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Can you see the pattern?

Can you see the pattern?

Emiratis are confused, expats are confused, judges are confused… even the authorities are confused, it seems. Kipp thinks all this confusion must be bad for business.

December 27, 2010 2:29 by

Flicking through the National one morning, Kipp was struck by a pattern in the stories. No, they weren’t all about how great the UAE is, although there are plenty of those; tell you what, we’ll sum them up for you and you can see if you notice the pattern.

“Still don’t have an ID card? Don’t panic, just read on”

Ah yes, more fun and games with the National ID card. In this page three Q&A, the National does its best to clear up some of the confusion currently surrounding the card and card process. Its two reporters, Haneen Dajani and Erin Conroy “went in search of the answers,” apparently. But even the answers leave a lot to be desired, with officials still “unsure what the consequences of missing the deadline will be.”

The paper says that, “Since the scheme was announced, uncertainty over the exact consequences of not holding the card has discouraged people from spending time and money on the application process.”

“Ministry of Labour clarifies job-switch rules”

Ah, the new work regulations. Kipp thought we had cleared them up here, when we said that things were pretty much staying the same for most people, as things always do. But apparently, many workers in the UAE are still confused. “A Ministry of Labour official appeared on two live radio shows yesterday to clear up widespread confusion about new regulations designed to make it easier for expatriates to switch jobs,” says the National.

The Ministry of Labour call centre apparently received hundreds of calls from workers asking if they can leave their employers at any time under the new rules. The answer, in case you’re interested, is no, of course, since they’re still under contract.

[Incidentally, one thing was cleared up for Kipp. Sort of. The term “skilled workers” appears to refer to all those with a degree. At least we think so.]

“Lawyer warns liquor licensing laws ‘apply to all’”

A seasonal reminder that drinking alcohol in the UAE without a liquor licence is illegal – even in a hotel. So everyone doing it is a criminal, including tourists. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is, says Abu Dhabi-based lawyer Khalid Mustafa. The penalty for drinking without the appropriate licence could be as much as five years in jail and an AED 5,000 fine.

According to the National, a Dubai court judge who handles alcohol licensing cases believes regulations are inconsistent. “The licence and the law are confusing,” he said.

Ah, you’ve probably cracked it now: the common theme in these stories is confusion. The alcohol law and its application are apparently confusing (and that’s according to a judge who has to implement it), the new working regulations have baffled hundreds who have been swamping the Ministry of Labour call centre for clarification, and when it comes to the ID card officials are seemingly as unsure of the consequences of missing the deadline as the rest of us.

Kipp loves Dubai and the UAE, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. But if the country and the emirate are serious about becoming world leaders in business, commerce, finance and more, then they need to get a handle on those aspects of life that leave so many of us utterly baffled. All of a sudden we’re reminded of an old Honda TV advert with the tagline “Isn’t it nice when things just… work?”

Yes, that would be nice.


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  1. Raj on December 28, 2010 10:17 am

    There is one more common pattern which repeats itself ad nauseum :
    - shoot your mouth off first, and think of the consequences later.
    - pass a law first, think about it later.
    - engage tongue first, brain later.

  2. Andrew on December 28, 2010 3:57 pm

    Here’s a little song for anyone who’s ever hated.
    In the key of Grr..

    Can hate be good?
    Can hate be great?
    Can hate be good?
    Can hate be great?
    Can hate be something we don’t hate?

    We’d like to know,
    Why it is so,

    Hate something,
    Change Something,
    Hate something,
    Change Something,
    Make something better.

    Oh, isn’t it just bliss,
    When a diesel sounds like this … [...]

    (Sing it like you hate it)
    Hate something,
    Change Something,
    Hate something,
    Change Something,
    Make something better.

  3. ayah on December 29, 2010 5:53 pm

    Hmmmm, let’s legalize drugs and allow local businesses to sell them and profit from the trade, but then make their consumption illegal. Well, that’s a real dandy business model! Someone needs to put iodine in the salt there.


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