Friday , March 24 2023
Home / Uncategorized / Editor’s Pick: City of Golds vs City of Snow

Editor’s Pick: City of Golds vs City of Snow


One Friday night, I had the opportunity to chat with a long time friend and recall our journey as newcomers here in Canada. Obviously, we’ve heard lots of different successful stories from other countries were Filipinos migrate or work but we all have a unique destiny and a different story of how we pushed through in life. And for my friend who happened to be successful and content in life, he has decided to share his very own journey, from Dubai to Canada.

A. Where are you from?
Hi, my name is Anton and my family lived in Dubai for 10 years. My wife and I both had favourable jobs and I’d say, a considerable amount of income when we were there. We were normal people who were hardworking and loyal to our jobs and we just wanted to live a simple and uncomplicated life just like everybody else but because of God’s blessing with our work, we had this amazing opportunity to migrate to Canada as Federal Skilled Workers.

Of course, we deliberately planned and weighed our decision before making it final. We researched and then contemplated, we researched and then contemplated and we did that again and again to make sure that we are choosing the right path for our lives and most importantly, our children. We did that for quite a while before deciding that we will migrate to Canada and then so together with our two kids, we moved from Dubai to where there is the biggest opportunity to work in my field in Canada, the city of Calgary, Alberta.

It is undeniable that Dubai is now on par and almost within the same level as with the other great cities of the world like New York and London. Its grandiosity comes with the beauty of the city and sometimes even the lavish lifestyle. If the pay from your job is big, you can live like a prince or a princess where everything will be served for you.

However, even though we had what some would say, gold, in our hands, we had legitimate reasons why we decided to leave the City of Gold for the City of Snow.

B. What made you decide to move to Canada?
Well somebody might ask, why would you want to move if you were already settled in Dubai? As i’ve said before, we thoroughly researched again and again about life and of course, the job market in North America before we decided. We carefully considered all the pros and cons of staying in Dubai versus migrating to Canada. We even thought about going back to the Philippines and see if we can score an even bigger success than Dubai and Canada combined but eventually, our decision was to migrate and some of the top reasons are:

In Dubai, even if you work for 30 years for a company, there will come a time where you will need to leave the country at some point because of expired contracts and etc among other things. Dubai does not give Citizenship for people who stayed and basically lived in their country for long periods of time and in contrast, Canada offers Citizenship to people who have lived in the country for at least 4-5 years. Becoming a Canadian Citizen would be beneficial in so many ways and one being that I don’t need to become like Manny Pacquiao or Kris Aquino to have the opportunity to travel around the world. Canadian Citizens can get visas upon arrival in almost all countries. They can easily travel in the US and Europe and for a cheaper price too making it one of the best countries in the world to settle in.

Health was one of the biggest reasons why we moved. Although Dubai offers very low-cost medical services to its residents, sandstorms are very common in Dubai causing me and my kids to experience respiratory problems often. In Canada, healthcare is absolutely free across the country and you don’t have to worry about natural phenomenons that can give you illnesses.

My wife and I also wanted our kids to live in a place where the air is fresh and Canada has one of the cleanest and freshest air and water quality in the world.

We left a city where the temperature would rise up to 50 degrees and then settled in a place where the temperature would drop to -40 degrees and below. So, it is really the extreme opposites and the adjustments were very hard at the beginning but whenever I ask my kids which kind of weather they like, they always answer, Canada because of its pearly white SNOW.

If I will think and decide only for myself, I will never leave Dubai. I had what anyone would want in life there. I had a high and sustainable income, a great position in the field that I majored in and of course, a good reputation in a company. But then I come to my senses and think about the future and what’s best for my wife and my children. I want our children to have the best possible first-world education that they can have so that they will have more opportunities in the future and education being free in Canada played a major role in that dream. Canada offers free education from Kindergarten up to Senior High School unlike in Dubai where you have to pay a very large amount of money if you want to make sure that your child gets the best education that you want for them. The rate would significantly double when you look at the US, UK, Australia or Canada-affiliated educational institutions.

C. Is it worth giving up Dubai for Canada?
Well, It really depends on your needs and priorities. UAE is more expensive in terms of health care, schooling, and housing. While in Canada it is more expensive in terms of taxes, utilities, car petrol and more. The most important aspect for me in the comparison is the stability issue. Meaning, in Dubai, if you lose your job, you’ll have to leave the country whereas in Canada, if you come as a permanent resident, you will be treated as such and there are a ton of ways to find work and establish you and your family’s life add to that the chance of becoming a citizen one day.

But here are the lessons that I learned when we migrated in Canada.

In the beginning, it is very hard. There are stages of adjustments that we encountered up until the time when we learned how to accept our decision to move and cope with the challenges that life overseas is throwing at us.

When coming here, Settlement Funds are really an important factor for newcomers. This gives you the freedom to choose a lifestyle that will suite you and the freedom to have quality time with your family and if you have sufficient funds, you can even study any program no matter your age for a better career opportunity. In that case, you might find that one job can be enough to support your family and your overall adjustment period will lessen.

To be honest, I really never had the chance to go back to my field but nonetheless I have a new career which I’ve learned to eventually accept and like. I never even imagined that I can challenge myself to learn a different trade than the one that i was doing in Dubai. Others might think that I got demoted career wise, but I learned how to think out of the box and rise above the stigma of “I am this because my job is this”. Your job and work position in Canada does not dictate who you are, being content in whatever state you are speaks volumes about your character as a person and that is what’s more important. Living a simple and debt-free life in Canada is really all that matters. If that’s the goal, no need for 2 to 3 jobs. Make sure that you always have quality time for your family and children. Canada is a better place for your kids if you will spend enough time with them otherwise, they will call you “Dude.”

Also, pray for good health, guidance and long life to enjoy the blessings.

Overall, I gave up the prince lifestyle in Dubai to be a humble servant in Canada, which REALLY doesn’t matter here. My kids love it here and they are now in university (which is expensive, thanks to RESP) and they still call me Papa and not a dude. My wife and I are planning to visit Las Vegas this year, mostly the perks of being a Canadian Citizen. I can proudly say, no regrets and we accepted our simple yet happy life here in Canada. The journey was never easy; keep your family intact then it will always be worth it!


About Tita Zali

Writer, Self Publisher, Healthcare Worker, A wife and a mother of 2 boys, Architect and Educator by Profession

Check Also

Sample Canadian Resume