Posted by: englishdubai | July 16, 2006

Get myself connected

On Thursday I took the short trip from the office to Dubai Media City to sign up for internet and TV services supplied by Dubai Internet City Telecom as I will be living in an Emaar property.
The good or bad thing about using DIC Telecom is that they have a different web proxy to that of Etisalat which is not subject to the same censorship filter.

I like the way these properties have all rooms pre-cabled for these services and even admire the way that for each service – phone, internet, tv package there is a nice 200AED connection fee. Not that you have much choice. Well after presenting the documents – passport copy, residence copy, tenancy contract and filling out the all important form I had the services I needed.

I ended up choosing to have no residential land line, a 1 mb broadband connection and subscription to ADD sports package and Orbit Prime for a total of 551AED. This is pretty similar to the package I had in the UK – only I had four times the channels and eight times the broadband connection………

In an effort to get the last of the admin and red tape sorted out on Saturday, I hired a taxi driver to run me around Dubai. While I now have my own transport I felt for just a few hundred dirahams I could get to where I needed worry free.

First on the list was DEWA. This is the government department that controls water and electricity. Fairly essential things for a gadget freak like me. I went to the main DEWA office near Wafi mall. I strode in with my briefcase and promptly got lost. After a few minutes orientation and asking where I should go I found the correct building and took a ticket. I then realised I did not have the form fellow queuee’s had – I found one and hastily tried to fill it out before my number was called.

Too late my number was up and I hurried to the desk with papers strewn everywhere. The chap behind the desk was helpful telling me the key boxes to fill out. He then asked for the regular documentation i.e. copy of passport, residence visa and tenancy agreement. Super I thought I have all of those. Then he hit me with the question:

“You have the landlords passport copy and ownership contract?” – DOH! I do have those documents as part of the letting process – but they were safely locked up in the office. I told him this and again he helpfully suggested I could fax them over later today. It was a Saturday and I couldn’t get into the office until Sunday morning. I had absolutley no clue that this would be required.

The DEWA officer shook his head and passed me back the forms – I felt beaten and dejected….

Red Tape 1 – Aaron 0

Not to make the day a waste I pressed on and my friendly taxi drive took me to the Dubai Traffic Police headquaters – which is a very nice building indeed. Upon arriving I made sure to complete the correct form and presented it to the official. He asked for copies and inspection of original – passport, residence visa, eye test certificate (easily opbtained for 25AED from any optician – remember to bring a photo) and driving license. He then asked for the paper counterpart of the UK driving license. Ah hah – I had that ! But no copy….doh

That was ok as their was a chap around the corner who was making a healthy trade at 1AED per photocopy page. I went back to the officer with said forms and a photo. He then proceeded to translate into arabic the answers on the form I had given. Once done he stapled and stamped everything. Then I was ushered to see another officer.

I gave my documents to the officer who then proceeded to type in the details from the form into a computer. I was then asked for 200AED and told to go and have my photo taken. I went into the photo studio and in less than 60 seconds I was the proud owner of a UAE driving license. Woohooo

Red Tape 1 – Aaron 1

Buoyed on by my success I thought it wise that I take on the challenge that is the infamous HSBC Jebel Ali branch. A quick trip down the SZR and we were there – but it is quite a drive from Deira where I was.

Upon arrival at the HSBC I was quickly seen by one of their premier banking team – again I handed over the relevant documents – passport copy, residence visa, salary statement from the company and HSBC Premier bank card from the UK. Again in a startingly disply of efficiency I had my accout number (now I can get paid here!), was offered a car loan for up to 250kAED! and was given a particular fetching pair of HSBC “Premier” cufflinks. Pleased I headed out of the bank thinking good things come to those who go to the Jebel Ali Branch.

Red Tape 1 – Aaron 2

I celebrated with a quick lunch at the Hard Rock cafe – it was a little tricky to find, but once there I was welcomed by a tasty Cobb salad and vanilla shake.

After that I thought I would try and get an e-card. Dubai airport supports the use of this card card and fingerprint recognition for speedy progress through immigration.Having seen the snaking queue at 1am in the morning when I landed a couple of weeks ago I made a mental note that it was important to get one as I will be doing a lot of travel.

A quick trip to the Danata building – presenting my passport, a photo that they scanned and 200AED I walked out with a shiny e-card. Wow I was pleased.

Red Tape 1 – Aaron 3

Following a reasonably productive day I spent the rest of it shopping for a TV and a vehicle. More on than later…


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