Thursday, April 21, 2005


Going to have a little adventure tomorrow. Booze run to Umm Al Quwain. The reason being that my annual booze licence expired at the end of last month, and I was a bit dilatory in getting it renewed.

I've always used the services of Media City to handle this procedure, but six months ago MMI (one of the 2 booze retailers in Dubai) started offering their own service for getting licences. So I ask DMC staff about renewing the licence and they say 'use MMI, they can issue it straight away'.

I go to MMI, get the application form and assemble the awesome array of documents required. It is a longer list than is required for absolutely anything else - application form completed signed and stamped by sponsor, 2 photos, copy of lease (accommodation), passport and visa copy, (plus sight of original), copy of company trade licence or no-objection letter from employer, copy of official labour contract (I don't have one, I own the company), salary certificate. And Dhs150 fee.

So, I carefully assembled all of the above, took it to MMI, and was somewhat pissed off that they wanted proof of salary. The problem here being that I own the company and do not actually pay myself a 'salary' - I will draw money when I need it and it's available. And the only person who could verify that is me.

I knew from past experience that Media City would not issue a salary certificate, on the quite reasonable grounds that it is none of their business. But I asked them anyway, and they said 'ok, how much shall we say?'. Marvlious.

Got the letter a couple of days later (in Arabic) and took it to MMI. 'Many thanks, we'll call you when it's done'. 'Hold on a minute, I was told you would issue it immediately!', I say. 'No no no, we take it to the Police and they do it. Takes 2-3 weeks'.

Bloody hell. It's quite a nice drive to Umm Al Quwain.