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A Million Dollar Question: Middle East or Canada?

Filipinos are known to be adventurous when it comes to earning a living. OFWs are main concerned with where is the best place to work and where can they earn more. In this discussion, let us compare the Middle East and Canada.

A few will say that you can earn more in the Middle East faster compared to Canada. This is because there is no income taxes imposed to individuals in the Middle East. If your work contract states you’ll receive Php50,000/month, you will receive the whole amount. In Canada, there are certain deductions to your pay check which are compulsory.

However, this is not enough to compare the two countries so we have to look at the two in a bigger picture. Let’s breakdown the comparison into certain categories.

1. Housing

In Canada, you will have to make arrangements for your own place. You will have to pay rent which, if you are single, can range from $300 to $500 a month for one room. If you have your family with you, renting an apartment or a house can range from $900 to $1500 monthly. Fortunately, there are options for rent to own properties.

In the Middle East, most of the time the living arrangement is included in your work contract so it can be either provided for or you have a housing allowance. Unfortunately, with this set-up, there is no chance for you owning your very own place.

2. Vacation

In Canada, if you plan on going back home to the Philippines, you will have to pay for your own round trip plane tickets which can be an average of PHP80,000 depending on the trip dates or airline promos. Fortunately, there is a chance for you to become a citizen and an opportunity for your family to visit or join you in Canada.

In the Middle East, round trip tickets to your home country are usually included in your work contract. With some companies, vacation trips home are free every two months. With other companies, the vacation trips to home are free once a year. They do this mainly because there is no way for one to become a citizen so going back and forth to your home country is a must.

3. Transportation

In Canada, public transportation can be expensive with $100+ for a monthly bus/train pass. If you plan on getting your own vehicle, monthly payments can be around $400 plus gas. Nevertheless, you will be paying off the vehicle after a certain time.

In the Middle East, most of the time the transportation arrangement is included in your work contract so it can be either provided for or you have a transportation allowance. You can opt to buy your own vehicle but why spend extra if you don’t have to?

4. Hospitalization

Canada has a universal health care so hospitalization is free but you will have to wait in line in the emergency room.

In the Middle East, it is free but you will also need to wait in line. There are also insurance coverage that can be included in your work contract that are paid by your employer.

5. Education for Kids

In Canada, education is free for kids until high school. However, in the Middle East, you will have to pay for your kid’s education which depending on the level or school can be really expensive.

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6. Taxes

In Canada, depending on the province where you are, taxes can range from 5% to 13%. However, in the Middle East, as already mentioned, there are no taxes imposed.

7. Dental

Dental services in Canada can be expensive but depending on the company you work with, you can have dental coverage at work for free. It is similar in the Middle East but there are those dental services you can avail for free but you will have to wait in line.

In the end, looking at the whole picture based on the listed categories, you will end up earning more in Canada. There may be taxes you have to pay for in Canada but you will realize that you are benefiting or you can take advantage of certain infrastructures or services wherein your taxes go to. Also, if you are truly after earning more, you are allowed to have multiple jobs in Canada so you can double up your earnings if you can. You are not allowed to have multiple jobs in the Middle East so your earnings are fixed.

Thus, in the long run, you will end up with more earnings, better environment and the opportunity of bringing your family together in Canada.

That is all I have for comparison of the two. These are all subject to your understanding and consideration when it comes to choosing where to find work. If you have anything to add or to set right, please leave a message at the comment section below so you can have a chance to help our fellow Pinoys make the right decision with the proper and accurate information.

Guest Contributor of #PinoyCanada Forum

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