Happy New Year and all that.
It has been a little over five months since I moved to Abu Dhabi. Should I use the cliche “time flies”. Cliche or otherwise, it sure does. Family was here for the last two weeks in December 2015 and we managed to sort out the residence visa and the Emirates ID card while they were here.
Getting the medicals done was a breeze. Due to paucity of time, I thought of paying for express service that would make me poorer by 500 Dirhams, but would get the results out within 24 hours. However, even with the normal service, I got the results in less than 24 hours.
Process related Emirates ID proved to be a bit of a pain, due to less number of female staff available to take finger prints for women. Wifey had to revisit the centre twice to get past that stage. All is well that ends well and they all got the residence visa on the nick of time, just a day before they were scheduled to go back to India.
After Oil, the next best successful business in UAE appears to be the exchange houses. Thanks to the predominant presence of South Asian community, who typically send their earnings to their home countries – these exchange houses do brisk business all through the day. In the downtown area of Abu Dhabi where I live in, the streets are literally peppered with exchange houses under some banner or other.
UAE Exchange seems to be the market leader here. In either side of the building I live in, UAE Exchange have got branches. Don’t understand the logic of having two branches adjacent to each other. I am sure someone in that organization would have done their maths.
Talking to few of the acquaintances here, they all have their favourites and they back their preferences with some strong logic too. Personally though, I haven’t used these exchange houses, as I work for a bank and it doesn’t make economical sense for me to use one of these blokes. The exchange houses in UAE, the way people prefer one over the other would one day make an interesting case study.
Just heard the news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is travelling to UAE this month and possibly as early as next week. As far as I am aware, the complete itinerary is not out there on the media yet. If there will be a public address like the one in New York and Australia, I would love to go.
There are lot of ifs and buts though. First, I don’t know if he is travelling to Abu Dhabi. Even if he is, not sure if there is going to be a grand reception of sorts. And, would that be on a weekend? Fingers and toes crossed.