Emirati businessman Abdul Razagh Mohammadi.


Meet Emirati who helped over 300,000 Filipinos come to Dubai

“The record said I brought more than 300,000 Filipinos to the UAE,” Abdul Razagh Mohammadi, more popularly known as Abu Nader, tells

It was through his now defunct Al Wasl Travels travel company that Abu Nader helped hundreds of thousands of Filipinos realize their dream to visit Dubai and find opportunities in the emirate. “I was always giving a lower price for the ticket and visa. Sometimes when somebody didn’t have money, I told them they can pay me when they find work,” he says.

In the last 38 years, the multi-awarded Emirati businessman has won the hearts of the UAE’s Filipino expatriate community by providing them assistance and job opportunities. His humanitarian work has earned him the praise of Filipino government officials, including then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who visited him in Dubai.

It’s no wonder Filipinos in the UAE have given him the moniker “Ninong ng Bayan”, Filipino for “Godfather of the nation”. The soft-spoken Emirati is often seen chatting with them during his usual rounds at his busy Philippine Supermarket in Al Muraqqabat. During special occasions, such as Eid, he would be seen doling out cash and gifts to crowds outside the supermarket.

“I grew up like this. This is my nature. I will never say no to somebody who needs help,” Abu Nader says. He gives back to the community by continuing to help distressed expats; providing them free airline tickets, groceries and even legal assistance.

Emirati businessman Abdul Razagh Mohammadi.

Starting with the trading company that he worked for in Dubai in 1985, up to opening the travel agency, his very first company, in the early 2000s, to his current chain of supermarkets, the philanthropic Emirati has surrounded himself with mostly Filipino staff, describing them as “honest and hardworking”.

His popular supermarket chain, Philippine Supermarket, is testament to his affinity with the community. “I wanted to help bring Filipinos their comfort food and make it affordable too,” he says. He made several trips to the Philippines to sign deals to bring the best Filipino food brands to the UAE. Philippine Supermarket became the first dedicated supermarket chain for Philippine products in the UAE and was a game-changer that helped bring down the prices of imported Filipino goods in the emirates.

Abu Nader loves Filipino food, too. “I am known as a local man who loves sinigang na hipon, bulalo, pansit canton, tilapia, tinola, kare-kare. My helpers make them for me twice a week,” he says. He used to frequently travel to the Philippines, particularly before the pandemic hit. In one of his earlier visits, he received a pleasant surprise when he dropped by his housemaid’s home. “I helped her family build their house in Laguna, and it was such a surprise to see my picture and family’s picture there,” he says.

Abu Nader says he wants to continue helping people realize their dream through Dubai. “I found Dubai a place not only for me and my family, but for people who want to develop themselves. I believe in connecting people and I want them to have a good memory of the UAE,” he said. PIA/Expat Media

ALSO READ: Emirati reveals plans to build first Filipino complex in UAE

This story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition magazine

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