It is not a surprise that recent study titled “Pay, Inflation and Mobility in the Gulf” by GulfTalent.com showed that the highest rate of foreign non-savers in the Gulf region is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 43 percent.
Of course we all knew that UAE is an open country compared to Saudi Arabia where there are limitations of expats movement. In UAE you can dine anywhere you want and paint the city red if you wish to. While in KSA, expats should abide to the strict laws of the Kingdom otherwise you will be jailed or be deported at once.
However, KSA is not longer an expats haven compared in late 70’s and 80’s, a mere construction workers during those days could earned USD 1,000.00 up while today skilled workers are lucky enough if they are hired with a monthly salary of SR 1,200.00 (PHP 16,500).
Further, the study says Kingdom continues to enjoy low inflation but most OFWs here observed that the cost of living in the Kingdom goes up. We even can’t spend anymore the halalas (0.50 Riyals or P 7.00) to buy candies in the store in contrast a decade ago where halalas can be spent in a long distance call using phone booth. Now, we can buy the lowest “sawa” load, which cost SR 10.00 that is already a P140.00 in a 2 to 3 minutes call to the Philippines.
Most OFWs belong to the rank and files like me felt that earning a dollar here is just like living in the urban cities in our country. The only difference is that in the Philippines we are with our families for better or for worst.
Well, the survey is right anyway, stating that 52 percent of the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia are seeking jobs in other Gulf States.
That is why most OFWs here are leaving and try our luck maybe in Korea or perhaps in Vietnam or be in our country with our family for good.
The best way expats have to do is to save or we ended like “working just for nothing“.