. My rent is half that. The transport, cellphone bill and food- and maybe I could have saved enough to send for my student loan in Canada.
3-The rent. Never in my life would I have imagined seeing so many grown-ass men and women living in a shared flat OR worst- shared room!!! No privacy, a thousand rules, no guests allowed.
Terrible landlords. They moved my things out of my room at night when I was out attending a concert because they found someone who can pay 100 USD more for it. Then they did not allow me to go in and see if everything is indeed moved because it is not my room any longer. They are always late, never reply, never keep their promise, and never care about you at all. They called me just the other day to tell me the price will be higher because I am not staying more than 3 months. They keep changing the rules of the agreement because here no one signs anything.
4-The people. You know from my posts that I am all about the people. But these creatures here are not human. LOL. Just a quick brainstorm: flaky, liars, slow, show offs, just talk and no follow through, terrible work ethic and no integrity, materialistic, players, fake.
5-The Indians. Yes, they are people too and I am sorry that I have to make this a separate point. There is an 80% chance a girl is asked numerous times if she is married when she enters the taxi or for her phone number or to take the driver’s number because he can be her personal driver. One man started creepily describing all the girls who he liked in his taxi and that he cannot handle himself. Once I went to an interview in the industrial part of Dubai and when I got off the cab it was as if I was in India. Hundreds of Males staring me down. Where are the women? I was dressed well and it was extremely uncomfortable to walk down the street under their watchful looks. They really have no common sense and are very pushy if you make the mistake to talk to them.
6-The driving. In Dubai, there are no police officers, they only trust the speeding cameras, therefor all other road infractions are disregarded. People drive like maniacs, never signaling and zigzagging. One thing I noticed is that traffic lights are significantly slower than anywhere I have been before. You can take a nap and have a dream while you wait for them to turn green.
7-The rules. It is a Muslim country, so modesty is recommended, but this is not even what I mean! They are so inconsistent with their own rules, be it dress code, showing ID, smoking weed.
I mentioned earlier that I was robbed. Well, this was a great welcoming. It happened on Bulgaria’s national day- March 3rd. Also- my 1st night in Dubai. It was a traumatic experience and I cried for 3 days and 3 nights after. My friend brought me away to Abu Dhabi where I stayed with his mother the following 2 months. However, I could not report the robbery to the police, because I was staying at a guy’s place and I would have gotten in trouble as well.
A bigger infraction that happened at the end of my stay was the fact that I did not get paid for a month of work in the company Abstract brand communications. The boss was a pathological liar and never even processed my working visa application. He knew I had to leave the country because my visa will expire and avoided my calls, emails, messages and coming to the office for a week. He then locked me out of the office and told the other colleagues to not let me in. I told him that I will raise a complaint to the authorities. I did- and guess what. Nothing. I have no rights here without a Labor ID even though I am allowed to begin work while my work visa is being processed. I would have been the one to get in trouble! I am still in shock that I practically lost 2500 USD and nothing wrongful was committed according to Dubai’s laws. There is so much I can talk about my work space, but let me just say that all the workers were owned 2 salaries and everyone’s medical insurance was expired which is completely illegal. Those workers (99% Indian with a salary of 500 usd a month) did not protest and were very passive about it.
Dear darling Dubai…why don’t you try and control the rent and labor regulations, but you try to control if a foreigner drinks water on the metro?
8-The nowhere. Unless you like desert, there is really not much else around. I miss pedestrian areas, sidewalks, pavement and parks. Be aware that Dubai is one giant construction site. And a construction site is not a pretty sight.
9-The green factor. Locals throw their garbage on streets out their cars and in parking lots. They don’t recycle. They built all those artificial islands destroying a lot of sea life. All the water here is from the sea and is treated and retreated to be drinkable.
10-The sand storms. Sand in your ears, eyelashes and hair for days! Happened to me before an interview.
If however you come to visit Dubai, you will enjoy it.
I call this place the Vegas of the Middle East. This is why I am here. I actually enjoyed my previous 2 visits, so I decided to give it a full go and made it my 4th destination in 4 months for Looking for work.
Take a look at the top 10 things you have to check out in Dubai or Abu Dhabi:
1-Ladies night, free drinks, free appetizers! Usually on Tuesdays but you can find one any day of the week. Yes please <:)
2- Boa club. Dubai has many venues, always new ones to discover but this one is my favorite
3-Many expos, check world trade center schedule; Many free concerts
4-Food from all over the world, I recently discovered Poke Poke, Hawaiian fast food
6-The beach is clean and free. (to this point I add Miracle garden and Global village)
7-The weather is always nice, no need for winter clothes, but have a jacket for the AC offices and malls
8-The giant mosque in Abu Dhabi is beautiful
9-There is free gym and pool in each residential or office building
10-The mobile services are cheap, internet and calls. Du mobile did a fine job.
If you want to reach some cool people: Herbin, the guy who robbed me with his girlfriend: +971 55 947 7002 Ameer, the rich man who asked my bra size and lied for work: +971 55 468 7700 Fadi al Baghdadi, the guy who didn't pay me: +971 55 882 77892 http://www.abstractbc.com/ : (the company)