A Checklist of Sorts? AKA, Something ADEC Could Do.

There’s quite a number of ADEC teachers who, like me, have noticed that ADEC does a splendid job with some of the arrangements for new arrivals to the UAE, and not so great with others.

Something that would newcomers help would be a simple checklist provided to teachers. The checklist could look like this:

1.  Residence Visa and Emirates ID applications are part of the process that we, ADEC, take care of for you, right along with the medical checkup.  Check!

However, If you don’t hear from the Emirates ID people after a while, go visit them and make sure everything is going well.  You’ll need a copy of your ID application receipt for number 2 anyway.

2.  UAE driver’s license is something you need to take care of.  Here are the steps:

  • Have your driver’s license translated.  We recommend Infinity Services, but if you go to them, don’t tell them you’re an ADEC employee, or they’ll charge you nearly double what they charge anyone else.
  • Have a copy of the Emirates ID application receipt (which we don’t bother to furnish to you, but you can obtain easily, as noted in step 1).
  • Take your American license and some cash and go to the driver’s licensing center. You’ll need an eye exam there and your license will be issued in 20 minutes after all is said and done.
  • Also, you should try to get this done as soon as you get your residence visa stuck into your passport.

3. Road Rules for Roundabouts.

  • If you enter a roundabout from the right hand lane, plan to exit immediately if there are other cars in the roundabout already.
  • If you enter from the middle, plan on going straight.
  • If you need to turn left, enter from the left lane.
  • Cars in the inside lanes of roundabouts have the right of way.  Don’t mess with them. They will run right the crap into you.

4.  How Utilities Work

  • When we give you your apartment, we give you a utilities letter that says, in Arabic, that you’re responsible for electricity and water expenses.
  • Find out your water and electricity meter numbers and take those, along with this letter, to the Al Ain Distribution Company (or other, if you’re working in Abu Dhabi or Al Gharbia).
  • You will have to pay a 1,000 AED deposit and whatever balance you might have already when you transfer the utilities into your name.
  • Regarding your bills, you can pay online, or at most ATMs, or you can go to AADC.
  • This is also true for gas.  You’re responsible for getting it up and running, and there will be a 1,000 AED deposit.

5.  Spouse Visa Process

  • Your wife (or husband, as the case maybe) will need pretty much the same documents as you.  You’ve probably already brought copies of your important documents: the authenticated marriage certificate is the most important one for the visa process.  We don’t make this very clear, but after you arrive, you need to get your authenticated marriage certificate translated into Arabic.
  • After you get your own residence visa in your passport (about a month), you’ll be able to apply for your wife’s visa.  You’ll need to bring all your wife’s important documents, passport photos, and that translated marriage certificate we just mentioned, to your local ADEC office to have us type the application.  We might tell you that this application form can be downloaded from our website, but don’t believe it.  We will type the application up, and then we’ll print it and give it to you.
  • After you have the application, you have to take it to the immigration authority and submit it.

A simple little list like this would be very helpful.  As is, lots of new arrivals have to figure out what to do by asking around, which usually works, but sometimes it causes an extra measure of frustration.

10 thoughts on “A Checklist of Sorts? AKA, Something ADEC Could Do.

  1. Thanks for posting this – I’m getting myself sorted to come over this August from the UK. This is great as it allows me to plan for what I will need when I do come over. Congratulations on the new one. I hope your getting some rest.


  2. Can you speak at all to the moving process with a significant other- not married? My boyfriend and I are moving to Abu Dhabi as I have accepted a teaching job. We aren’t ready to get married at this point. Any tips or info would be great!!!


    • We do know that people manage to get away with it, but most people we know chose to get married before coming. One thing to consider is that your boyfriend would not get the benefits a family member would and unless he finds a job and gets a work visa, he’ll have to come as a tourist and leave the country every 30 days (most people go to Oman) to renew the visa. And there’s always the chance of getting in trouble with the authorities.


  3. Hello! I have actually been researching the ADEC for a class I am taking and I’ve found your posts to be extremely informative! It has given me a more well-rounded view of life as a whole in the UAE. Could I possibly ask you a few questions for an assignment? I would love to add a personal touch to my paper


      • YES! You’re awesome!
        I am mostly interested in your teaching experience. I’ve been reading about the educational reform. I was curious about any changes in curriculum and technology use that you may have seen…


      • Well, for some reason we’ve not answered this–many apologies. Guess relocating and dealing with two little ones can be distracting. Go figure. Anyway, changes in curriculum: this changes seemingly all the time. The initial curriculum for secondary English was based (verbatim, actually) off the New South Wales standards. It’s evolved a bit since. Technology use–we were expected to use the interactive white board as much as possible, and I had students make videos and present them to class quite frequently.


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