It took three months, a pile of paperwork, blood tests, chest x-rays, umpteen passport photos but I finally have my visa. This might not seem like a big deal, but as you cannot function in Dubai without a visa, this small piece of paper is crucial.
Without one you can only stay in the country for 30 days and have to keep leaving and re-entering, an arduous task and not one you really need after a 70 hour week on your precious weekend.
You need a visa for pretty much anything: renting a house, driving a car, getting a mobile phone, alcohol licence, the list goes on. The world is now my oyster.