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UAE, a "Home Away From Home" Says UAE Expat Community

  • "High levels of safety" and opportunities to "Make good friends" cited as key factors enhancing residents' experience in the UAE
  • "Better savings" highlighted as the top personal goal in Western Union's "My Yellow Brick Road" campaign survey

Reflecting the universal appeal of the UAE as a "home away from home" to the wider expatriate community who reside in the country, UAE residents who responded to a Western Union survey highlighted the attractiveness of the country for the peace of mind, the comfortable lifestyle it provides, the ability to raise a family in addition to the safety standards and lasting friendships that they have forged over the years. Working in the UAE has also been beneficial to the expatriate community in helping them to achieve several personal goals. Buying a home, having a better lifestyle and, better savings were some of the reasons highlighted in the survey. These results come out just as the UAE celebrates its 43rd National Day with widespread support and participation from the UAE expatriate community.

The survey results revealed interesting insights as part of "My Yellow Brick Road" UAE campaign which was launched by The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a world leading money transfer company, to highlight interesting insights into the lives and journey of expatriates in the country. According to the survey, "High Levels of Safety" and "Making Good Friends" stood out as key factors in helping expatriates to feel at home in the UAE while "Better Savings" stood out as the top personal goal for expatriates residing in the country. Aimed at showcasing the lives of expatriates and their journey in the UAE, the "My Yellow Brick Road" Campaign brings to life the personal stories of individuals from different countries who participated in the survey. The campaign's theme derives its title from the popular children's novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" where the main character embarks on a magical journey travelling along the Yellow Brick Road.

"The stories of these expatriates are not only a reflection of their personal accomplishments, but are also a great source of inspiration for other residents of the UAE. The results from the survey reflect the expatriate community's appreciation for the opportunities the UAE has provided them and how their journey to the UAE has helped them achieve several personal goals to make their lives better. On the occasion of the 43rd National Day of the United Arab Emirates, I would like to convey our warmest greetings and best wishes; wishing the UAE and its people lasting progress and prosperity," said Hatem Sleiman, Regional Vice President - Middle East at Western Union.

"As a global and reliable facilitator of cross border money transfer for expatriates, Western Union is proud of this initiative in telling the stories of customers' lives and their integral role in strengthening and enhancing the positive and dynamic environment of the UAE," he continued.

The responses from the survey highlighted a stimulating mix of personal and professional accounts of expatriates with responses also indicating the strength of the bond they share with the UAE.

Diego Salazar is an American citizen originally from Colombia who has made UAE his home for the past 3 and half years. Responding to the survey, he said "As an engineer in a local aircraft maintenance company, my work contributes to achieving my company's vision of being a world class company by establishing the company's processes and management systems and training the local workforce to think customer first. I am also involved in transferring knowledge to the local workforce. Working in the UAE has helped me to save money and I plan on staying here for another 5 years."

Reflecting the vibrant multicultural landscape of the UAE, the survey also brought to life the story of Armando Santos, a native of the Philippines, "I love the culture of the UAE and now I have also learnt to speak in Arabic so communication becomes much easier. In my work place at the Al Ain Zoo, I have made suggestions to segregate general waste materials like bottles, papers etc to maintain the cleanliness of the zoo for the sake of the animals and enhance the natural surroundings. Having been in UAE for seven years, I truly feel at home here because I have a better lifestyle and I have made good friends. Working in the UAE has helped me save money, buy a home, and start a business and I plan on staying here for a long time."

In the words of Asel who is from Kyrgyzstan, "I have followed my yellow brick road for the last 3 years which led me to the UAE. I have more peace of mind here and have made some good friends which makes me feel at home and I have grown to truly love this country. Along the way I found a job in the travel and tourism industry and the work I do is important to the economy of the country. Working in UAE has helped me to save money and buy a home and I plan on staying here for another 50 years."

During the survey, participants were requested to fill an online multiple-choice questionnaire and provide answers to questions focusing on their personal and professional journeys as they move from their home country to work and contribute to the development of their host country. These stories represent initial feedback from the survey which is going on till December 31, 2014.

www.westernunion.com

 

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