Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A slice of our life in Dubai!

Dubai is certainly not only about skyscrapers and malls! Living in Dubai means that you have to wade through miles of bureaucracy with a fine tooth comb and hope you manage not to get deported for a spelling mistake on an application that you made 3 years ago for a PO Box.

Life seems to move from one governmental fiasco to another....Salik (toll tags) to one-family-one-villa policy to no-cars-over-20-years-old-on-the-road to endlessly skyrocketing rents to 5 hour daily traffic jams and the latest the National ID card imbroglio.

The National ID card is a must for everyone, the deadline for expat professionals is December 31st 2008, which was announced in October 2008. Well, it was announced earlier, but only in the Arabic newspapers, which as the officials say, all expats should read, since it is the official language of the UAE!

The process is cumbersome, there are applications, pre-applications, pre-registrations and so on. The online form takes 4-5 hours to fill and decides where you work (apparently most of Dubai works in DIFC--Dubai International Financial Center) and takes a guess whether it wants you to be a male or female. So after half a day of willing the pages to load, you print out a form that has info that is completely different to what you filled and no bar code on the right side...why? Because they decided to create a page that is wider than and A4 paper, so it gets chopped off.

We are in the process of getting our ID cards....in the sense that we submitted forms that we bought at the post office (bought illegally after it wasn't available at any of the post offices), got it typed at a typing center and submitted it to the post office for a "Smart Form" to be made and mailed to us. Once we get the smart form then we go to the registration center and wait for 4-6 hours on probably 3-4 days to try and get an ID. Piece of cake, its all in a day's work in Dubai!

And oh, by the way, one should get the form back in 3 days, but it's been 2 weeks now and it's still not done, so I don't think the form is very "smart", but that's only me. On the plus side, this way we get to visit our beautiful post office and check our PO Box on a daily basis. It really has made an improvement to our lives, I must say!

And so the saga continues!

Hope you enjoyed a slice of our life here in sunny DXB!

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