Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mail Delivery in Abu Dhabi

Since Abu Dhabi does not have street addresses, then obviously they do not deliver mail at your residence. If you want to receive mail here, you must register for a post office box at the main post office or apply for one in the district where you live. Most districts have small P. O. kiosks with about 100 to 200 boxes located somewhere near a center of activity, such as the local market.

Now to confuse things even more, your house has a number and name, but it is not used for mail delivery---only helping to determine location---which might be a bit difficult since only the main streets in the city have a number/name (many of them have a number and two names :) ) Therefore, I can tell someone I live at #3 Otaiba---this means I am the third villa in the Otaiba villas. Now, the street in front of my house does not have a name. I am lucky that 23 street, which is a main thoroughfare, runs right next to the other side of my house. What's even funnier is that the street in front of my house is actually 24th street or also known as Karamah Street, although a sign does not indicate it. Karamah Street runs all the way through the city but is broken up at various points due to those "medians" again so the street directly in front of my house does not have signage to indicate it is Karamah Street.

I have attached an ad that recently ran in the newspaper advertising mail boxes as "bundled services"---kind of like the bundles of cable, internet, and telephone that you find in the US. For one annual price, you can be a bronze ezimail member, or a silver, or a gold depending on how much you want to pay and your needs. As a bronze ezimail customer, for instance, you have an annual rental of a mail box, plus 1 free mail bag, plus 1 x a week mail pickup and delivery, 4 free domestic courier coupons, and 50% discount on domestic unaddressed mail up to 20K units. Now, I don't know about you but I am wondering how "unaddressed" mail will ever go anywhere. Beats me. Oh, and if you want mail picked up and delivered 6 x a week you must be a gold member and pay 12,000 dirhams a year which is 3,264 USD which amounts of $62.76 a week----FOR MAIL DELIVERY AND PICKUP!

Okay, 44 cents per stamp does not sound too bad. And we thought USPS was highway robbery. My goodness. Now, Emirates Post advertises their new bundling concept as innovative! A new service that offers a host of value-added services. They claim to "deliver absolute peace of mind." I don't know about you but this would DRIVE ME CRAZY! I am sure they are trying to appeal to businesses who have larger delivery needs but still----this is crazy. Oh and by the way, they are going techy----they will send you a free SMS to notify you of your mail service.

Sounds like the UAE skipped the Pony Express and the Stagecoach.

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