Category Archives: United Arab Emirates

Etisalat goes live with voice directory service

After months of in-house tweaking and testing, Etisalat has launched its voice directory service in an effort to reduce response times.

Initially available only to landline customers calling ‘181’, the service will soon be made available to Etisalat’s mobile customers as well.

The service works with the help of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that uses automatic speech recognition to distinguish commands in both Arabic and English, regardless of caller accent or dialect.

As the service is only in its first phase, it can presently only provide listings for five main categories – finance, travel, hotels, restaurants and healthcare. Other categories will be included at a later stage.

Customer service agents at Etisalat, who previously handled directory enquiries, will now provide support for other categories and requests that the system can’t handle.

Dubai offers free public parking until December 11

Dubai offers free public parking until December 11

Staff Report
Last updated: December 01, 2008, 00:46

Dubai/Sharjah: Celebrations have begun in the country ahead of UAE’s 37th National Day on Tuesday.

Public parking in Dubai will be free of charge from tomorrow to December 11 in view of the National Day and Eid Al Adha holidays. However, parking in prohibited areas and parking in areas designated for special needs individuals will attract fines.

Complete Gulf News article

Free-of-charge book lending service in Al Ain

Join the Al Ain free book lending google group:

Gulf News story

Free-of-charge book lending service attracts many readers in Al Ain

By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
Published: November 06, 2008, 23:23

Al Ain: Two expatriate women have pooled their efforts to promote the reading habit, offering hundreds of books to readers through an online booking reading club.

The free-of-charge book lending service has attracted dozens of people in the city with some of them now also willing to share their personal libraries for the community service.

Stephanie Shimko, an American teacher, and Humairah Irfan, a Pakistani IT professional, are even spending money from their own pockets on taxi fares to reach a book dispensing point. “This is our way of returning something we can to the society,” said Shimko and Humairah.

Full Gulf News story

How to prevent ATM fraud – good practices to follow

Received a SMS from my bank this evening, asking me to change my PIN number from the nearest bank ATM….thought it would be useful to post these precautions to take while using a ATM:

From the Gulf News article today:

– Watch out for hidden devices (in the ATM card insertion slot), but do not try to remove them. Contact the bank if something out of the ordinary is observed.

– Do not let people stand close behind you when using the machine, in order to safeguard PIN number

– Shield with your hand while entering PIN numbers

– If the machine retains your card, contact the bank.

– Never enter your PIN at the suggestion of others.

– Do not write down your PIN, memorise it.

If you fail a driving test, you can appeal…

Log your complaint

Learner drivers who fail driving tests, can appeal against the decision by filing a complaint on the RTA’s website, call customer service number 8009090 or go to any Licensing Agency office to file an appeal.

The complaint will be referred to the committee, which investigate and take action.

Full Gulf News story

Home Security Service in Dubai when you’re on vacation

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police’s Deputy Commandant General, inspected Bur Dubai Police Station as part of the annual inspection.

He called on the public to register for the home security service while they spend their holidays outside the country. He pointed out that the home security service is one of the free services offered by Dubai Police to protect homes from thefts and robberies while the owners are away.

The public may register for the service on Dubai Police’s website or send an email on or visit the nearest police station.

Gulf News Story

Time and Steps required for Dubai Work Visa Processing

Posted in the dubai_expats yahoo group by Bilal in response to a query:

After application for new work visa:

1) 2 weeks – required for labour approval from application date

2) After paying the bank guarantee, labour fee and other fees you can get the Visa from DNRD within 2 days after labour approval.

3) After getting work visa from DNRD, go for status change if the person in emirates on visit visa- will not take more than one hour or day.

4) Go for “Medical” (test) after status change and one can get the report in 3 days easily.

5) After getting the “Medical” (test) done, you can go for visa stamping – will require only one day.

6) Along with visa stamping, you apply in post for Labour Card and Labour agreement – will require only one day if the salary is above 4k and if below then u need to wait till 14 working days to get this in post from labour department.

Note: Above listing is only for Dubai work visa processing.

Should you have any further query write to me directly (Bilal).

Actor training seminar in Dubai

Khaleej Times Article

Actor training seminar
By a staff reporter

10 June 2008

DUBAI — Residents of Dubai will have an opportunity to participate in an intensive actor training seminar in Dubai from June 12 to June 14.

Participants of ‘Act Now with Tom Todoroff ’ seminar will receive one-on-one training from acting trainers and consultants.

The three-day workshop is exclusively designed for both beginners and established actors.

The Dubai workshop will run from 3pm to 10pm on Thursday, June 12 and 9am to 10pm on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14 at The Wellington International School, near Dubai Media City.

Limited seats for participants are still available, and are priced at Dh2,932. Observation seats are also available and are priced at Dh1,100.

Useful Stuff Exchange-United Arab Emirates