Jessa Dawn Ubag ahead of her video call with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


Filipina in Dubai reveals behind-the-scenes on talk with Sheikh Mohammed


DUBAI – A Filipina nurse in Dubai who shot to social media fame after she spoke with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said his appreciation for her job “provides hope”.

Jessa Dawn Ubag, 31, a nurse at Rashid Hospital in Dubai, was part of a video conference with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on May 13.

“I got this opportunity despite being a foreigner. I am a Filipina and I felt it was a recognition to the Filipino community in the UAE along with all frontliners,” Ubag told state news agency WAM.

While speaking to Sheikh Mohamed, Ubag said she felt she was “talking to someone who knows me for a long time.”

The Filipina revealed that she laughed at her own nervousness and fear before the video call with Sheikh Mohammed.

“Within seconds I realised his genuine personality and humility. He made me feel comfortable,” she said. “I admire his sincerity and thoughtfulness to ask about my family and wellbeing here,” she added.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid had kindly inquired about Ubag’s family in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental in the Philippines.

The Filipina said she has assured her worried mother that she is taking all precautions despite being on the frontline.

“Bless her… Tell her that you are with your family, your second family,” Sheikh Mohammed assured her.

Sheikh Mohammed also thanked Ubag for her service to the UAE. “It was a nice experience to hear from him and to know that all our efforts during this pandemic are highly appreciated,” she said.

“We think we are an instrument of hope to give spiritual, mental and emotional support also to our patients in time of despair. That’s why when Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince personally appreciated me, I felt he was recognising all nurses for spreading hope,” she said.

Ubag, who has worked at Rashid Hospital for six years, said Sheikh Mohammed’s words have “inspired me and my fellow nurses to spread more hope to patients and community at large”.

“We nurses felt that somewhat are heroes in our own small way. It has inspired me to be a better nurse and a better instrument of hope,” she said, adding that they sacrifice basic needs and discomfort inorder to support patients.

The highlight of her job? “When critically-ill patients get well and go home with a smile, expressing their heartfelt thanks,” she said.

Ubag, a nursing graduate in the Philippines, moved to Dubai in 2004 after working in her home country for three years. She has an older sister who is also a nurse in the UK.

“I don’t have any big dreams. I would like to start my own family, that’s my dream,” Ubag said. ICA/WAM/Expat Media

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