Back in August, a few days after arriving in the UAE, I went through some “in-processing” for my residency. This residency process includes a Resident Visa which is affixed to a page in my passport and an Emirates ID. The Emirates ID is the official legal identification in the UAE. The inprocessing for the Emirates ID included answering a few questions, substantial hand- and fingerprinting and a photograph (no smiling).
By December, I still hadn’t received my ID card. However, neither had most of the teachers I arrived here with, so I wasn’t too worried. When I came back from winter break, I decided to check on the status of my ID. The agent at the Emirates ID Authority told me that the card was currently located at the post office in Abu Dhabi and that I needed to go to the Al Ain post office and request the ID be sent to Al Ain. So, off I went.
At the Al Ain post office, the desk agent took my information and sent a request for my ID to be sent from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain. He said it should take about 10 days, and they would call or text when it arrived.
About 20 days later, I went back to the post office and asked about my ID again. I was told the same information by the same desk agent. This is was Feb. 3.
Yesterday I decided to check on the status of my ID card, thinking that if it wasn’t in Al Ain yet, I’d pick it up in Abu Dhabi next week. The information on-line said that the ID was “in transit-Abu Dhabi-Al Ain PO”. That looked promising to me. So, today after work I headed to the post office again. I checked my mailbox (no mail 😦 ) and then went into the post office. It was 1:30pm and it was packed!!
Here in the UAE you “take a number” for just about everything. (In one visit to the doctor last week, I had to “take a number” three times.) So, I asked the security guard for a number. He said, “Lady no wait. Go counter.” I said, “I’m sorry, can you say that again?” (I just wanted to be sure I heard him right). He said, “No number, no wait for lady”. Wow! I said, “Thank you very much” and went to the counter. But man did I feel guilty! There were at least 30 men waiting for their turn at the counter.
I handed the agent my ID receipt, she said, “okay” and within a few moments I had my ID card. So, nearly seven months after arriving, I am now fully legal in the UAE.
As I was getting in my car, a guy shouted at me. Generally, I ignore men when they shout at me, but he was speaking in English and I thought maybe I might know him. I turned around, nope, I didn’t know him. He asked if I spoke English I said, yes. Then, he proceeded to tell me a long story about driving from Dubai to Al Ain, I was thinking he was going to ask for directions…but, then he said something about petrol. It turns out he was asking for money to buy petrol (gas) for his car. Yeah right, dude. And to top it off, as he drove off I noticed his car. He was driving a Lexus, it wasn’t new, but it was new enough. Jeez.