x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ask Ali: What to do when you're in an accident

Plus advice on where to get henna and a concierge service from Ali Alsaloom.

Dear Ali: I live in Abu Dhabi and some of my female friends and I recently realised that we are not sure what to do in case we are involved in a traffic incident while driving. Should we go to the nearest police station? Or should we stay on the spot? What documents should we present to the police officer? LL, Abu Dhabi

Dear LL: The first thing to remember in the event of an accident is to dial 999. It is the only way things can be handled properly and officially. You will need to tell the dispatcher your name, location and the phone number you are calling from.

If you are involved in an accident in which no one is hurt and both cars are in the way of traffic, I suggest you drive to the nearest location where you can park or pull over to the side to make way for other cars, and then call 999. The police traffic department known as Saaed will come to help.

You should always have your driver's licence and the car registration card on hand. I know women tend to change handbags and sometimes they forget to move important cards from one bag to the other, but please try to remember to carry your driver's licence. It will prove a necessity for the traffic officer who has to complete the accident report on the spot. The penalty for not carrying your licence could result in the confiscation of your car.

Our officers are friendly and understanding, so it helps to keep calm when you are explaining the situation to them. They may even waive some fines if you politely ask them to consider that.

The Saaed officer will write you an accident report, then you will have to contact your car insurance company to start with the process of fixing your car.


Dear Ali: Where can I get henna done for a special occasion? DW, Al Ain

Dear DW: I am glad you want to try using henna. It is one of the time-honoured ways for an Arab woman to beautify herself with natural herbs. Women put on henna when they want to celebrate special occasions such as Eid, weddings or even their husband's return after a long trip.

Henna is available in many women's salons in the city. If you have Emirati colleagues they can advise you on their favourite and trusted salons.

Henna home service is also common as many women prefer to have it applied in the convenience of their house, since they can wait for it dry in their own comfort.

Henna costs more during big celebrations such as Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. I suggest that if you want to wear henna for those days, then go as early possible as the salons tend to get crowded.


Dear Ali: I am busy man and don't have the time to run errands such as taking my car for service check-ups and paying bills. Is there a concierge service in the UAE? They are widely available in Europe and I used to benefit from such services. PQ, Dubai

Dear PQ: I know what it feels like to be so busy that you can't even handle tending to your own errands. Luckily, for people like yourself, there is a concierge company managed by Emiratis who know where to find and get things done for you. The company is called Allinque and they offer a wide range of services from bill payments and car registrations to relocations and party and holiday planning. They are professional and helpful. Find them at www.allinque.com.


Language lesson

Arabic: Sa'ed

English: Assist

The word "sa'ed" in general means "assist", indicating "to help". So if you had to ask someone for help - for instance, asking for directions - you might say, "Law samahat, mumkin etsa'edni... ?" ("Excuse me, can you help me to... ?") To a woman you would say "Law samahat, mumkin etsa'edeni... ?"