In celebration of the 123rd Philippine Independence Day on June 12, a number of companies extolled the many great reasons why Filipinos are one of the most preferred employees by many business organizations in the UAE.
Among the top traits they highlighted is that the Filipinos pride themselves not only on accomplishing requisite tasks but also on their willingness to go the extra mile to deliver the best output. Our modern-day heroes are also described as hardworking and always looking forward to success, helping businesses drive towards their goals.
Given all these traits that make them head and shoulders above other workers, the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) here in the UAE are paving the way for more opportunities to open up for their kababayans back home.
Relations between the Philippines and the UAE spans many decades now, since the establishment of the Philippine Embassy in the UAE on June 17, 1980, only nine years after the founding of the Union in 1971. Since then, the Filipinos have earned the utmost trust and confidence of company owners here.
Currently, the Filipino community in the UAE comprises the third largest expat population, with over a million individuals who contribute greatly to the country’s fast-paced growth.
Here are the top 8 commendable traits of Filipinos, making them one of the most preferred workers and leaders by UAE employers and companies:
One of the best traits noted by most employers is the Filipinos’ positive outlook in life, which is reflected in their smiles despite many responsibilities at home weighing heavily on their shoulders.
Umesh Agrawal, an Indian business executive for Augur Star in the UAE, felt that the Filipinos he has worked with are not only highly professional but also very upbeat and approachable. “Filipinos in the workplace are highly professional, cheerful, and friendly. Always a smile not only on the face but also in the voice,” said Agrawal.
Agrawal added that Filipinos can easily be trained. Once they take up the reins of a job or task, he said, our kababayans would exhaust all efforts to do it with the best possible output. This, he added, shows that OFWs always go above and beyond their call of duty.
“They take pride in their job and do it to the best of their abilities. And any work is important. One best example I still remember today is one of my Filipino managers who noticed that the work area was cluttered. The cleaner hasn’t arrived then, but our Filipino manager simply picked up the vacuum and started cleaning the office,” said Agrawal.
When the Philippines and the UAE resumed the deployment of Filipino household service workers (HSWs), Tareq Al Shamsi, an Emirati CEO of the Tadbeer – Manazel Center for Domestic Workers Services, noticed an uptick in the demand among UAE citizens and residents who showed interest in hiring Filipino HSWs. He shared that his clients have been impressed with the kind of professionalism of Pinoy workers.
“We have noticed a high demand for Filipino workers since the Philippines and the UAE resumed the recruitment process. We get many inquiries from our clients, who said that Filipinos are hospitable, efficient workers who get the job done,” said Al Shamsi, whose Tadbeer center is one of 14 POLO-OWWA-accredited Tadbeers in the entire emirate that facilitates the ongoing screening and employment of OFWs.
In total, around 1,500 Pinoy HSWs will be employed in Abu Dhabi with numbers expected to increase in the coming months.
Bharati Vatnani, Head of Import Procurement at West Zone Group, said Filipinos have been instrumental in helping their company grow and expand, because of our workers’ knack for communication and leadership—always ensuring that teams work seamlessly together.
“We noticed they mingle with our staff and make every moment enjoyable. They have exceptional ability to work across teams and departments which helps the team us meet goals faster, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn make them a strong candidate,” said Vatnani.
The West Zone Group’s executive added that Filipinos know when to be serious at work, and when they could inject a bit of fun to make their working environment lighter and more productive. “They are very focused, dedicated at work, with good pleasing personality, characterized by good-humoured cheerfulness and conviviality. They would always put others before themselves,” said Vatnani.
She also lauded all of the Filipino workers and staff that work across all of their stores, stating that the work they do is all out of love for the families that they continue to support back home. “We are proud of them, they are the unsung heroes, who deserve the recognition of this generation as they regard their hard work not just as an obligation but also as an act of love and kindness,” said Vatnani.
Filipinos in the UAE are also known to be highly sociable and friendly in the workplace. Craig Wright from Britain, who is currently the General Manager for Chowking UAE, said that it brings him joy to see Filipinos engaging with their customers with their signature smile.
Wright said: “I am privileged and blessed to work with our team of Filipinos in Chowking UAE. The daily ray of sunshine, of smiles, friendliness and loyal hardworking team members always makes my day special and exciting.”
“I witnessed the comradeship, loyal, and dedicated Filipino team that stuck together and achieved the impossible especially during the pandemic 2020 to 2021. To our Filipino teams, thank you ever so much. You really do make the dreams work,” Wright added.
Another positive trait that employers have noticed among Filipinos is their strong mental and emotional aptitude. Alaa Sayed from Egypt, General Manager for Jollibee UAE, noted that the Filipinos under his team are all hardworking individuals, who manage to accomplish their tasks really well, especially when dealing with customers of different nationalities.
“They’re naturally hospitable and resilient. I have never worked with any Filipino who doesn’t have a smile on his/her face even when he/she is so busy with the job. They are definitely jolly bees,” said Sayed.
Sayed added that Filipinos are also incredibly talented. Even the shyest Filipino in the room would impress them the moment they take the stage. “Whenever we have our yearly convention, I consider those my best moments with Filipinos. I get to see them perform live on stage and even the shyest person has unique talents to showcase. They work hard but they also know the value of spirit of family and fun,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude to all his Filipino colleagues who have contributed greatly to ensure the success of their brand. “I would like to thank all my Filipino colleagues in Jollibee. Your passion for the brand is what sets us apart from our competitors. You inspire me to be better every day and I am so thankful to work with such amazing people,” Sayed shared.
Many employers in the UAE also noted that even if Filipinos climb their career ladder proven through their skills at work, they continue to remain humble and grateful for the opportunities given to them. Mo Bississo from America, Director of Kasamar Holdings that manage Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak in the UAE, said that it is this trait that stood out the most among Filipinos that he has worked with to date which reflect in the services and products that they offer to their customers.
“Kabayans are hard working with a very strong work ethic yet humble. They take a lot pride in what they do, which can be seen in the quality of the product or service offered. That’s why I have a lot of respect for the Kabayan community,” said Bississo.
He added: “Whether its team members or other friends, its always a great pleasure observing their satisfaction upon trying a flavor of home here in the UAE. Its an extremely gratifying moment. Then there are moments where Im introduced to certain delicacies, like balut, and the laughs that emerge from such an experience. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication over the past 4 years. Kabayan Korner Restaurants would not be what it is without you. This is only the beginning of our journey, so be ready as the best is yet to come.”