Local arabic news paper reported today the change in visa cancellation procedure for expatriates. Infact the RTA & Traffic police are now interconnected with the Ministry of Interior Department of Immigrations. Any visa cancellation is subject to clearance from the RTA & Traffic police. Fines penalties, motor vehicle related pending issues will stay RED flagged unless cleared by the owner / licence holder.
Similarly UAE Govt will shortly be linking utility services & civil defence with the Immigration. Expats will not be able to cancel their visas without clearance of the respective departments
Ministry of Finance Central bank is already linked to UAE immigration dept to keep check on defaulters
a place aiming for 2020 expo is hub of all misfortunes in terms of humanity and human rights
Living in Dubai is not wonderful and glamorous, as many would have you believe. Forget about what you’ve read, seen, and heard; those shiny buildings and man made islands are all just smoke and mirrors. There are so many things wrong with this place that I have decided to compile a list, a must read if you are considering a potential move to Dubai.
Basically for being tax heaven, all ‘dark money’ from international Mafias is dumped in dubai real estate. No economy based on ‘General Trading’ with Fees applicable once a year does not thrive as portrayed in dubai. Neighboring KSA is biggest critic of happenings in Dubai
1. There is no standard address system making mail-to-the door delivery impossible. In fact, it makes anything nearly impossible. The taxi driver, here for only two days, and having learned English from old Beatles albums has no clue where your house is. He won’t tell you that of course, he’ll just keep calling and saying, “Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah.” When you purchase something that requires delivery they do not have an address line, but a box where you are expected to draw a map. Not able to draw a map? Explain like this: I live on the street after the airport road, but before the roundabout. Go past the mosque and make a U-turn.
2. The government blocks all web sites that it deems “offensive” to the “religious, moral, and cultural values” of the UAE. That’s hard to swallow for a freedom loving American, but I get it. I do not understand, however, why all VOIP access and related web sites are blocked. I guess the government also takes offense to people inexpensively contacting their families back home. You’re welcome to call using the analog service provided by the government-owned telephone monopoly, but it will cost you a whole lot more. So much so, in fact, your frequency of calls will be greatly diminished if you can afford them at all. The government says VOIP is blocked for security reasons, yet even the residents of communist China and North Korea have access to these inexpensive calls.
3. It is really hot outside. Not Florida in July hot; Hot as if you were locked in a car in Florida in July with sufficient humidity to make it feel as though you are drowning. Hot as in 120 degrees with nearly 100% humidity. Do not look to the wind for relief. This is the equivalent of pointing a hairdryer on full blast directly at your face. Pour fine moon dust-like sand over your head as you do this and you get the picture.
4. There are too few trees, plants, and grass – or living things aside from us crazy humans, for that matter. Ever see a bird pant? I have. In my opinion, human beings were not meant to live in such a place. If we were, there would be sufficient water and shade. The only greenery around are the roadside gardens planted by the government, who waters the hell out of them in the middle of the day. Thanks a lot! Didn’t you say we should cut down on our water consumption because you are unable to keep up with the demand? I have an idea: let’s all move someplace where it’s not 120 degrees outside.
5. This country prides itself so much on its glitz and glamour that it put a picture of its 7-star hotel on the license plate. Yet, the public toilets in the king-of-bling Gold Souk district are holes in the ground with no toilet paper or soap. Hoses to rinse your nether regions, however, are provided. This results in a mass of water on the floor that you must stand in to pee. Try squatting without touching anything and keeping your pants from touching anything either. Oh yeah. It’s 120 degrees in there too.
6. This country encourages businesses to hire people from other poor countries to come here and work. They have them sign contracts that are a decade long and then take their passports. Even though taking passports is supposedly illegal, the government knows it happens and does nothing to enforce the law. These poor people are promised a certain pay, but the companies neglect to tell them they will be deducting their cost of living from their paychecks, leaving them virtually penniless – that is, if they choose to pay them. Companies hold back paychecks for months at a time. When the workers strike as a result, they are jailed. Protesting is illegal, you see (apparently this law IS enforced).
These people will never make enough to buy a ticket home and even if they do, they do not have their passports. They live crammed in portables with tons of others, in highly unsanitary conditions. The kicker: they are building hotels that cost more to stay in for one night than they will make in an entire year. Things are so bad that a number of laborers are willing to throw themselves in front of cars because their death would bring their family affluence in the form of diya, blood money paid to the victim’s family as mandated by the government.
7. Things are not cheaper here. I’m sick of people saying that. I read the letters to the editor page of the paper and people say to those who complain about the cost of living rising here, “Well, it’s cheaper than your home country or you wouldn’t be here.” The only thing cheaper here is labor. Yes, you can have a maid – but a bag of washed lettuce will cost you almost $10.
8. There are traffic cameras everywhere. I consider this cheating. Where are the damn cops? I drove around this city for weeks before I ever even saw a cop. Trust me, they need traffic cops here. People drive like idiots. It’s perfectly okay to turn left from the far right lane, but speeding even just a couple of kilometers over will get you fined. These cameras are placed strategically as you come down hills, or just as the speed limit changes. Before you know it…BAM! Fined. Forget to pay the bill and your car will be impounded..
9. The clothing some of these women wear makes no sense to me. I understand that as part of your religion you are required to dress in a particular way, but a black robe over your jeans and turtleneck and cover your head when it is 120 degrees outside? In the gym some women wear five layers of clothing…sweatpants and t-shits over sweaters with headscarves. Yet the men’s clothing makes absolute sense: white, airy, and nothing underneath but their skivvies.
10. People stare at you. I am sick of being stared at. I’m stared at by men who have never seen a fair-skinned blue-eyed woman before, or who have and think we are all prostitutes so it’s okay to stare. They stare at me when I am fully covered or with my husband, and even follow me around. It’s beyond creepy and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. The staring is not limited to men, either. I’m stared at angrily by female prostitutes who think I am running in on their territory by having a few drinks with my husband at the bar.
11. Prostitutes? Oh hell yes, there are prostitutes. Tons of them. So, let me get this straight, I can’t look at a naked picture of a person on the Internet in the privacy of my home, but it is okay to go out in public and buy a few for the night?. Any nationality any age any color. In short selected areas become brothel streets across Dubai. soliciting is done at metro stations, using bluetooth pairing or bbm pins passed over scrap papers.
12. Alcohol can only be sold in hotels and a handful of private clubs. A person must own a liquor license to consume in the privacy of their own home. To obtain a liquor license you must get signed approval from your boss, prove a certain level of salary that determines how much you are allowed to buy, and then submit several mug shots (aka passport photos) for approval. Pay the fee and the additional 30% tax on every purchase and you may drink at home. Then again, you can just pick up a few bottles in the airport duty free on your way in to the country, but two is the max. Why not just drive out to Ajman where it’s a free-for-all and load up the SUV? It’s easy enough, but crossing the Emirates with alcohol is illegal – particularly in the dry emirate of Sharjah, which just happens to lie between Dubai and Ajman. Go figure.
13. Not only do you have to get your boss’s approval to obtain a liquor license, but you must also get the company’s approval to rent property, have a telephone, or get satellite TV.
14. Back to the craziness on the roads: If I see one more kid standing up and waving to me out the back window while flying down the road at 160 kph…whatever happened to seatbelts?
15. When is the weekend again? Let me get this straight: the weekend used to be Thursday and Friday, but no one took off all of Thursday, just a half day really. Now the government says Friday and Saturday are the weekend, but some people only take off Friday, others still take a half day on Thursday, but some might just take a half day on Saturday instead. Anyway you slice it, Sundays are workdays and little business can be accomplished Thursday through Saturday.
16. There are few satellite television operators: OSN network under ownership of regions Richest man Mr. Walid bin Talal is seriously compromised. the content is dubbed and filtered. News channels seldom show the ground reality of human rights violation across GCC. The movie channels play movies that are old and outdated. Many of them went straight to video back in the States. Every sitcom that failed in the US has been purchased and is played here. Old episodes of Knight Rider are advertised like it is the coolest thing since sliced bread. The TV commercials are repeated so often that I am determined NOT to buy anything I see advertised on television here just for thee principle of it. When I say repeated often, I mean every commercial break – sometimes more than once.
17. The roads are horribly designed. Driving ten minutes out of the way to make a U-turn is not uncommon. People are not able to give directions most of the time (remember reason #1), and the maps are little help because most have few road names on them, if any. Where is interchange four? You just have to hope you got on the freeway in the right place and start counting because they are not numbered. Miss it and you’ll likely end up on the other side of town before you are able to turn around and go back.
18. Taxi drivers are over worked and smelly. Taxi drivers work very hard here to earn a living because travel by taxi is still relatively inexpensive, even though the cost of living is not (see reason #7). Because of this you may have a driver who has had little sleep or the opportunity to shower for several days. Many of these drivers have just as much difficulty finding their way around as you do, but add to this a third-world country driving style and extreme exhaustion and, well, remember to buckle up for safety.
19. Speeding is an Emirati sport and Emirates Road is just an extension of the Dubai Autodrome. I know I keep mentioning the roads, but really, much of this city’s issues are encompassed by the erratic and irrational behavior displayed on its streets. Visions of flashing lights on even flashier, limo-tinted SUVs haunt me as I merge on to the highway. Local nationals are somehow able to get the sun-protecting dark window tint denied to us expats and use it to hide their faces as they tailgate you incessantly at unbelievably high speeds, their lights flickering on and off and horn blaring repeatedly. It doesn’t matter that you can’t get over, or if doing so would be particularly dangerous, they will run you off the road to get in front of you. Don’t even think about giving someone the finger; the offense could land you in jail. Tailgating is, unbelievably, legal.
20. Dubai is far from environmentally friendly. Ever wonder how much damage those manmade islands are doing to the delicate ocean ecosystem? Coral reefs, sea grasses, and oyster beds that were once part of protected marine lands lie choked under a barrage of dredged up sea sand. Consider the waste that occurs from erecting buildings on top of these sand monsters and from the people that occupy them coupled with the lack of an effective recycling program and you have an environmental disaster on your hands. Add to this more gas guzzling SUVs than fuel-efficient cars on the road and the need for 24-hour powerful air-conditioning and its evident that the environment is not high on the priority list of the UAE.
So while I’m sure there are benefits to living in Dubai, tax breaks, multi-cultural environments, and beautiful buildings aside, reconsider your plans to move here if any of the above mentioned reasons strikes a chord within you. Dubai is a city caught in an identity crisis. Struggling somewhere between its desire to be a playground for the rich and its adherence to traditional Islamic roots, rests a city that lacks sufficient infrastructure to support its delusions of grandeur. Visit if you must, but leave quickly before you are sucked into its calamitous void.
The head of an Abu Dhabi real estate firm backed by the Mubadala Group has predicted Dubai’s property sector will hit another slump in 18 to 24 months, saying the change was inevitable in an emerging market.
The UAE is considering to impose a tax on the money that expatriates transfer to their home countries every year, government and banking sources said on last Friday.
Expat employees in the UAE transferred a net total of AED45.1 billion out of the country last year, up from AED41.2 billion in 2011, according to central bank data.
while in an opinion poll conducted by independent sources most expats consider it begining of TAXation culture in UAE.
Some locals consder it is as haram. “you will be mostly cutting up the hard earned money of the laborers and workers to fill up your filthy pockets. Those poor people sweat and bleed to earn and you want a free share? limit your greed? If UAE continues implementing these laws to earn easy money. Destruction awaits UAE” says Mohammed (a very common name in Muslim world)
another expat shares his opinion as:
Already the cost of living & spending has risen up a lot without any imposed incremental salary for expats. It is worth to mention that “impose tax on remittances” will impact on further forced spending at this stage. So it is not recommended at all to go for this proposal.
another expat from Indian subcontinent shares as:
It will encourage ‘Hundi’ transfers ( hundi is subcontinent terms for undeclared money transfers which works at light speed give cash in UAE, take cash in your country in next minute ) no questions asked.
The dress code for women in Islam & the Gulf region GCC is quiet modest & these brave women are comfortable and enjoying the life
The Federal government offices in UAE will be closed from Wednesday, August 7, Ramadan 29 and will reopen on the fourth day of the month of Shawal (possibly on Aug 11th) in celebration of Eid Al Fitr.
Shawal 4 falls on Sunday, August 11, if Eid begins on Thursday, August 8.
Work in the government will resume on Monday, August 12, if the start of the new lunar month of Shawal is not confirmed by Ramadan 29 and subsequently Ramadan completes 30 days.
The announcement was made by the Federal Authority of Human Resources on Tuesday July 30 2012
Ramadan etiquette for expats across UAE & GCC
With the right attitude, non-Muslim expatriates and visitors can have a great time during Ramadan in the UAE & GCC It’s a wonderful moment to immerse in local culture, as local and Muslim expatriate residents observe the month-long fast from dawn till sunset.
Shocking: Nearly 50% of Indian graduates not fit to be hired, says a new report. The study, National Employability Report-Graduates 2013, conducted by Aspiring Minds, a company involved in assessing various aspects of education, training and employment, reveals that nearly half of Indian graduates are not fit to be hired.
The country boasts of 5 million graduates every year but if nearly 50 per cent of them are unfit to enter the job market, it is quite a big problem that needs to be addressed.
Etihad Rail is evaluating bids to connect key cities and industrial hubs in the country and link them to the Saudi border as part of the most important phase of the UAE’s multibillion dollar railway project.
With the first phase of the project under way, the government-owned Etihad Rail has turned its attention to the key 628km of rail lines that will connect Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain, and run to Ghweifat on the border.
The first phase of the project connects the Shah oil and gas field with the port of Ruwais. The railway will transport sulphur from the Shah sour gas project that will begin operating next year. Etihad Rail expects the 264km of rail to be operational before the year is out.
The second phase will extend the section that is running along the coast on both sides, linking the main cities to the border with Saudi Arabia.
Phase two is divided into several packages for the various stretches of rail, as well as the supporting infrastructure. “Tenders for the second phase have been submitted,” said Richard Barrett, chief executive for the Middle East at Atkins, the engineering firm responsible for the concept design for the project.
Etihad Rail’s third phase will run to the Omani border, as well as connecting the oil and gas logistics hub of Fujairah with the rest of the country.
Once all three stages have been completed by 2018, in a construction process estimated to cost Dh40 billion, the UAE will be covered by about 1,200km of track, and the network is expected to boost the economy by facilitating the movement of goods and people.
The UAE’s industrial hubs of Jebel Ali, Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Taweelah and Fujairah port outside the Strait of Hormuz will all be connected by Etihad Rail, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi and the federal government. Through its connection to the rest of the GCC, the UAE will be able to build up its position as a regional trade and logistics hub.
So far, Saudi Arabia is the only GCC state with a rail network. More than 1,300km of track connects Riyadh with the kingdom’s main oil-producing region on the Gulf coast and provides transportation for industry and the military.
Saudi Arabia’s Rail Master Plan envisages the construction of a further 5,500km of track by 2025 and includes a line to connect the UAE with Qatar and Kuwait, as well as one that would link up the Gulf and the Red Sea.