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HOW EXPATS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE SURVIVING PANDEMIC IN UAE

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On 29th January, a case was discovered in the UAE, which was a 73-year old Chinese woman who visited the country on vacation along with her family members from Wuhan. The women arrived with her family on 16th January and went to the doctor after a few days when she felt symptoms like flu on 23rd January. Later, it was uncovered that the entire family was COVID-19 positive. The officials made an announcement after which face mask was sold in the UAE as a whole. This did not stop here, numerous cases were discovered in the entire country. By 19th March, UAE had 140 cases, and by 20th March 2020, first two deaths were reported due to COVID-19 which let the governmental bodies take even more strict measures. The cases reported in the initial stage of COVID-19 were from the visits of the foreigners. By 23rd march, the UAE government had a total score of 198 patients from COVID-19 positive. The formal bodies responsible requested people to stay inside their homes and only leave for necessary purpose as stated by the Ministry of Interior. 

By 25th March, 85 new positive patients were uncovered, which made it a total of 333. 64 people were arrested by the formal officers for breaking the home quarantine rule as they came in close contact with people infected from the COVID-19.  By 6th April, the ministry of health confirmed that these new cases are coming from different nationalities which made the outbreak even more un-controllable. By this time, many students were on holiday in their countries and were not aware of what rules UAE would be imposing. The international students staying in the UAE were given an option for home-quarantine in their country, and many left the country with the hope of coming back. As of 1st June, it was announced that many international students and expats are allowed to go and by 5th July, only the federal bodies would be expected to go to offices. The remaining system would be done on remote conditions.

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The government closed all malls, grocery markets on 23rd march for two weeks, Dubai and Abu Dhabi formal bodies told some restrictions were loading off towards mall closures as the honourable economic departments consulted with stakeholders in re-opening the malls for maintaining the economic activity in the UAE. The retail shops were not allowed to have a 30% capacity at the time. As the entire city went under-lockdown. The people connected to these activities, including expats in a high ratio suffered a considerable loss. Not only in their big scale or small scale business but also endured surviving with the rentals and expenses in a lavish living country like UAE. As per to essay writing service surveys, it was stated that UAE expat rate is 88.52% in which only a few percentages belongs to the citizens known as the Emirati’s. Since we all are aware of how precious their backgrounds are, so with the lockdown, the citizens of UAE did not suffer to pay rents, electricity, water bills or managing groceries. Instead, the expats and the international students suffered most. The medical bills were a big concern, and the expats looked upon the government of UAE to provide some relief or ease. But sadly, the government did not provide any assistance in the medical bills. The expats were highly disappointed and managed to pay their medical bills through loans or borrowed money. A high number of Pakistani, Indians, Bangladeshi were reported to be sent off home due to unemployment as with the COVID-19 outbreak, all business and jobs sectors were profoundly affected. No employment benefits or reliefs were announced for this hard-working sector on which the UAE economy depends upon. Let’s not talk about the white-collar but the teacher from abroad, a small restaurant owner from Australia, a washing machine shop owner from India, these all people suffered and left their years of hard work with the outbreak of the COVID-19. The government did provide some ease in the rental amounts, but it was not confirmed by the tenants.  

By March 3rd, UAE ministry of education announced the closure of all educational centres and the educational centres were asked to take learning on online systems. It made some difficulties to adjust to the student’s side. Academic help in UAE interviewed many students who told that the social apps or websites were banned as per to the UAE policy, which gave a hard-time for international students to connect with their families as well as study through online systems. The most aggressive announcement for the international students was made on 18th March when UAE advisory requested all Emirati nationality students to come to the country from abroad within 48 hours before the airport closes. No such announcement was made for the international students. Instead, they felt helpless in surviving the pandemic. They faced a critical situation with no help or assistance from the locals or the government.  

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Thousands of expat workers also faced job losses, and millions were scared to be stuck in the pandemics as the countries went under-lockdown. The employers held wages and made redundancies which made the expats’ circumstances even worse. If we talk about how other Gulf regions behaved in the pandemic, then it would be upsetting, as per to an interview taken by Cheap essay writing service in UAE, 10 million expat workers are working in Saudi Arabia in which the bosses forced the labours to work while the Saudis national were given paid quarantine leave. This is one of the saddest behaviours one can experience in the outbreak of the pandemic. As the educational centres closed, many drivers went jobless, and around 60,000 Pakistanis are registered to say goodbye to the UAE for the last time. A local bus driver who drove kids to the school stated “I want to go home because what’s the point of staying without work?” he said. It is not the story of a low-income earner, but the blue-collar and white-collar employees are also caught up in the moment and were squeezed and not spared.

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Many expats are now moving out of the UAE since the flights have resumed with the same question in their mind, “ It is very confusing and worrying when you suddenly do not have anything to plan for your future” The expats leaving believe that if they faced a lockdown situation in their own countries than the government would behave in a better way for them. Free medical, food and reliefs would be provided to them and their families as well. The government of UAE has not made any comment, but it can be seen protecting its own nationals and not caring a dime about the expats. However, the international students are stuck due to their educational means, but the mind has been set up to leave UAE as it no longer has the worth for a foreign employee.

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