Jasim Muhammed, a deliveryman for DHL in Dubai, plies the streets of Jebel Ali Free Zone. The 25-year-old was born and raised in Dubai, and has completed three years with DHL, highlighted as one of the best places to work in the Middle East by the American management consultancy Aon Hewitt this month.
I wake up and have breakfast of paratha, chana and keema, what every Indian or Pakistani eats. If you don't have breakfast, you can't work. I was born and raised in Dubai but my parents came from Karachi in Pakistan almost 45 years ago. I live with my parents and my mother cooks for us. I am still single and I like living with my parents, it's not because of the expenses. When I come home, everything is ready for me, I don't have to cook.
I reach the office in Jebel Ali Free Zone from our home in Oud Metha, Dubai, and sort packages, documents and parcels. By 8.45am we move to our areas. I cover the Jebel Ali Free Zone and have been in this area from the beginning. I move around in a Volkswagen car. Every day, I make 80 to 100 deliveries to the offices here. I trained for a month when I took the job, and in three years I know all the addresses. There are only 13 roundabouts in Jebel Ali Free Zone and addresses are not too hard to find. Between 5 and 6pm, there is a little bit of traffic but I know shortcuts to reach an area. Sometimes the packages are heavy, around 50 kilograms to 55kg, but we have trolleys to transport them. I am happy with my job because there is [career] growth here at DHL. I was the courier of the year from the UAE in 2012.
We have to be on the road until 1pm, which is followed by a lunch break until 2.30pm. I don't bring lunch from home. I have a family at home and in the office I have another family. We four or five guys sit together and have lunch. They are from India, Pakistan and the Philippines. We order biryani, fried rice or burgers from the restaurant.
We have shipments coming in from the port to the office around this time. We have to sort the shipment and leave for collections or deliveries. If the evening shift guy doesn't come in, we have backup staff. In the morning we do 60 to 80 deliveries and 10 to 15 in the afternoon. I work 7.30am to 7pm on weekdays, and only on Tuesdays I work 12 to 8pm. I have Friday and Saturday weekends.
I come back to the office and offload and sort the shipment. The evening shift person takes over to do the rest of the sorting and deliveries. My dream job is to be a pilot. I will finish studying A Levels (Indian syllabus) from Cosmos Educational Institute in Karama in two to three months, and then I'll go for the Emirates Aviation College. My favourite subject is commerce. I am saving now for the college. My brother works with Emirates Airline in the customer care service and I can get a discount at the college. After I finish the aviation course, I will apply for a pilot's job with DHL. I drive a small car now, then I will fly a big plane.
I come back home and watch movies, go for a smoke or meet friends. Movies are usually Hindi or English. I like watching love stories in Hindi movies or action ones in English. Around 10pm we have dinner. We have whatever my mother makes, but I don't like eating vegetables. Only my father and brother like eating vegetables. So, she makes chicken, mutton kofta, or boiled eggs for me. I have it with plain rice.
I go to sleep but on Thursdays and Tuesdays I attend two-hour classes at the Cosmos Educational Institute from 9pm. I go to the morning classes on Saturdays. I study at home on Fridays. Sometimes I go to the disco, but it's only on Thursdays.