In case anyone was wondering, I’m not going to go into any of the gory details of the actual birthing. That’s the kind of fun you’ll just have to experience for yourself (or possibly watch your significant other go through).
I just wanted to relate my experience of the paperwork that was needed to register Wee Scotch’s birth in Dubai, to obtain his US and UK passport and birth certificates, and to obtain his Dubai residence visa.
I’m not sure what went on with the Dubai birth registry as Scotch took care of that part. (I’ll have to ask him about it – if I remember – and blog about it later. It’s just that if I don’t get this post published, I may not come back to finish this for a few months as you’ve seen with my track record.) I just remember something about taking the birth announcement-type paper that’s issued by the hospital to some place in Deira called Al Baraha hospital to get an Arabic birth certificate. Then he takes that Arabic birth certificate to be translated into English (within the same hospital) and then both Arabic and English certificates gets stamped by the Dubai Ministry of Health (possibly still within the same hospital). Costs were minimal at this point, I believe.
(By the way, when I was discharged from American Hospital, the nurse gave us a form with instructions on how to obtain the Dubai Arabic and English birth certificates and also how to get them attested – so that was nice of them.)
Since Scotch had to go back to work, I took care of the rest of the legal paperwork. About 4 days after Wee Scotch’s birth, I went with baby and my mom to get the Dubai-issued Arabic and English birth certificates certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now this is possibly one of the biggest government buildings in Dubai but did they have to use the smallest letters possible to put on their building??? I drove past and around this building 3 times, ended up in Deira so paid needless Salik tolls twice, before I realized where it was.
So if you are coming from WTC roundabout, take the right turn at Burjman, then stay in your left lane and at the next traffic light intersection you can either (1) make a U-turn (you will see the big Ministry building now on your right) and take the first right and then right again into the small street that leads you into Embassy row or (2) make a left turn and then left again making your way towards Embassy row. Anyway, parking in the lots close to this building was a nightmare so I turned off on some side street and was able to find paid parking.
The instructions from American Hospital said to go to counter number something or other and get in line but luckily the Ministry had moved away from the queue system instead you now get a number from the reception desk and then wait your turn. There was one seating area dedicated to women and children. We got there about 11:30am and at 11:35am I realized I had no cash! I quickly ran out (NOT a good idea to run when one has just given birth – ouch!) to find an ATM which was luckily only 2 blocks away but when I got there I remembered that we hadn’t been paid our salary yet so I could only withdraw enough money to pay for ONE document to be certified. ARG!!
When I got back, my mom said they had just called my ticket number. ARG again!! Not knowing what to do, I must’ve looked a bit lost because the Emirati who was handling the attestations motioned me over and asked me what I needed. I told him and he asked me which one I wanted attested. I said, “English birth certificate.” So he applied some stamps on Wee Scotch’s English birth certificate, then rubber stamped over those stamps and we were on our way – me hoping and praying that not getting the Arabic version attested wouldn’t be a problem in the near future.
With the UAE attestation hurdle completed, my husband and I ventured into the US and UK arena. Since the UK Embassy is only open in the AM and the US Consulate only in the PM, we figured we could tackle both in one day. So wrong we were.