Posted by: englishdubai | August 27, 2008

Your Flexible Friend

The world we live in has become virtually dependent on cards. My Father made a comment the other day that life in Dubai society in particular is obsessed with cards. I thought a little about this and it rings true. I had a look in my wallet and did a quick review:

  1. 1 x Bank ATM Card
  2. 1 x Bank Credit Card
  3. 1 x Credit Card for collection of skywards miles
  4. 1 x Cash Card from my Bank in the UK
  5. 1 x Egate card (The single most useful card a UAE resident can have for quick transit through Dubai airport)
  6. 1 x Alcohol License (essential if you are going to legally enjoy a tipple as a resident)
  7. 1 x UAE Driving License
  8. 1 x UAE Labour Card (oddly good for discounts at restaurants and beach clubs)
  9. 1 x Medical Insurance Card(again essential, else if you are looking for medical treatment you will be reaching for your credit card)
  10. 1 x Hospital Registration Card
  11. 1 x Skywards Gold Card
  12. 1 x Priority Pass Lounge Card
  13. 1 x Hilton Honors Card
  14. 1 x Starwood Preferred Guest Card
  15. 1 x Car Registration Card
  16. 1 x Roadside Assistance Card
  17. 1 x Building Entry Card

That is a lot! While I certainly don’t use all of them on a daily basis I know the moment I put some in a “safe place” I will either need it or end up losing it.

On top of this the UAE Government is implementing a National Identity Card system for expatriates starting in 2010 with UAE nationals able to get cards now. Personally I am in favour of Identity cards – it clarifies for all, age limits of purchase of things such as alcohol, cigarettes and I would hope it will reduce Identity fraud for example in credit card usage.

I think I might need a bigger wallet soon to store them all and some form of leash for it, as losing it would end up taking days of visiting various establishments to get replacements.


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