Dubai seems to exceed even the Bahraini’s for paperwork. Kevin received his residency visa and work permit a few days ago. So now armed with lots of copies of them we could move on to the next stage and acquire the services like utilities and TV & broadband for our apartment.

This morning we had the assistance of the relocation company to see us through a number of the hurdles we need to go through. Ana kindly drove us around and knew where all the offices were as well as exactly what was needed. Two hours later, a whole tree’s worth of paper and over a thousand dirhams the poorer, we have a DEWA account and Kevin has a driving licence. On the way we also picked up forms to apply for an alcohol licence and a Du account.

DEWA is the utility authority for water (supply and drains) and electricity. They required copies of (deep breath); the tenancy contract, the landlords passport, Kevins passport and residency visa and our landlord’s proof of ownership [of the property] document. In addition they required sight of Kevin’s passport, a completed form detailing our PO box and phone numbers as well as the property’s DEWA account number plus a 1000 AED deposit and 110 AED connection fee (a total of around £195).

Once you have your residency visa it is illegal to drive on a foreign driving licence here so it was imperative that Kevin obtained a UEA driving licence as soon as possible. This can be acquired at a municipal office as long as you have the relevant paperwork (another deep breath); a sight test (100AED), a passport photo, copies of both sides of a UK drivers licence (the photo card one), a copy of the residency visa in your passport and a letter from your sponsor ie Kevin’s employer. He handed over another chunk of cash, they took his photo again and created his photocard style driving licence on the spot. I’ll get mine once I have my residency visa and Kevin has written a letter giving me permission to drive. The former is waiting on my passport renewal as it has less than six months on it and the latter is needed as he is my sponsor here! Thankfully UK passport holders don’t have to take a series of lessons and a driving test.

All that’s needed now is a company stamp on the alcohol licence application form then Kevin can pop along to any alcohol store to get his licence as he already has a letter from his employer stating they are a Free Zone company (no idea why but its a requirement). The one item outstanding is a Du account, this is the company that provides cable TV, broadband and landlines to the estate where we are going to live. An application form for a new connection is in our hands but we need to check with our landlord whether they want us to go ahead or whether we should pay them for their existing connection… if we request a new connection they’ll lose their residential phone number(s).

I am very glad that guiding us through all this paperwork we have a relocation company and a PRO (Kevin’s company have two PRO’s whose sole function is to obtain visas and similar paperwork for both the UAE and any country employees visit in the course of their duties).