The first edition of ‘Essential OFW Guide to UAE’ was published three years ago. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: An updated guidebook for Filipinos complete with all the essential laws and information about living in the UAE plus warnings on investment scams will be released this year, a lawyer said.

The second volume of the free ‘Essential OFW Guide to UAE’ will be released in the coming months, three years after the first edition was published by Gulf Law and the Philippine Embassy.

Attorney Barney Almazar, director of Gulf Law and author of the book, said the book will still be a reader-friendly one, complete with actual visuals of documents needed when transacting with relevant government agencies.

“We will be updating a lot of the information in the book, especially labour and immigration laws. A lot has changed over the past years so we will include all of them,” Almazar told Gulf News.

“We will also include step-by-step guides on important processes, including how to legalise your status in the UAE if you have overstayed in the country. We’ll include the actual filled-out forms to give our readers a clear picture of what they need to prepare.”

When the book came out in 2015, it outlined the major issues Filipinos face that are easily summed up in ‘five Is’ — indebtedness, intoxication, immorality or illegal affairs, illegal recruitment and improper documents.

Almazar said the new guidebook will also include a comprehensive section on investment scams.

“Our aim is to expose why Ponzi schemes don’t work and all the investment schemes Filipinos should be wary of.”

Almazar is a legal counsel to some Filipinos whose investments in a Dubai-based forex trading scheme went bust after the company collapsed in March.

“These scams, if we’re to compare it to a product, for example, may come in different brands, different packaging and labels, but if you look inside, they’re the same rotten get-rich-quick stuff. We’ll tell them the red flags and the warning signs in the book,” he said.

Almazar said they have also teamed up with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines that will provide relevant investment education that will help Filipinos invest in the right way.

He said they’ll be publishing fewer hard copies this year, compared to the 120,000 free copies they distributed before. A digital version will also be made available for everyone to access.

“I’ve been receiving a lot of good feedback from the community since we launched the first book. Some said they were able to resolve their issues through the information they got from it. To be able to give information that the Filipinos can rely on to get the results they need, that is very fulfilling on my part. That motivated us to work harder on this new one,” Almazar said.