Essential documents

Many how-tos in this section require you to have some if not all of the essential documents – fully explained below.

​Passport
You’ll have to show your passport when carrying out many of the procedures listed throughout this book. You’re also likely to have to provide photocopies of the pages showing your photo and residence visa, so come prepared. When entering the country and applying for a residence visa, you’ll need a minimum of six months validity on your passport, so be sure sure to keep an eye on the expiration date.

​Resident ID Card (Emirates ID)
After a stop-start couple of years, the Resident Identity Card (formerly Emirates ID) is now a reality – and a necessity. Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of birth and fingerprints, and is now an official source of identification in the UAE. The card will eventually replace all other cards, such as health cards and labour cards. If you are already a resident, be sure to bring this with you everywhere. If you are new, you must register for one in order to complete your residence visa application.

​Photos
For just about every licence and application, you’ll need lots of colour passport-sized photos with white backgrounds. Many photo shops around Dubai will take your picture and process the prints. 
 
No Objection Certificate (NOC)
For many procedures you will require a letter from your sponsor or employer, stating that they have no objection to you renting a home, applying for a licence, buying a car, and so on. The NOC, on company headed paper, should state your name, position and passport number, and should then be signed and stamped with the company stamp.

 
English vs Arabic 
Always keep in mind that any document written in Arabic is the legally binding one; the English version isn’t. Therefore many institutions require that application forms are completed in Arabic. If you’re worried you can employ the services of a legal translator.
 
 
Salary Certificate
To apply for certain services you will need to present proof of your earnings. As with a no objection certificate, a salary certificate should be on company headed paper, and must be signed and stamped to make it ‘official.’
 
Copies
In addition to your passport, you may also be asked for photocopies of various other documents, cards, licences and certificates. As a security measure it’s worth keeping copies of all your essential documents in a safe place anyway, should you be unfortunate enough to lose the original.

 
Typing centres 
Many of the processes described in this section involve going to a typing centre. These are found all over the city, and are within or close to many of the government departments that require the use of one. Often the required application forms need to be collected from a typing centre, and the relevant department won’t accept a form that hasn’t been filled out by one. You will need to take along all the relevant documents and pay a fee.

Different centres are often authorised to do different processes, and it’s not clear cut finding out which one does what. You can usually find out by contacting the department you need to deal with (and sometimes on their website). Some processes enable you to bypass the applicable government department – the entire process can be undertaken at the typing centre.
 
 
Additional Documents 
Depending on the procedure, you may sometimes need additional documents such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, driving licence (or international driving licence), education certificates, school records, professional certificates, divorce papers, or power of attorney. For more information see the relevant how-to.

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