Top 5 OFW jobs in the Middle East

2018 November - The Middle East continues to be the top destination for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).


According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), five out of the top 10 destinations for OFWs are located in the region and compose nearly 70 percent of new and returning workers in 2016.


The countries that put out the most job orders, and hire the most Filipinos are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman. But what exactly are these jobs that our countrymen travel thousands of miles to get into?


Domestic Work


According to the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO), domestic workers play a pivotal role in Arab society—doing more than just cooking or cleaning. They help raise children, care for the elderly and impaired, and even assist in managing the entire household in some cases.


In a 2018 report, ILO says that nearly one in five of domestic workers live in the Middle East, and 1.6 million of the world’s total of 3.16 million domestic workers are women. OFWs aren’t far from this statistic with most of them being young women, between the ages of 20 to 40 years old.




The Philippines continues to be one of the major sources of healthcare professionals in the world. Together with the United States and the United Kingdom, the Middle East is among the top 3 destinations for Filipino nurses, caregivers, midwives, and doctors—with Saudi Arabia being their top destination in the last decade.


And who can blame them? Filipino healthcare professionals have been known for their expert skill, efficiency in the workplace, mastery of the English language, and their genuine care and compassion for the patients they attend to.


Construction Labor


The Middle East has become the fastest growing construction market in the world with countries like UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Egypt leading the way. As such, the demand for construction workers that will help build the architectural marvels of the region has grown, as well.


These jobs include laborers and linemen, machinery operators and metal workers, truck drivers and drillers, and carpenters and construction workers. The number of OFWs in these professions is expected to further rise as UAE, for example, now offers one of the lowest construction costs in the world, and large projects continue to kick off.


Skilled Construction


While construction workers and laborers will always be in demand as the Middle East’s infrastructure industry continues to flourish, skilled construction workers are also among the top jobs for OFWs in the region. These jobs include plumbers and pipe fitters, painters and patternmakers, welders and wiremen, as well as supervisors and surveyors.




Engineers are among the highest paid OFWs as they can earn P60,000 to P100,000 per month. And in the Middle East, land-based engineers are constantly in demand especially with the region’s booming infrastructure industry. These high-paying and skilled engineering jobs include civil and electrical engineers, industrial and mechanical engineers, as well as engineering technicians and mining engineers.


Filipinos should take advantage of the demand in skilled workers by applying for technical-vocation training. And for OFWs who want to make the most of their remittances, a savings account created specifically for overseas workers would greatly benefit them and their beneficiaries.


BDO Unibank’s Kabayan Savings Account is a reliable partner of OFWs and their beneficiaries given its extensive capability to accept and receive remittances from abroad. With 5000+ Cash Agad partners, 4000+ BDO ATMs, and 1000+ branches nationwide; BDO makes it easy and convenient for beneficiaries to withdraw the remittances.


For more information, you may visit this link:


Watch this real story of an Overseas Filipino in the Middle East.