Saturday, August 16, 2008


paperwork tips: IESE graduates moving to Dubai to work

Since I went though a painful paperwork experience to be able to work in Dubai I thought I would share some of it so that you don't probably have to go though the same thing.

[Rules change very quickly in Dubai so this may not apply any more.] To work in Dubai, as a foreigner you will need a work permit. The company you will be working for will process that for you. However they will need the "attested" original educational certificate from you. The attestation has to be done by the U.A.E. consulate of the country where the certificate was issued. So in the case of IESE graduates who will be attesting their MBA degree certificate rather than their undergrad certificate, this will mean you will have to go to Spain for the attestation process. If you are already in Spain or nearby, it may not be a big issue, but if you are in a far away country from Spain like USA, India, Nepal, Australia, etc, it is painful first to actually have to travel to get a piece of paper attested. So the steps are:

1) Get your original certificate. Too bad if you had it proudly framed on the wall of your house (as it was the case with me).

2) Find a notary in Spain who will make the photocopy of the certificate and attest that the photocopy is the true copy of the original. I think the original requirement is to have the original certificate attested by notary who recognizes the signature of IESE signatories. For this you will actually have to go to Barcelona and ask IESE for the name and address of the notary who can do it for you.

However attesting the photocopy seemed to work for me. In my case, all the notary was saying was the photocopy is the true copy. He was not verifying any signatures in the original. You can already see the stupidity of having to attest your certificate here. The notary I went to was:
Prada, Pizarro, Notarios C.B.
Bravo Murillo, 297 Portal 1 - 1 Derecha
28020 Madrid ( 91 579 4444)

3) Now somebody has to recognize the signature of the notary. The notary will probably mention the name and address of the notary organization he is a member of. You will have to take it there which will verify they have recognized the signature of the notary. The one I went to was Decano del Colegio Notarial
Ruiz de Alarcon, 3
28014 Madrid
Phone: 91 213 00 00
It is located close to Paseo del Prado, the famous street where Museo Prado is located.

They will only give back your documents the same day after 2:30 or the other day. Make sure you mention it is urgent so that you can have it processed the same day, although not before 2:30. This is all to get a stupid signature and stamp. This means you have to wait next day for actually having your process completed because UAE consulate accepts the documents for attesting only until 12.

4) Next, Justice Ministry has to recognize the signature of the Colegio Notarial. So take it to Ministerio de Justicia located in C/ San Bernardo 45 . The entrance is located in Calle De La Manzana. (Phone: 91 390 20 11). Luckily, the Justice Ministry is quick. Once your turn comes in the queue, they will instantly stamp it for you.

5) Next take it to Ministry of External Affairs which has to recognize the signature of Justice Ministry. Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores is located little far away from Justice Ministry. The address is
C/ Serrano Galvance 26, Edificio "Torees Agora". (Phone: 91 379 16 06 /09)
Luckily they are also quick in putting the stamp.

6) Now wait for next day and at 10 ( up to noon) in the morning, take it to the U.A.E. consulate located in c/ Capitan Haya 40. Tell them, its urgent, they will charge you extra for this and at around 2 pm or later, finally you will have the photocopy of your degree attested and ready to be submitted to your company's HR so that they can submit it for work permit.

I think it took more than 2 weeks to get the work permit once the paperwork was submitted by HR.

All the best and let me know if you have any questions.

( I recently found out from my friends that there are companies in U.A.E. that can do the attestation for you. I do not know the names and the fees they charge)


in Dubai now

I have moved again. This time I am in Dubai. Its already been 2 months I am here. I have to admit the timing was not right in terms of weather. Last 2 months including these days have been very hot and humid. Even in the evening, the air is hot. So we spend most of our time indoors where there would be some air conditioning.

I am still working for the same firm in London. Because of the arrangement of the program I am in, unfortunately I have not been able to take advantage of the sweet "no income tax" feature of United Arab Emirates. I still get paid in the UK and hence have to pay tax. However I have been provided a good accommodation. Considering the rent is very high (even higher than what I found in London), its not bad to have this option, I guess.

I am also getting used to changes in the life style here. I used to take the subway(tube) in London to commute to work. Here I am taking a cab to commute. Interestingly, the cab option is less expensive than my tube option in London. The difficult part is getting a taxi in the rush hour. At times I have been lucky to have found a taxi on time. At times, I have waited up to half an hour. I have been told, during the shopping festival in Jan or Feb, waiting for one hour is common.

At work, there is a cafeteria which serves South Asian food and Lebanese food. However the dal or curry seems to be very oily. They also have a salad bar which is not bad. Its a place with good value for money. Many people tend to order food from their favorite restaurants in Wafi mall, which is just 5 minutes away but in the summer heat, it is not always a preferable option to walk there.

Hopefully I will write again soon.

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