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Learning a language is like falling in love. As an expat in the UAE, your love affair would be with one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Arabic! It is an exquisite beauty that uses fewer words to convey more meaning.  IsnÔÇÖt that every manÔÇÖs dream?

Here are 10 basic Arabic phrases/words you must know.

  1. Sabah el kheer...Masaa el kheer - Good morning...Good Evening
    ItÔÇÖs all about being polite. Even if you havenÔÇÖt mastered the language, a simple good morning or good evening helps maintain the friendly vibes.
  2. Marhaban - Welcome
    Should someone thank you for something you did, donÔÇÖt forget to politely reply with the above word.
  3. Shukran - Thank you
    No matter where you are in the world, a polite thank you is always appreciated, and if said in the local language, then it adds to the charm.
  4. Ada'tu tareeqi! - I am lost
    An extremely handy phrase. ItÔÇÖs not uncommon to get lost in an unknown country, and sometimes, it can be a scary experience. Letting someone know you are lost can ensure you receive help on time.Arabic phrases to learn
  5. Titakkellem ingleezi? - Do you speak English?
    Probably one of the first phrases you should learn! ItÔÇÖs a good way to let the other person know that you donÔÇÖt know Arabic.
  6. Hal beemkanek mosaÔÇÖadati? - Can you help me?
    A new country, new people, a new lifestyle ÔÇô chances are you will be in need of help constantly. Hence, this is a good phrase to learn, to help begin a conversation.
  7. Addesh? ÔÇô How much?
    Very useful when you go out shopping.  If you can start with this, then itÔÇÖs a good beginning and with a bit of luck you can come to an understanding on the price, using gestures.
  8. La Afham ÔÇô I donÔÇÖt understand
    Another way of saying this is ÔÇÿmsh fahemÔÇÖ which is also understood by most Arabic speakers.
  9. Mai ÔÇôWater
    ItÔÇÖs so important to stay hydrated in the UAE, hence this is one of the most important words to learn!
  10. Yallah! ÔÇô Come on, letÔÇÖs go/Hurry up.
    You will hear this a lot as it is one of the most common phrases used in the Emirates. Yallah is usually teamed with the word Habibi/Habibti, which means ÔÇÿmy friendÔÇÖ. So, Yallah Habibi means ÔÇÿletÔÇÖs go my friendÔÇÖ.

Always make sure you keep away from controversial and religious topics if you havenÔÇÖt mastered the language yet.  So, go ahead start practicing your Arabic!

The impressive expat experience comes with its own share of fun and exasperations. ItÔÇÖs exciting for sure to explore new cultures, make fresh friends, enjoy career advancement and earn enough money to send home to your family. Yes, all this and more makes moving to a new country worthwhile.

However, living as an expat comes with its own challenges too. They may not be deal-breaking problems, but issues they are, nonetheless. Here are five issues expats face regularly, no matter where they live!

Time zone

Suddenly everyone seems to be in a different time zone and reaching out to them becomes a major problem. Whether you have some good news you want to share with your family or some important information you wish to tell them, everything has to wait till the time is right. Considering other peopleÔÇÖs time zone becomes very important now!

While there might be no escaping this problem, the best solution would be to schedule a particular time during the day when you can call or receive calls from home.

Language barrier

Unless you are living in a country where English is widely spoken, the language barrier could become a troublesome issue for expats. You will need to take the effort to learn the vernacular language or you may feel alienated and lonely.

Begin with small phrases and slowly learn the language ÔÇô donÔÇÖt resist it.

expat challenges

 

Frequent flying

It becomes extremely costly to return home for immediate emergencies. You cannot just hop onto a plane and go home, not unless you are ready to shell out big money for the tickets.

Start an emergency fund just for travelling, which can be used to pay for these flight tickets. If you are using a credit card to purchase your ticket, then try to convert them into EMI payments so you can pay them off easily.

Tragedy magnification

When you are staying away from your family, every little incident or tragedy gets you rattled. Especially when you hear stories of your friends or their families going through a personal tragedy, you will automatically start thinking that the same will happen to your family or friends back home.

Ensure you stay in constant touch with your family back home and connect with them regularly through video chats.

Long distance relationships

Many a times, husbands or wives need to move out alone and go live/work in a different country. This could be for various reasons. Expats usually need to deal with the problem of surviving and managing a long distance marriage. ItÔÇÖs not the easiest thing to do, however relationships can last despite being away from each other. It requires effort, dedication, trust and patience, but itÔÇÖs possible. We had also elaborated on this topic in one of our previous blogs ÔÇô you can read it here and know more about how to handle such long-distance relationships.

Life isnÔÇÖt always rosy for expats but over time you grow to love it. However remember that every challenge comes with a solution!

Children love gifts, thereÔÇÖs no two-ways about that. Every birthday or a holiday is an occasion to surprise your children or any child you know with that perfect gift. Here, we list out the top 5 gifts which every child and toddler would love to receive.

Toys

Toys always top the list. Children and toys go hand in hand. Consider the interest of the child; if it is racing then you know the kind of toys to pick up, if your child is into arts then pick up that fancy art kit, and if your child loves dolls, then thatÔÇÖs what you get. If you are not able to zero in on a particular interest then you can always go for the popular options. There are toys that are evergreen, such as Barbie dolls, Pok├®mon memorabilia, Lego etc.

Comics

They say reading comics is a good past time for children. They get hooked on to reading from a young age, which is a good habit. You can never run out of options for comics. However, always ensure that the comic quality, especially the language used is proper and right.

Birthday parties

Ok, so maybe, itÔÇÖs not an actual gift which children can touch and feel, but itÔÇÖs a gift nonetheless. Which child would not like a birthday party? Birthday parties are the holy grail of all fun activities for children. It gives them an opportunity to play with their friends non-stop, and the energy in the room is palpable when children celebrate together. So, for your childÔÇÖs next birthday, throw a party for him/her and see the joy it brings! If you are the fun uncle/aunt, then you could be the one organising this party and gift it to your adorable niece/nephew. You can make it even better by throwing a theme party! Themes parties based on super heroes and monsters, or adventure parties in the outdoor or even scavenger hunts will be big hits.

Gift Kids

Apparel

Sports jerseys and accessories based on their favourite sport teams is a definite winner. Apparels based on their favourite super heroes are also a rage among children.

Vacation
Vacations - which child will not like one? It can be short vacations like a day out in a theme park or a one day trip to a resort, or they can be long ones lasting anyway between three days to a week. You can also go one step ahead and plan the perfect international trip for your children, this gift will always be cherished by them, and they will remember it for the rest of their lives. Remember to plan in advance and take care of all the details, from accommodation and flight bookings to travel cards in one go.

Last, but not the least, spending time together as family is the best gift you can give yourself and your children.

For many parents, the idea of flying with very young children and toddlers can be a source of major stress. While there arenÔÇÖt any fool-proof methods that will make your flight experience a smooth one, there are however, some tips you can follow to make travelling with infants and children easier.

Getting ready

If your children are a bit older say, three years or above, then include them in the planning and preparation part ÔÇô they will love it and will be better prepared for the journey. Make sure you get your travel card loaded up and lock in the exchange rate, to save money. This is make you feel good and ready to take on any mess.

Reaching the airport

If you are travelling with children in tow, then make sure you reach the airport well ahead of time. Getting through the security at the airport is a time consuming process, so ensure you have enough time to spare. Make all your payments through online transfers to save time.

Flight timings

Depending on the availability, it is always better to take a night flight. This way your children will get conditioned to sleep for a large portion of the journey. Book your flights from reputed sites, to ensure ease of transaction.

surviving long flight with children

Food:

Children can be picky eaters and even though you will get food on your flight, itÔÇÖs always wise to pack some snacks for your children, in case they do not like the food. Avoid sugary foods and opt for snacks like biscuits, dried fruits, or chips.

Exercise a.k.a tire them out:

Before you board the flight, find a play area or an empty gate area for your children and let them play a lot. Give them enough exercise, so that by the time they board the flight and it takes off, they will be too tired to run around and might sleep off. Use this chance to find an ATM kiosk and take some cash out using your travel card.

Select your seats:

If you are travelling with an infant, then request for a bulkhead seat. This allows you to keep a bassinet cot for your baby, and you donÔÇÖt end up carrying him/her the entire flight. It also ensures you donÔÇÖt have to worry about your toddler kicking the seats of the people in front of you.

Entertainment:

Load your iPad or tablet or your phone with kid-friendly movies to keep them entertained throughout the journey.

One at a time:

Do not provide your kid with toys or books immediately. Let them take in their surroundings and spend few hours enjoying the sight outside the window or people-watching and then give them their toys or books, one at a time.

Sickness:

If your child is prone to nausea then make sure you pack some biscuits or ginger candies which can help them with that.

Since no two experiences are the same, you will probably need to come up with ingenious ideas every time you travel with your children, however following the tips we mentioned above will help make things easy.

Spending quality time with your family is the best way to show them how much you care. While we are caught up with the busy schedule of work commitments and catching up with friends, family time takes a back seat. We have few simple suggestions you ought to try, to make your family feel special.

Family that eat together stay together

Having dinner or breakfast together is a practice that has been recommended for ages, itÔÇÖs the best way to spend time together and talk about everything everyone has been doing on a daily basis. This is a good way to connect with everyone.

There is an added advantage of dining with the family - you get to appreciate the food. They say tasty food should never be eaten alone, so what better way than enjoying a tasty meal with your family.

Do what your children do

If you have children, then create a golden interacting opportunity, by being a part of their hobbies. Is there a particular routine your children follows, like playing ball on weekends, enjoying video games, or reading books? If yes, then you ought to get involved in their hobbies and spend time with them - your kids will love you for it.

Five ways to spend time for family

 

Bond with thy elders

If you have grandparents living with you nothing can be as joyous as spending quality time with them. Picking their brains will leave you wiser than you were before. If grandparents live away from you, schedule calls with them on a regular basis. This can be an activity that bonds everyone in the family from the young ones to the old.

Go on family vacations

Every family should take a vacation together, even if it is only once in a year or two years. Family vacations are epicentres for the best fun moments. DoesnÔÇÖt matter if your family is calm or boisterous, adventurous or relaxed, whatever the mood is, the joy of spending time with your family is priceless. So go ahead and plan the perfect family vacation, take care of all the details, from accommodation to travel card, because spending time together as family is the best gift you can give yourself.

Spend festivals and holidays together 

Festivals are wonderful occasions that should be celebrated with your family. The festive atmosphere will set a wonderful background for families to bond. For that matter, any public holiday or scheduled leave is a good occasion to spend time with your family.

The above mentioned list is in no way an exhaustive one, eventually it all comes down to you and the time you can spare. Relationships grow strong when you spend time together and a strong relationship forms the foundation for strong families.

Has time just flied since you started living in a different country?

However when you return back home, the changes you see around, stings you hard and reminds you of how really long youÔÇÖve been away from your home. Here are few signs that secretly whisper in your ear that you are more an expat now than anything else!

1. The confusing question

When people ask ÔÇ£Where are you from?ÔÇØ, you tend to get confused. If you need a moment to think before answering that question, then you are certainly a seasoned expat.

2. Knowledge of politics

You probably understand the politics of your resident country better than you do of your home country. And, if you can start arguing about it with a local person, then youÔÇÖve definitely been an expat too long.

5 signs of an expat

3. Sending money home

You know everything anyone needs to know about online money transfers and remittances, and can distinguish between a dependable money transfer service provider and the scams. You know of all the ways of transferring money abroad even to loved ones without bank accounts.

4. Helping aspiring expats

You are the official light-in-the-tunnel to every young person who dreams of going abroad, as you are no longer the fresh-off-the-boat expat but the seasoned expat who is there to help others.

5. Going home for vacations

A trip back home is more of a holiday now! You know how to use a travel card to save money, and how to use it like a debit card without exorbitant charges. A lot of things around home may seem new and you feel a deep sense of nostalgia accompanied with a sense of adventure.

6. Changing accent

A change in your accent is also a definite sign that youÔÇÖve been living away from home too long. You begin to lose your natural accent and slowly start speaking in the accent of your resident country.

7. Juggling multiple languages
You start ÔÇÿthinkingÔÇÖ in two languages if the languages of your resident country and home country are different. Also, if you start using local words to express yourself better then you are immersed in your expat life.

ItÔÇÖs imminent that once you start living in a new country, you start adapting to their way of life and try to fit it. Over the years, it does become difficult to identify yourself with just one culture, especially if you have lived in many countries but thatÔÇÖs the wonderful life of an expat.

Long distance marriages can be tricky. Though dismissed by many disgruntled people who claim it never works, it still carries its own romantic charm. Mentioned below are the tips shared by happily married couples who are currently living away from each other. You can give them a try to make your long distance relationship work.

Identify the trigger

WhatÔÇÖs that spark that first got you together? Never lose sight of that. Whatever be the reason you got together as a married couple, committed to a long distance relationship, focus on that. This will keep your relationship going and the spark burning.

Bring in the surprise element

A pleasant surprise does wonders for your relationship. Many couples have used the distance as a tool to make their marriages stronger. If you have the opportunity to visit your spouse, make sure you utilise the opportunity. Give him or her a fun-filled romantic weekend.

Long distance Marriages

 

Ignite the romance

Very often in marriages we take things for granted and before we know it, the romance is lost. Long distance marriages are an opportunity to connect with your spouse in new and exciting ways. Make use of your mobile devices to ignite the romance. Rekindle the love with romantic texts and good night notes, to keep the magic going.

Communication is the key

Not seeing each other for days or even months is the toughest part of a long distance marriage. Thus, you need to look forward to the next best thing, happy conversations with our beloved ones. Daily communication is the key. Let your partner know about your feelings on a day-to-day basis, what made you happy, what upset you, how was the new movie which you saw, what you did over the weekend ÔÇô make sure you take time out to talk about everything.

Send gifts

Pamper your partner by discussing gift options to send each other through ecommerce websites, or sending additional money home so your spouse can pick something he/she loved etc.

Remember when it comes to long distance marriages there is nothing called little things, everything matters!

Planning on moving abroad to live or work? ThatÔÇÖs great! However do remember that itÔÇÖs very easy to feel overwhelmed in a new country especially if you do not know their local language. And, for many people learning a new language may not be the easiest thing to do. But, should a language barrier come in the way of you living your dream? Absolutely not!

About 1.5 billion people in this world speak English, so it shouldnÔÇÖt be difficult for you to find a country where you can easily survive with your knowledge of English alone! Here are our top five picks:

Canada:

Canada is a predominantly English speaking country with 85.6% of Canadians having working knowledge of English. Thus making it an ideal place for expats! The culture here is lively and diverse, with people from all over the people living together harmoniously and the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful too. However, do remember that it can get very cold in Canada, so plan accordingly.

Australia:

In a sharp contrast to Canada, Australia is quiet hot most months of the year. However, Australia is any expatÔÇÖs dream, if they are OK with the heat. Finding work here is not very difficult and almost everyone speaks English, albeit with an accent which may be difficult for some to understand.

Top 5 English Speaking Countries

Dubai:

Dubai is an expatÔÇÖs paradise. In fact, of its total population of 9.2 million, the expatriates contribute to around 7.8 million! Because of the influx of so many tourists here from all around the world, most people speak English here. Expats can also enjoy amazing social lives here because of the diversity in culture.

Germany:

English is spoken by everyone here in all major cities thus making Germany one of the top countries for expats to move into. In fact, with about 70% of the population being able to speak in English, it has become the unofficial second language! If you get a fulltime job here, then itÔÇÖs easy to live a financially stable life. ItÔÇÖs a beautiful country and the people here are friendly and extremely courteous.

England:

English speaking country? Umm, letÔÇÖs see, given that they taught the world the language! ThatÔÇÖs a Yes! England has become an extremely popular destination for expats especially from Asian countries like India. Even though the cost of living may be a bit expensive here, itÔÇÖs still a hot spot for many expats. In fact, finding your own community of expats will never be difficult in England!

Depending on your interests and job requirements, you can select any of these countries to move out to. Nonetheless, you are not limited to these five countries only ÔÇô there are so many other nations where English is spoken and understood and could be perfect for you!

Confused about whether or not to join the loyalty program offered by your money transfer service provider? WeÔÇÖll help you ease the confusion.

First off, you need to understand that loyalty programs are not trap mechanisms to ensure customers stay. They are genuinely designed to reward and make customers feel special. However, to be extra careful, here are factors you should consider before joining any loyalty program.

Discounts and gifts

Discounts, loyalty bonuses, free merchandise and a one-on-one experience ÔÇô these are few of the many perks of joining loyalty programs. Check if the loyalty program offered by your money transfer provider has lifestyle benefits such as special offers on fine dining, entertainment, shopping and leisure activities.

Freedom from queues

Nobody likes waiting in long queues ÔÇô they are such a hassle! The loyalty program you are a part of should offer this benefit ÔÇô freedom from standing in long queues. They must also provide you with the exclusive benefits of dealing with relationship managers who can address all your queries.

Handling different currencies and financial processes are never easy, however if you are a loyal customer of a reputed money transfer company you would be getting these as personalised services.

Loyalty Programme

Competitive rates

As a loyal customer, you should be enjoying special competitive rates for your remittance and foreign currency needs, through the loyalty program.

Services at your door step

If you are a busy executive who frequently travels, then itÔÇÖs impossible for you to visit the money transfer centers, for your requirements. Here being part of loyalty program comes handy. You can avail all the services from the comfort of your office or home.

Insurance cover

Insurance is a very important component, especially if you have dependents. Hence ensure your loyalty program offers you an insurance cover. It could be life or health or even travel.

Updates and Alerts

Always make sure you get a message update on your registered mobile number, every time you carry out a transaction. This is crucial for security purposes and to update yourself on the remaining benefits you can avail using the loyalty card.

Ensure your loyalty program card is linked to your mobile number. So that you need not carrying the card all the time to avail the discounts and benefits offered by the program.

Simple steps to build wealth

Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Building wealth is an evergreen aspiration that has captivated generations and it still does! Many wars have been fought only because emperors couldnÔÇÖt get enough of building their wealth and the same sentiment still lies somewhere deep within each of us. With the complex financial structures of today, is it possible to build wealth in a simple manner?

While nobody has a magic pill for it, here are some simple steps which can assist you in your journey to amassing wealth.

Making enough money

This is an obvious step, you cannot build your wealth without making money, but the key word here is ÔÇ£enoughÔÇØ, which means anything above your normal expenses can be used as means to build wealth.

Saving money

Saving money is crucial to build wealth. If you have a steady source of income, make sure you save a realistic percentage of that value every month. Money saved is money earned.

simple wealth

 

Leveraging the power of compound Interest

Have you heard of this term before? Probably you have. All those years back during your school days, this simple concept might have lost you some marks, but itÔÇÖs about to make you a whole lot of money.

Compound Interest is a powerful tool to help you make money, especially if you begin investing from a young age. The money saved now has a tremendous future value. So make sure you start saving and investing your money early.

Investing money appropriately

Financial institutions today have products for every personÔÇÖs requirement. If your risk appetite is high you can invest in stocks, mutual funds, options and derivatives which are risky but will fetch you a higher return when invested judiciously. There are different levels of risks involved in these instruments and we advice spreading your risk across diverse investments.

For people with lower risk appetite there are products such as national bond, fixed deposits and saving instruments which are very secure and will take you on a predictable path of building wealth. Many saving certificates have exiting offers like monthly and quarterly cash rewards on their savings through prize draws, in addition to guaranteed interest which is paid on a regular basis.

Health is wealth

We have heard this adage before and will continue hearing it. We live in a dynamic world where life is fast paced, there is no point building your wealth if you cannot enjoy it in the future. So itÔÇÖs important to be fit and healthy.

Wealth building process does not happen overnight, the power of compound interest and investing money appropriately mentioned above will only be effective if you continue doing it over time, any abruption in this will derail your journey.

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