Global Influential Filipino Talents: The Changing Narrative of the Filipino Worker in the UAE

Mr. Mori Rodriguez and Mr. Junie del Mundo present their study to the DFA audience.

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration–DFA co-organized a Mabini Dialogue held on 27 November 2019 entitled EON Insight: Focus on the Filipino in the UAE.  

The event featured EON Group’s co-founder and CEO, Mr. Junie del Mundo and Chief Innovation Officer Mr. Carlos Mori Rodriguez. EON is a Filipino stakeholder relations firm and an internationally acclaimed communications agency that aims to shape national policy and public opinion through active discussions with industry associations and foreign chambers. 

The EON Group presented the findings of its study on the changing narrative of Filipinos working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study provided insights on the Filipino community in the UAE as a growing economic market comprised of “caring, collaborative, creative, and colorful” individuals.

The main objective of the study was to promote a more positive view of the Filipino, highlighting the increasing number of highly skilled Filipino workers in the host country, their financial capacity, and market potential. The evolving economic status of Filipino workers in the UAE was attributed to the environment cultivated by the host country’s policies that encourage tolerance, economic diversity, and labor expansion.

The speakers focused on a shift of the image of Filipinos in the UAE from being stereotyped as low-skilled workers to “young, highly skilled, and highly educated professionals” – a section of the population that was coined in the study as the Pinoy Dreamers and Expat Achievers. Such well-to-do members of the community in the UAE are seen to build deeper socio-economic relations in the region by propelling Filipino expertise and creativity in highly skilled fields such as medicine, fashion design, technology, and engineering.

During the open forum, the Filipino’s growing purchasing power and significant contributions to diversification and growth of the UAE economy was further emphasized. In this light, the speakers called for the recognition of Filipino workers in the region as Global Influential Filipino Talents (GIFTs).

The speakers hoped that the image of the Filipino as talented and high-skilled influencers would be echoed not only in UAE and its surrounding countries, but to the rest of the world as well.


FSI Officer-in-Charge Ms. Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat (second from left) and DFA Undersecretary for Administration Eduardo Malaya (rightmost) pose with the guest speakers during the awarding of certificates.