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Living in United Arab Emirates





 

ASK_LouiseI have been an expat nearly all my life. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but my early years were spent on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. As a family, we relocated back to the UK for a few years but the call of expat life was never too far away and we once again relocated this time to Hong Kong. I returned to Scotland to finish my education and attend University where I met my husband who had also been an expat child and after a few years of doing the 9 to 5 job in the UK we returned to Hong Kong, moved to the Philippines and then 15 years ago ended up in Dubai.

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ask louiseQuestionIf I have a drivers license from Canada that expires in August 2016, can i get it transferred to a UAE license?
I was a student there when I obtained it but I do not have residency there anymore.

AnswerI’m sorry to say but as you are no longer a citizen of Canada you cannot transfer your license to a U.A.E. one.

You may be eligible to transfer your existing driving license, without having to take a driving test or going to a driving school, if you have a valid driving license from some countries. You have to be a citizen of the country given with current resident status in UAE. This means that former residents from these countries who may be holding permanent driver licenses are not eligible and you will have to follow all the steps to get a new license.

Canadian citizen’s require a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai to verify that the license is genuine, before transferring your license. Read more

ask-louiseQuestionI’d like to learn what is the exact situation for owning a Siberian husky in Dubai.  As  I heard, the dog breed list was updated in 2009 but I couldn’t reach the latest list. Does Husky breed need to live only in villas?

AnswerHuskies are on the restricted list of dogs in Dubai, which means they must be kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when outside of your home. Most apartments will not allow dogs, especially big dogs so they need to be in villas, preferably with gardens for the winter months.
Here is a list from Move One Pet Relocation on which dogs may not be brought into Dubai Read more

ask-louise QuestionI have a gas bbq and have run out  of the propane gas (grey bottle) and no idea where to get a replacement bottle. I’m having a bbq this weekend.  HELP!

AnswerUnfortunately you might have to delay your bbq until Sunday! The only solution for this weekend would be to call your usual gas company and have them change the fitting on your gas bbq so that you can use the orange bottles, however, most bottles are too big to fit inside the bbq. If  you can wait, there are two companies in Dubai who refill gas bottles.  Al Nooryani Gas, whom you can call and they will come to your villa to pick up the bottle but it takes 2 full working days to get it back or Lahej & Sultan where you will have to go to Karma to drop off your bottle and can collect it 2 working days later. Read more

ask-louiseIQuestion am a tenant and this is my first DEWA bill. I was charged for the housing fees and sewerage. Should I pay for them because at the time of booking I was charged 5% as a commission fee, now I am confused!!!

AnswerHousing fees for expat tenants is calculated on 5% of the unit’s annual rent, while expat owners must pay 0.5% of the value of the property as determined by RERA’s (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) rental index. These amounts are divided by 12 months and each month invoiced in installments. DEWA is requiring expats both living in freehold and non-freehold properties to register their accommodation details on the municipality’s portal in order to assist them to calculate the associated housing fee and to enable the invoicing of DEWA’s monthly utility bills.
It is important for expats to clearly understand this process as you could risk paying a higher housing fee according to the RERA index, which may not be equal to the actual rent being paid. In addition, if you have negotiated a lower annual rental amount on a lease renewal it would be beneficial to take your documentation including most recent DEWA bill, copy of tenant’s passport and the new tenancy contract to the DEWA office to negotiate housing fee adjustments. Read more

ask-louiseQuestionI am leaving Dubai in the summer to take my kids back to University and boarding school. If I stay out of Dubai for more than 6 months will my residency visa be automatically cancelled?

Answer

If you stay out of Dubai for more than 6 months and you have not cancelled your visa, it is usually cancelled automatically and you may get a fine as well as you re-enter Dubai. If you were employed, you might also be registered as an absconder, so you may also get a ban. The best place to check is with the Ministry of Labour and the Department of Immigration before you leave.  Read more

ask-louiseQ Where can I get an international driving license from.  I am traveling in July and I only have a UAE license.

A Hi, You can obtain an international driving license from DNATA on Sheikh Zayed Road next to the Marriot Marquis Hotel. Documents required include passport copy,  Visa copy, 2 PP sized photos and your valid UAE license.

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