x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Can we bring our best friend to the UAE?

Have a problem? Been treated unfairly? Our consumer advocate is on the case for you.

I have been living in Muscat for a few years but I will soon be transferred to my company's Dubai office. We have a family dog and I would like to know how to bring her into the UAE. Can I simply drive her across the border or are there expensive complications to be dealt with? Your help is very much appreciated. MD Muscat Your dog should have an up-to-date "passport" proving that she has had all the relevant vaccinations, including against rabies. You then need to contact the Animal Wealth Department at the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, as they approve the import and export of live animals and issue the relevant permits. You need to apply for an import permit, for which you need to supply an immunity certificate and verification of the pet's identity, which only an authorised vet can provide. You must also include your passport with UAE residency visa (or confirmation of your application). The fee is Dh200 per animal.

We need to set up an electronic transfer from our account with Standard Chartered in Dubai to our UK account (Halifax in Warrington). We have tried to do this on the Standard Chartered website, but they only have a random handful of Halifax branches in their drop-down menu and this does not include Warrington. We have been in to the branch four times, and made numerous (around 15) phone calls to try to get the code for Warrington included in their drop-down list. We have even provided them with the Swift code and other necessary information. They have e-mailed us twice to say they have done this, but there has been no change to the options on the website. At least two people suggested that we send it to one of the other branches and it will "find its way" to our branch, but this is not right and I don't want to risk this. Can you please get Standard Chartered to listen to us? ER Dubai

This matter was referred to Standard Chartered, which investigated and replied: "Mr & Mrs R have been informed that their sort code/ transfer number have now been uploaded on the system and money can be transferred. We apologise for any inconvenience caused." ER has confirmed that the problem has been resolved and they were able to make a successful online transfer. Do you know where my visitors can cash their travellers' cheques? We have tried a bank, two hotels and two money exchange places but have not had any success. Somewhere in the newer part of town, near Emirates Hills, would be best. FHDubai

Most of the major branches of the main UAE banks will allow travellers' cheques to be cashed, but this is not a common transaction here, so you may need the cashier to refer the matter to a more senior member of staff. If your bank turns you down, I suggest you try a branch of UAE Exchange. You can find the branch locations on their website, www.uaeexchange.com. I believe the nearest ones to you are in Al Barsha, near the Lulu hypermarket, or in Media City.

I need to get a power of attorney legally notarised, but have no idea where to go in Dubai. Can you share the details, costs and procedures? DY Dubai It is relatively straightforward to get documents notarised. You will need to visit the offices of the Dubai Courts Notary Public. This used to be situated in the main Dubai Courts complex, but there are now two offices located in Al Qusais (04 263 9000) and in Al Barsha (04 311 1300).

You will need to present the document to be notarised, as well as a copy of that document and your passport as proof of identity. If the documents to be attested are not written in Arabic, they must be translated, although there will be facilities for this onsite at a usual cost of no more than Dh150. Go to the office of the Notary Public and take a ticket from the automated system. One person then reads and checks all the paperwork and another will authorise it. One copy is returned to you and another held in the court archives as a public record. There is an identification fee of Dh10 and a legal fee of Dh100.

The standard opening hours are 7.30am to 1.00pm and 4.00pm to 8.00pm Saturday to Wednesday. In most cases, the whole procedure should take no more than 90 minutes. I moved to the UAE three years ago and have continued to make payments to a UK pension plan. I have read a few articles about pensions and am now totally confused as to whether I am actually allowed to do this. Are you able to clarify if I have been doing the right thing, or if not what I should do? JK Abu Dhabi

JK has been making contributions to a Stakeholder pension scheme that was set up a few years before he became a UK non-resident for tax purposes, so he is eligible to continue with the payments. Even though he has no UK income, he may continue to make payments to the scheme up to a maximum of £3,600 (Dh19,100) per annum gross. This is the payable net of a basic rate on these payments, at a rate of 20 per cent, so contributions of £3,600 would cost him just £2,800. Although it is technically possible for individuals to make payments above this level that do not attract tax relief, pension providers do not have to accept these. Also, these payments may be continued only for five tax years after becoming a non-resident.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at keren@holbornassets.com Letters can also be sent to onyourside@thenational.ae