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The UAE has two main telecommunications companies: Etisalat and Du. Both offer a wide variety of home solutions.  Some buildings only work with one provider, however, so check with your agent or building maintenance team first.

Etisalat (etisalat.ae)

Go: To any one of the six main customer service centres.

Take Emirates ID or passport (original and copy) and valid residency contract/title deed.

Remember: You can only apply for services once you have a UAE residency visa and you need to know your full building address for the application.

Next steps: Wait four to seven days for the application to be processed.  A home visit will then be scheduled with a technician.

Du (du.ae)

Go: Send an email directly to [email protected] specifying the package you want, your contact telephone number, full address and attach copies of your Emirates ID (front and back), valid tenancy contract/title deed and Ejari.

Remember: You can only apply for services once you have a UAE residency visa.

Next steps: Wait 24 hours for the application to be processed and a technician home visit will be scheduled within seven days.

Phone home

A home landline is probably your best bet for affordable international calls and both Etisalat and Du offer a variety of packages for fixed line and mobile. Etisalat’s Unlimited International Calling plan works with all current home phone services with a monthly fixed rate and unrestricted call access (fair usage policy applies) to a single country of choice (mobile or landline numbers) with zero contractual obligation. Du’s International Savings Offer for prepaid mobile customers gives you pay-by-the-second access to over 100 countries, with no hidden fees or additional charges. Virgin Mobile (part of the du family) is another option (c).

Screen time

Skype and FaceTime are not currently available in the UAE but screen time is possible with VoIP apps, including BOTIM and C’Me, which are available through Etisalat and Du for a monthly fee.

Post box

The UAE doesn’t have a regular postal delivery service and instead uses PO Boxes. Register online for a private PO Box through Emirates Post (epg.gov.ae) and select from a number of options, including mail collection from your own box in the nearest post office,

through to twice-weekly mail delivery to your home (villas in selected areas only). Or, have your post sent to your work PO Box. Suitable for letters and small package Dhs250–1,250 annual fees.

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