Share God's love with this wealthy community of national Emiratis, migrants and expatriates. The joint government has used its natural oil exports to develop the economy and society, building an enviable healthcare, education and national infrastructure.
This former fishing federation of seven emirs in the Gulf States is no longer struggling financially. Emiratis now have new economic advantages: a much higher standard of living, education and career opportunities. The Emirates offer a temporary home to many Arabic-speakers coming to benefit from its buoyant job market and take advantage of consequent material opportunities.
Working alongside individuals in the professional marketplace, you can serve communities, support those seeking employment opportunities and provide safer workplaces. Theresa, an expatriate believer, works as a physiotherapist. “In this country, a lot of people are not certain about their jobs, or their future,” she explained. “Often, they feel they cannot go home due to war or financial reasons, and they experience a lot of stress. That manifests in their bodies, so we treat the body.” Through her care, many people speak honestly about the things causing them stress.
Church compounds in the UAE graciously permit expatriate believers in Jesus to meet together regularly and support one another. By coming alongside the local community of Jesus followers respectfully, acknowledging the variety of backgrounds, you may reveal the real personality of Jesus to others. You can join prayer initiatives to support those living and working amongst the diverse population, with its extremes of wealth, personal autonomy and family networks. You can encourage hunger for relationship with the God of the universe.
Although three quarters of those living in the UAE are Muslim, the government permits the peaceful co-existence of over 900,000 believers in Jesus. Numbers of Jesus followers are growing, although they are expected to be sensitive to the majority faith. Expatriate believers are able to encourage the national church to be available to pray with others and explore questions of faith gently. The environment is challenging for them though, with extremely high temperatures in the summer, make them often tired and demoralised. Some have not seen their families in years, simply sending money home to raise children and provide for education.
Although the circumstances are challenging, international workers can live alongside national believers in Jesus, and those who have not yet met Him personally. You will use your professional skills and personal faith to pray and to bless the people of the UAE.