The Misunderstood Emirati Money

For a decade I have had friends from around the world who have visited Dubai and spoken to me about Emiratis – the natives of United Arab Emirates. Most of what I have heard were unpleasant and negative comments about the Emiratis. These have ranged from remarks about their hypocrisy, greed and vanity to outright accusations of racism, religious intolerance and corrupt nature.

And for a year now, I have lived in Dubai hoping to meet these Emiratis who has been inspiring such tales. And surprising, they don’t seem to exist. My fascination with the culture, tradition, language, religion and people of this region has made me observe, analyse and present these facts about the Emirati people. To me they are a nation of well meaning but heavily misunderstood people. Here is why.

They are not arrogant: Emiratis are no more arrogant than a Filipino, Indian or American in the UAE. What they are is that they are very private people. When it comes to their family and personal lives, we would rarely find an Emirati person open up for discussions. The respect for their family, culture, value system and traditions has often led people to think of them as being aloof, secluded and therefore arrogant. What may surprise you is that a warm smile, a greeting and handshake is all that it takes to start a conversation with an Emirati. Dubai today is the business hub of the world. And that would not have happened if the natives of the land were arrogant and anything but welcoming.

They are not floating in money: A popular belief is that Emiratis are very privileged and lead a lavish life without their feet touching their ground. This is one of the most common misconceptions created both by the expats who live in the UAE and those who come to tour. You may often hear unverified statements passing around about an Emirati who is so rich, does not need to work and takes his or her country’s benefits for granted. However, if you took some time to observe the Emirati people, you would find them doing everything the way anyone else does. They wait in lines at a Starbucks, board the metros and walk around with their families in the many malls and. And the privileged few of the society are not restricted to the Emirati people alone. Many of the rich people in the UAE today are the expats, some of them are Arabs from other countries.

They do focus on education: At any rate, an average Emirati seems to have more education than an average westerner. I have heard some comments on the sly that Emiratis do not learn much and rely on their connections and influence to climb the ladder. Understandably in a country where the basic rules and laws are drafted in Arabic and English – it is but natural to see the citizens of that country preferred for top ranking jobs by its Government. Any one who believes Emiratis with very less education are given preference for jobs are wrongly informed. Every high ranking Emirati official we meet would have studied in one of the top colleges in the middle east or in the world.

They do have a sense of fashion: Yes the men prefer the Kandura and the women wear the Abhaya. But no, they don’t do it because they don’t have any other clothes! Wake up expats. The Emiratis respect their traditions and culture to a great extent and believe in continuing them through the ages. It is infact a crying shame that most Asian countries have forgotten or hide their traditional costumes and opt for western attires. As for the doubts about their fashion sense that doesn’t adhere to the western tastes, do observe where the Emiratis shop for their non traditional clothes, watch a fashion show showing Emirati designers or just take a moment to notice the Emirati youth hanging out at the malls and you will never doubt again!

They do love mixing with other cultures: Although the Emiratis culture is traditionally influenced by culture of the Persian empire, the modern Emirati is a perfect mix of cultures from both the east and west. From India to America, Emiratis have taken cultural lessons and blended them into their modern lifestyles. This is apparent from many aspects of their day to day work and personal life. They wear traditional outfits, drive the most modern cars, eat Chinese food, watch an Indian film and hang out with their American friends. Now, if that is not mixing up cultures, then what is?

I believe the Emiratis are poorly understood in their own land. I have of late heard of Emiratis being discriminated in the UAE purely because of their appearance and the perceptions, prejudice and apprehensions the expats have towards them. In a land which is open to the entire world to come and profit and live peacefully, being a misunderstood native is not an easy thing. It may eerily resemble the story of the new world – the Americas, where everyone migrated to live and prosper and slowly the misunderstood native American Indian tribes faded out of existence. However, with a modernizer like Sheikh Mohammed steering this great nation that is an unlikely possibility. What could become possible one day is that the misguided ideas about the locals may end up pushing them further inward into this bubbling society, forcing them to live in its center rather than branching out everywhere. This would create newer challenges for the government and people. Will such things come to pass? Will the misconceptions never be broken? Will the day come when the local Emirati is understood and appreciated in his own country by everyone else?

Only time will tell.

money changer

Loan Modification Process – Details of Waterfall Method and How It Applies to Your Loan Financial Planning

The loan modification process involves a standard method of modifying loans into new affordable monthly payment terms. This is called the Waterfall Method and it is mandated for use under the Treasury Department’s loan workout plan. This plan is called HAMP – for Home Affordable Modification Program. When your lender reviews your application, part of the process will be to determine if your loan and financial circumstances will fit within this method of modification.

The loan modification process begins with a borrower contacting their lender and requesting consideration for HAMP. It is important to specifically ask for this plan because lenders are required to review each and every homeowner who asks for help under this plan. While your file is being reviewed for eligibility, the lender is not allowed to move your home forward to foreclosure sale. So this gives you some time and a second chance to save your home with a loan workout.

Once you complete your loan modification application and send it in along with your income documentation, your entire package will be reviewed for eligibility and acceptability. Here is the basic loan modification process:

  1. Homeowners request consideration for HAMP
  2. Borrower completes the application package and provides proof of income
  3. Lender reviews the information provided by homeowner for eligibility
  4. Waterfall Method of Modification is attempted and acceptability is determined
  5. If the loan can be modified using the standard terms, then the homeowner may be approved for a loan modification
  6. Homeowner enters 3 month trial modification period, after which mod is made permanent

How exactly does the Waterfall Method of modification work? This standard formula uses several criteria to determine which loans and borrowers will be eligible. Remember that the homeowner is providing their financial information – monthly income, monthly expenses, cash in the bank, etc. – on their application form and this is the information that is used when determining if the homeowner will qualify. The lender will use standard methods of reducing the current mortgage in order to meet a new target mortgage payment. This new payment will equal 31% of the borrowers reported gross monthly income and it includes principal, interest, taxes, insurance and any HOA dues.

The first Waterfall method step to reach the target payment is to reduce the interest rate, and the rate can go down as low as 2%. If more changes are needed to reach the goal, then the loan term may be extended to 40 years. The final step is to forgive or defer some principal balance to reach the new desired target payment. This is called a Waterfall Method because they lender must follow these steps in order, as they are needed. However, if the borrowers income is too low or too high, or if the loan balance is so high that a large principal reduction would be needed, the loan modification may be denied.

Homeowners who hope to be approved need to understand how the loan modification process works and most importantly how they should complete their financial statement so that it will be acceptable. If you know ahead of time how much income you need to prove to qualify, then you will be able to make the necessary adjustments and submit an acceptable application. If you knew that just by cutting a couple of hundred dollars a month in expenses, you would fit the guidelines, then you would certainly do that, right? This is confusing for borrowers, but you can use a loan mod software program that will actually show you just how much income you need and where you may need to fine tune your figures to fit into the standard HAMP guidelines.

financial planning

The Most Stressful Jobs on the Planet Money

When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action, Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. This is one of the definitions online when you Google stress.

Why would a job be called stressful, I bet everyone considers his job stressful and it is in fact so, it works exactly as “beauty in the eye of the beholder”… right?, But in fact every job has a level of stress.

Stress is always associated with reaching a target, when you are studying for an exam and the date is getting closer, when you are training for a competition and it is getting closer. Exactly when you are working on some important reports or even meeting an important client or meeting your boss, stress level accumulates, something is coming towards you and you are afraid of the end result.

Will it kill you? That is the question to rate your stress, if it is 100% yes that is a stressful job on all counts. In an annual study by Forbes ” The 10 Most Stressful Jobs In 2016″ the military comes as the most stressful job, that is a person whom will not lose a pay cheq if he misses up, no he will lose his life or lives of others. And so on, the scale goes, firefighter as the second, airline pilot, police officer and here comes at fifth “the event coordinator”.

What is an event coordinator doing in such high-risk list? He will not die… right? Well no he won’t but it the closest… why you ask?

And before I continue let me clear something, Event Coordinators, Event Managers, Event Planners, are all the same job, titles vary based on event business size.

Let us take this scenario: When you are planning an event, simple as family meeting, the simplest would be calling the relatives, inviting them and asking each to bring something to the party… right? What if every one of those relatives counted on the others on bringing their assigned stuff and he forgot his because he was very busy in his stressful job! And ops, we all counted on each other and none brought anything? What if all brought everything and they came to an outdoor party and starts to rain, or indoor party and it is a blackout, or none even showed up, scenarios of failure are a lot, and ah yes, all might go fine but what happens if a fail scenario becomes reality, the family gathering would fail. How bad can it be? All invitees will have a bad memory and they keep taking about it every good event they gather… “this is a lot better that what happened at John’s last year” and you go in history as the failed story.

Let us take it up a notch, you are planning your wedding and everyone important in your life will be present, your family, friends and collogues, and the caterer you chose did not show up on time or did a bad job or the decoration did not finish on time or even… Again… a blackout!. working on a meeting of important clients and departments heads, and something goes wrong. What is the worst can be? The result will be in history, your own history and you fail it, it will be there forever till you are one of those lucky people gets a second chance.

The event planning is a massive job, I always look at it as when you hire someone to build a multistory building with all services functional in all rooms and apartments, electricity, water, fire alarm systems, staffing, cleaners… etc, all to be ready in a specific day, specific time, for a specific duration and then you have dismantled all back to ground level, this is what they do, and it is all about precision and time and all done usually by one person who acts like a hub connecting all together, you will never accept a late service at your wedding and the failure here is catastrophic at all levels, if a supplier has a car accident, it is the event manager fault not the supplier and he is blamed for every mistake.

A failed job means:

1- Reputation, imagine a failure in a wedding, all invitees whom are possible clients or source of clients, become a negative effect on your reputation, or worse if you fail on organizing an Olympics grand opening, it becomes CNN news.

2- Finances, fees will be negotiated if not waived, talking about a pending payment. If the client does not pay or pay less, either the event manager will pay suppliers less or will have to pay in full from his own money and if not paid, he losses reputation with suppliers as well. It might be bankruptcy for event managers

3- Career changer, event managers, grow at their work, they start with 1 dollar jobs at first, then 100 dollars jobs then jobs of thousands then millions, and any one failed event, it is the higher you go, the louder the fall, it will mark and draw the line of your maximum growth or you might have to change your career and start all over again. Remember, events are usually public in their nature, even private events, when it fails it becomes public talk to the attendees.

What most people do not get is that, there is no event management company that has on its storage or on its payroll everything that is required to run an event, most of the time the event manager is acting like a middle man, with style… in some sort. So venue, decorations, furniture, lights, sound, catering, shows, staffing, director and every aspect of the event I forgot to mention, most of the time, one or two or even three item are under the full control and payroll of the event manager and the others are not, so those others have mind of their own and operations of their own and they do one mistake, it comes to the event manager.

Event manager is an underpaid person, with CEO responsibility on an event execution and the power of a zero personnel managed department manager whose job depends on others executions whom has their own managers and own priorities.

BUT… But, this article yes is about the job stress but I do not want to end this article on sadness J. This job has one characteristic that makes it one of the best jobs when we talk about the success, as an event manager, you will see the success direct in the face of your clients at the end of the event, when they come to thank you and when you get a call from a new client who is calling because he heard or saw that success.

The purpose of writing this article is just a tribute to event managers, whom are working behind every single good event you have participated in or even saw. after all they are the best stress managers.

money changer

Business VoIP Solutions – Select the Best Solution Money

The business houses that deals in outsourcing bids an adieu to traditional Public Switched Telephone Network for their daily communicating needs. The conventional PSTN communication system is based on heavily regulated network of circuit switched technique. This circuit switched network charges heavy on every call. Today, with an advent of IP telephony, business houses make long distance or international calls at minimum rates. Switching to VoIP solutions has become a logical alternative for many business and corporate houses that are looking for definite improvement in their profits.

The VoIP solution varies on the basis of type, size and operations of business. There are two types of business VoIP solutions i.e. call termination services and IP Centrex service. So, depending upon business solutions, voice over IP service varies from small, medium and large organisation to improve on the call productivity and cost efficiency. While availing call termination service, any business or corporate house can reduce monthly telephone expenditure by 50 % compared to traditional PSTN. Well, this is because business calls are terminated by using public internet or privately managed IP network. Thereby, it increases the profit margin of the business. The IP Centrex or Hosted Centrex service deals with virtual PBX replacement service. In the IP Centrix service, business house has to choose the service provider that offers PBX from their “host” soft switch at their POP over business’s existing broadband connection.

For making cheap calling through VoIP, user requires a computer, broadband connection, Analog Telephone Adaptor or ATA as well as latest VoIP services. This allows the user to make calling as normal using standard phone lines. While searching for the best VoIP business solution provider, user must look for features like voice quality, cost efficiency, network integration, functionality and security.

money changer

Why Is Budgeting Important for the Entrepreneur? Financial Planning

I’ve had many to inquire of why budgeting is so important for the entrepreneur? I’ve especially seen these inquiries from solopreneurs or small businesses of one or two people. Let me just say first that having a budget is one of the key components to a successful business no matter the size. How do you know where you’re going, if you don’t have a plan for getting there? How do you know how well your business is progressing or not, if you don’t have something to measure your performance against? Simply put, a budget is a financial plan and helps you to manage the future income and expenses of your business. It reflects the goals & objectives of your business combined with how you believe your resources will be used. However, it doesn’t stop there, a budget serves as the roadmap for your business. It aids in providing a compass for making important business decisions in a more efficient manner to ensure that your business is heading in the right direction. A budget also empowers you to think more about the future and anticipate what could possibly happen in your business, which in turn makes for effective management.

Here are other reasons why I believe budgeting is important to the success of any business:

1.) Provides insight into your business and sheds light on if your business is financially on the right path.

2.) Creates a performance measurement mechanism in which you are able to understand what your business is doing compared to what you thought or planned.

3.) A budget shows that you are a serious entrepreneur which makes your business attractive to potential investors and is a critical component in getting funding from a bank.

4.) Acts as a management tool for running your business on a daily basis.

5.) You are able to make adjustments early once you realize that your business may not be reaching its planned goals.

6.) Due to a budget being a forward thinking document, it serves as a planning tool for future growth.

7.) Produces discipline in that as an entrepreneur you are more aware of your expenditures and more careful to manage costs in order to ensure that you reach your established goals.

financial planning