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Is Canada a Better Place Than the UAE / Gulf?

Discussion in 'Skilled Worker / Professional Immigration' started by May2010applicant, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Following post is from a blog post of “ahaboubi” (who is also available on Canadavisa forum). The objective of this thread is to invite comments who have made similar transitions (Gulf states to Canada) in order for us to make an informed decision.

    If you ignore the emotional aspects and any attachments that you may have to one of these countries, then this question becomes highly subjective and the answer to it will vary from one person to another. I chose to make this comparison because I lived and worked in the UAE for more than ten years before leaving it and coming to Canada as a permanent resident. Also, I know of many people who are finding it hard to decide whether to leave their work in the UAE and decide to come here to Canada after they get their visa.
    There may not be a straight forward answer to this question because so many factors and personal issues will come into play when trying to decide which country is better to live in. But what I will try to do is to write about my own personal experience and hopefully it will be a bit easier for you to make this decision.
    First of all, I will talk about the financial aspect of the comparison. The UAE is a tax-free country where people do not pay any income tax, whereas in Canada people have to pay an income tax (as well as other types of taxes). Having said this, a part of these taxes is used to give residents free schooling (in public schools) and free health care. In the UAE, healthcare is not free and you pay a very large amount of money for good schools. And if we talk about housing, I used to pay more money in the UAE (in Abu Dhabi) for a rented apartment than what I’m currently paying as mortgage for my own house. Insurance, on the other hand is extremely expensive in Canada (please see here), so the UAE gets a point in this regard. In short (and I know that this is a very brief comparison) the UAE is more expensive in terms of health care, schooling and housing, and Canada is more expensive in terms of taxes, utilities, car petrol and more. But many companies in the UAE provide their employees and their families with health insurance (mandatory in Abu Dhabi), housing and pay for kids’ schools. So if you work in the UAE in a company that provides these services, then financially you’ll be better off in the UAE than in Canada.
    But for me, the financial aspect, while it is very important, is not the most important aspect. Perhaps the most important aspect for me in the comparison is the stability issue. In the UAE your residence is linked to your work. Meaning, if you lose your job, you’ll have to leave the country (in most cases). Whereas in Canada, if you come as a permanent resident, then you are treated as such from the first day you arrive into the country…a permanent resident. And if you stay in the country for three years (and if you meet all the requirements) you can apply for Canadian citizenship. In the UAE, you cannot apply for citizenship regardless of the number of years you live in the country.
    I didn’t mention any other aspects in the comparison because I think I mentioned the most important aspects to most people. Also, aspects such as social issues will purely depend on personal preferences. The UAE, being a primarily Muslim country, is more conservative than Canada. So if you come from a more conservative society then you’ll feel more at home in the UAE than in Canada.
    And as I said in the beginning of this post, if you have an emotional attachment to one of the two countries (as I do to Canada!), then you’ll tend to focus more on its positives than the negatives. And at the end of the day, I do believe in the saying “Home if where the heart is”. And for me, even though I have great memories and know some wonderful people in the UAE, but my heart is in Canada!


  2. Hi friend,
    It's nothing about Hindu, Muslim, Sikh in UAE .
    Arabs look everyone in same eye , they never diffrenciate between south Asian people
    As for them Indian, Paki, Phillipini, Bangali , Nepali, Shrilankan all = DOGS.

    May be they think Muslim like German Shepard and Hindu like some smaller breed . But Not more then that.

    At end they paying money for services and don't care for us more then that,. I never like to go to these Arabian country and there is no comparison between western country and Middle east.

    Here in UK, Ca etc they respect us as a human .

    No comment regarding earnings part of your question .
  3. Hello,
    I'm lebanese (Lebanon).
    My country is an Arab country but it's a mediteranian country (different in culture and environment than Gulf)
    parliament here is elected democraticaly and we have great weather as all mediteranian countries from Greece to Spain. All religious views are present in my country even rare and minority religions are here. which is great and makes living here better.
    I pay income taxes and all sort of taxes (VAT, property, fuel, traveling, interest, etc...)
    but in return I get nothing (except 50% on hospital bill)... Schools and universities need a fortune. Fuel is expensive (28$ per gallon)
    Adding the presence of Israel on our borders brings instability as there's an everyday conflict.
    I can't live in coutries like gulf coutries where weather is really bad, no democracy, racist society, and imibmigrants are treated as 2nd class.
    So NO WAY TO COMPARE a country like canada with gulf coutries.

    best regards
  4. Dear Aquib,

    Thank you for taking the time out and replying to this thread. Not sure your comments are from personal experience or a word of mouth or perhaps from print media……. I tend to disagree and can let you know that (individual / one off) bad experience are part of life and cannot be generalized. Millions of people, even from so called western world, are happily living in gulf states for decades. I guess it’s just the possibility of having to leave the country upon loss of jobs, makes them think about immigration options.

    Let’s see if some other people can shed more light onto this topic to let us make an informed decision. Can anyone share his/her experience and thoughts. Thanks.

  5. Well it is not always about money. There is something else which is not discussed here. That's the social security and quality of life you get in countries like Canada. In Middle East u spend ur whole life in fear of losing job and going back to home country.

    Going back to home country may not be nightmare for those whose countries are in acceptable shape in terms of law and order. But it could be worst nightmare for people with very bad situation in their home countries . For them money does not matter much even if they have lavish jobs in the Middle East. But it will always be in their mind that this job is linked to their stay and they will never be mentally stable.
  6. I totally agree!

  7. I do agree with LH84,I'm from lebanon too and been living in the gulf for the past 6 years (UAE and now KSA), now regardless of the comparisson between UAE and KSA (personallyi think UAE is way better in any terms you could think off than KSA), still you cann't compare Canada to Gulf countries...
    1-Human rights
    3-peaceful country

    one thing might be better than canada is jobs and salaries, but wouldn't i sacrifice with my job for the sakeof all listed above?? personally i would do :) knowing that getting a job now in canada that satisifes your experience and qualifications is not impossible but difficult.

  8. Thanks hassan09 and LH84 for your comments. It is definitely a surprise for me that despite being bilingual you guys are choosing Canada over UAE. I understand from you comment (hassan09) that you have spent considerable time in UAE and KSA, so your opinion must be from practical experience and ground realities of these countries. Have you already landed and spent some time in Canada also, or your opinion about Canada is only a perceived picture of “what it will be when you actually land there”.

    Let us see if someone who has hands on experience of Gulf and Canada can respond to our query.

    krysonice likes this.


  11. :) Well I've never lived in middle east, I'm Canadian. However in high school I knew a couple of guys whose family immigrated to Canada from Saudi and Dubai, these guys were Pakistani Muslims. I can tell you for a fact that all of these guys expressed a strong desire to return to the middle east after finishing university in Canada.

    Their fathers always worked in the middle east, and only came to visit every 6 months or so. Anyway these guys always spoke about how much they missed the lifestyle culture and food found in the Gulf!

    They graduated in engineering and one has found a job, and has moved back to Kuwait, joining his dad and taking his mom and sisters with him. Other guy is moving back to Riyadh.

    In my experience most Pakis from the middle east only come to Canada for citizenship, they have no desire to live here permanently, and they prefer Middle East. Same with many Lebanese.
  12. Never visited candy,but have lots of friends and close families from middleast who are now Canadian citizens. Another key indicator is the research I'm constantly doing to answer my concerns as an immigrant (citizenship,lifestyle,family,schooling,etc...).
    It's a good discussion though,what qorax has commented do really strengthen your decision.
  13. Absolutely right, here in the UK everyone is treated as a human.
    I personally at any cost do not intend to live in any of the Arab countries. They do not respect if you are from different country. there is no comparison in between western country and UAE. This thread makes me lough when I see some one is asking which is better to live, Canada or UAE. Anyway best of luck.
  14. I think it is a matter of ability to make adjustments in a new culture, environment. A large number of people from Western countries work and live in the Gulf quite comfortably. There are westerners living permamently in the improverished nations in Middle Africa without complaining about quality or security of life.
  15. Thanks Qorax and somehow you never stop to amaze us all. :) A big +1 for you always. :)

    Although the argument in favor of Canada is indisputable, at the end of the day you need to tailor it for each individual (existing life style, career position, pay scale, family composition). Just try to place a value on the fact that being in UAE you are able to visit your parents in Pakistan on a monthly basis or even more frequently, if required. In my opinion its invaluable and can outweigh all other benefits.

    All of the pertinent facts provided by you are absolutely valid but can either be managed or the related benefits of UAE residence outweigh them significantly, EXCEPT for ONE, “Can u stay/reside till "eternity" in that country?” The answer is NO and being exposed to an extraordinary luxurious and lavish lifestyle (courtesy of fat pay scales in UAE) for so many years, people are simply unfit to go back to their home countries (Pakistan / India) and as such the better decision would be to take the middle road, which is called Canada.

    May God help us all in our future endeavors.


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