Friday, April 1, 2016

Mein Doob Aye Eeee

Mein Doob Aye Eeee
(I drowned)

Somewhere over the Rainbow Skies are Blue, Somewhere over the blue there is or was a tax free haven known as Dubai – Somewhere over the illusion of fancy buildings and shiny illusions the subcontinent got involved and every Indian and Pakistani had a great life.  Some how these people became bi-polar and in their native countries they led simple lives drove humble vehicles and in this oasis they splurged money on Bugatti’s, lambo,s and the finest that even the British Nobility could not afford. Ove the years many bubbles popped but our desi brethren seemed to always land feet up – if a cat has nine lives then our fellow sub-continent men with a tasbih in one hand and a grey goose in the other proved that they had more luck because they sacrificed many a grey goose to get containers full of golden eggs whilst living an alter ego life in the Emirates.

What our brothers have done over the past 3 decades is something that I had to personally bear over the past few days.  The bitter reality is that I was trying to set up a company in Dubai for one of my clients in the UK and found out a few harsh realities why one should not move or consider moving here.  (these are a few realities I have found out over the past few days from government offices but verify them all on your own through personal contacts as the information is not publicly available – these are the realities one faces when they actually try to set something up) - if you cannot see these realities now they will slowly but surely be implemented very soon! 

AED 70,000/- per person is a security license one has to pay for spouse and then for each child if you want your family to be here – this will be implemented very soon – within a few months – companies that have a history of less than 7 years with bank statements will be required to comply – only the family of the investor who has a paid up capital of AED 2.5 million on paper will get free visas for the family - the rest of the employees need to comply with the restrictions
AED 35 and might go up is a new Dubai Airport Tax (per assenger) 
AED 20 and maybe will go up is a new Dubai hotel luxury tax which will go up (per room per guest) 
Also hotels are now taking security deposits upon check in anywhere from one nights rent to a weeks (depending upon the season and property and company) 
School Fees – you are required to submit One years school fees as a deposit to the government should you wish to enroll your child here
Insurance & house rents – you are now required to pay for an entire year in advance and then also submit a whole years advance as security deposit – (so in reality you pay for 2 years in a lump sum where as one year will be security and one year will be advance payments)
Taxis – sit in one from the airport and come to deira dubai (5 minutes away) and you will ay an estimated (AED 45 – 65) (depending upon the location) – a ride last night from Deira to Tecom cost me AED 112 – not only have the rates gone up insanely – where if you take a cab from the airport no longer is the minimum fare AED 12 rather it is not AED 35 – also the salik taxes have increased on the roads so that is why the ride from Deira has increased so much
Auto leases – no longer can you buy a Mercedes or a Ferrari for minimum down payment – your lease is now only approved if your company guarantees it with paid up capital.  They want to remove the element of bad debts and people leaving cars in the airport parking lots.  By the way you also pay for the road taxes and insurance in a lump sum on advance for the entire duration of your lease???? – if you buy the car on cash you need to pay the road taxes in advance for a minimum of three years.
From 2018 Dubai will no longer be a tax free haven with VAT being implemented here and everyone will be required to show their income and wealth tax – the reason is because the emirates is now focusing on becoming better than London and is already more expensive than London
There will also be restrictions on visas and those will eventually become stricter with limitations on what we in the subcontinent have abused and perceived as a luxury.

I went to atleast six different people from six different walks of life and cultures for this and was very lucky that an old friend of mine who is based here was the most honest of the lot (if he reads this he will know who he is) - he gave me a reality fo the here and the now 

So in a nutshell the Emirati’s who supposedly have never worked in their lives and lived off everyone’s illusion to be a millionaire have now wizened up.  No wait they did something better - they educated their youth very well who now impliment cost effective and sensible policies!  I had a detailed discussion with a few Emirati’s with whom I was in college and even discussed the reality of what my British Clients wished to do.  Now these local's who are very old friends and we have known each other for a long time subtly disclosed that the country wants to change its image and Dubai the most popular Emirate is now moving toward being taken more seriously as a business hub where the global perception of the “bubble effect” is being eradicated!  They would like to show that Dubai is stable as an economy and a country and frankly are all tired of everyone using Dubai as a financial post office.

One of my friends also told me that Doha is coming up as a hub and will compete very strongly with Dubai especially with its new Airport and Q-Air being now considered to be 7 star as an airline so that is another reality they need to face. 

If you would like a simple comparison of what I mean – this is your reality below
I was looking to buy 4 laptops – Gitex is on – each laptop that I was looking at was for AED 2,600 (retail) in Gitex it was costing AED 1999 – (great huh?) well wait consider this reality by adding on AED 200 for taxis (both ways) or if you are in your own car then fuel Salik and parking) then the ticket to the Gitex which is AED per person – then the various other hidden charges – and it will actually cost you the same if not more than the highest retailer – by the way – Gitex is a fish market for every khepia and it is so packed that in a retail store it will take you on hour and in gitex buying that laptop will  take you at Least – 5 – 7 hours – so yes also add in the cost of overpriced coffee (not starbucks) and a bottle of water at AED 16 for a small bottle – if you need to eat a small sandwich please keep AED 30 (minimum) and then if you need to use the loo please make sure you have that extra Dirham coin so you can tinkle or poop.

In the end as I walk away all I can only do is but respect the Emirati people (who actually are very warm lovely loyal and loving people... and now that the entire new generation is educated very professional intelligent and extremely humble…. But wise and no longer ignorant or silly as our desi brothers considered them to be)

This may seem a bit crude buy I guess I found the end of the rainbow and rather than finding a unicorn and a pot of gold I stumbled upon many Leprechauns being cornered by Minotaurs!  

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