Property dispute? Bank hassle? Workplace grief? Here's how to get it fixed and slash through the red tape in Abu Dhabi. Hadeel Al Sayegh reports.
Have a financial problem or dispute? How to keep calm and carry on in Abu Dhabi
Whether we are facing problems with our employer, in dispute with our bank, or dealing with a tricky landlord, all of us occasionally feel we need help but just don't know where to get it.
Mistakes happen. But the delay that can come about from not immediately knowing where to find the support to solve a problem is often the biggest source of any subsequent cost - financial and emotional - that then upsets all our meticulous financial planning. It is hard to know which is more stressful, the lost time running around seeking answers, or the hit to our savings.
Abu Dhabi has been working hard lately to simplify procedures for alleviating these kind of problems. For example, earlier this month, the Department of Economic Development launched a fast-track hub to cut the time it takes to get or renew a business licence. The hub has been established "to reshape the business environment aligned with international standards and comes as part of a strategic plan focused on the development of various economic sectors," said Nasser Ahmed Al Sowaidi, the department's chairman. The emirate is keen to position itself as an attractive business environment.
The new Abu Dhabi Business Centre is just one of a host of initiatives aimed at improving efficiencies and slashing red tape.
When it comes to money, every dirham counts. So with that in mind, a little advice to help you - in the wartime phrase - "keep calm and carry on".
If you have a dispute with your landlord, you can go the Rent Disputes Committee at the Municipality located just off Salam Street nearby Abu Dhabi Mall. It is advisable that you bring your Tawtheeq (Municipality approved) contract to start the proceedings.
* They are contactable via 02-678-8888 and online at www.adm.gov.ae
If you have a problem related to customer service such as if you purchased an item at full price when it was meant to be on sale, or have found out that your favourite restaurant has dramatically increased its prices overnight, you can complain to Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development.
* You can lodge your complaint by phone at 800-8811 or by email at email@example.com. You can also submit your complaint in person by heading to the department's main headquarters located on Salam Street nearby the Municipality building.
If you have experienced a problem with your bank where a solution cannot be reached, contact the Central Bank. Online, visit www.centralbank.ae. On the left column click on "Suggestions & Complaints". Click on the link that takes you to an application form to be filled. Once completed, a reference number will be provided and the regulator will begin its investigations with the concerned bank.
* You can follow up on the complaint by contacting the Consumer Protection Unit via phone at 02-691 5290 or 02-691 5453, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write a complaint letter to the Ministry of Health. Make sure to include your name, contact details, state the issue and the name of the hospital or clinic facility. To deliver your letter head to the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi located on Airport Road, nearby Carrefour and right behind the Toyota dealership.
* For further enquiries, they can be reached at 02- 449- 3333, toll free at 800800, or online at www.haad.ae
A basic one but to save time, you can pay your traffic fines online with a credit card. Visit here. On the toolbar, click on "Public Services" and then click on "Traffic Fines Inquiry" and enter your vehicle details.
Head to the Traffic and Licensing department, just off Muroor Street and Al Saada Street (4th and 19th). You'll have to pay Dh150 to get the body of your car checked. You will be provided with a receipt and told where to queue to have your car checked over. Once that is completed, you will be provided with a new car registration card and a sticker to place on your vehicle's licence plate. Also worth noting, the department has a separate women's section to complete the same procedures.
*Any further queries can be made to 600 5 77777
If you have a dispute with your employer, head to the Mohammed bin Zayed City's Maiyad Mall. On the third floor there is a typing centre where a complaint application must be filled out.
On the same floor, a few steps away, is the Labour Relations department where the application must be submitted. A hearing date will be provided, once contacted by the department, where yourself and the concerned party will be joined by a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can call the body on its toll free number at 800-665.