These days, prospective members of Abu Dhabi's oldest private club simply have to fill out a form, sit back and wait for the answer.
But for many years of The Club's existence, the process was very different.
"Once you put your application for membership in, you would be invited to a cocktail party and all the committee members would be there," says Hamish Macdonald, the chairman, who went through the process in the late 1980s.
And it was a big thing back then, because there was little else for some expatriates to do in Abu Dhabi.
"You would attend, smartly dressed, of course. And you would be on your best behaviour. The burden was on you as an applicant to seek out the committee members, engage them in conversation of some sort and basically get their approval that you were a suitable person to be a member," he says.
The Club, a non-profit organisation, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. It was set up at the invitation of Sheikh Zayed, the founding President of the UAE, to serve parts of the expatriate community in Abu Dhabi.
While it is often referred to as The British Club, the official name is simply The Club. It took out a loan at its launch, but as far as Mr Macdonald is aware, it has not borrowed any money since, despite spending Dh15 million (US$4m) on improvements and building projects over the past decade.
How? By putting its members first and putting all profit back into the organisation, Mr Macdonald says.
"The changes in the last 10 years or so [have been] tremendous. We probably had four food and beverage [outlets] and now we have 14 - not to make money, as such. It's not that commercial attitude," he says.
Mike McGrath, the general manager, agrees: "There's no need to generate large surpluses. Our focus is on membership satisfaction."
And its members are another reason for The Club's success. Many, such as Mr Macdonald, contribute their time on either the main committee or one of the sub-committees.
"You put that into a commercial situation, or a hotel, and offer those same facilities and those would be run by managers, instructors or whoever, and those charges would come back into the mix," says Mr Macdonald.
Over the years, many other private clubs have opened in the capital. But The Club still has a waiting list, and it remains selective by keeping a balance of singles, couples, families and even nationalities.
Guests are allowed in when hosted by members, but The Club has decided against opening up to the public, even if doing so would make more money.
"Our governing document is a constitution which says quite clearly that we are here to provide the Abu Dhabi residents with a social club. That's what we are doing. Members come first," says Mr McGrath.
But what is surprising is that it knowingly turns away business. Outside catering is a large part of its food and beverage operations, but if there is a request that The Club cater a large function, it will turn down the request unless the entity requesting the service has been referred by a club member.
And committees always consider what impact outside catering would have on service at The Club.
"It can't be at the expense of what the members expect," Mr Macdonald says.