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Jun 03 19, 4:10 am

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Did you know Dh2 lang shawarma nun sa Dubai?

by | Feature, Lifestyle

Jun. 03, 19 | 4:10 am

Shawarma, an 18th century Ottoman invention originally called doner kebab to mean “rotating grilled meat,” and which has taken on an Arabic word which means “turn,” is a staple of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the UAE.

The delicacy was introduced to Filipinos in mid-1990s Manila where shawarma stands started popping up across the city at almost every major street corner. In fact, Pinoys, known for their propensity to turn foreign dishes into something that fits their preference – sweet spaghetti, for instance, which has outraged the Italians – has concocted their own version of garlic sauce that goes with the grilled meat wrapped with relish pita bread: mayonnaise!

Shawarma nowadays costs around Dh5 in the UAE, but old-timer OFWs said it used to be Dh2.

Engr. Milo Torres

“Sa maliliit na cafeteria yun. Kung medyo sosyal ay Dh2.50,” said Engr. Milo Torres, who arrived in Dubai in 1993.

Torres said cost of living back then was not too expensive.  “Ang isang malaking room na inu-upahan ko mag-isa ay Dh1,200 at ang share ko sa kuryente at tubig ay Dh100 lang kada isang buwan,” he said. These days a room easily starts at Dh3,000 depending on location.

He added: “Yung normal breakfast na egg omelet paratha roll ay Dh1.5  lang plus Dh.50 fils na tea with milk. Pwedeng pagkasyahin ang Dh300 na budget sa pagkain sa isang buwan kung gusto magtipid, huwag lang mang-chicks.”

There was no metered taxi at the time, said Torres. “Walang metered taxi, Kailangan muna makipag-negotiate sa taxi driver kung may pupuntahan ka na wala sa ruta ng mga sharing taxi or kung nagmamadali ka.

“Normally ay Dh7 ang taxi from Deira to Karama or Bur Dubai, kung sa sharing taxi sasakay Dh2 dirhams lang ang simula Deira (Nasser Square) hanggang Bur Dubai (Ghubaibah) via Al Maktoum bridge,” he said.

Torres said there were only around 40,000 Filipinos in the UAE back then.   

 

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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