DUBAI EXPAT STORIES. Vijay Bhatia says the Philippines will be his second home

Fresh out of high school in 1989, Vijay Bhatia said he started working at Emirates, the largest airline and one of two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates.

Fast-forward to the present, Vijay is a 52-year-old businessman with at least five companies under his watch – one of them, Jules Tourism, which he acquired sometime last year at the height of travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I can’t say it’s doing very good, nor is it doing bad, as well. We are going Ok,” he says.

As a businessman, Vijay’s motto is quite obvious: “Don’t put your eggs in one basket.”

“You should diversify. You just can’t have one business. If something happens to it, you will be down and out. We have diversified. So we have this, and we have plans to open other businesses as well like a cleaning company and a limo service company,” Vijay said.

He said it is important to keep a positive frame of mind – “Life is always full of ups and downs. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you are going to be down. But nothing is going to be down forever.”

Vijay said Dubai keeps him going. “It is always changing. Every day is different,” he said, adding as well that he takes inspiration from the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, its Minister of Defence, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

“I look at him as a guiding person,” Vijay said.

Vijay said he has travelled a lot – 56 countries and 126 cities to be exact.

But there’s one place that, he says, he keeps coming back to: the Philippines.

“I used to go there every year,” he said. “My second home will be the Philippines when I grow old.  I am 52, so like when I am 60…65…70, I want to stay in Makati. 

“Why? Makati is the business area. Once a businessman, always a businessman. I always stay there actually.”


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