Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Card's in the Post...Oh Really!?

My reaction to the bill. Minus tie and dodgy hair.
You probably know by now that Dubai has no postal system. Ridiculous, I agree. 

If you're in the UK, you CAN still send things here, if you're prepared to go to the post office and pay a little extra for an air mail stamp. 

Or, you could of course courier something, if you really wanted to. 

No one ever uses this option. 

In fact, it's rare to get any post at all. 

I have a few friends who do send me mini parcels on a regular basis, and when they arrive, they are like GOLD. The office boy chirpily brings them to my desk like one of the wise men clutching precious Frankincense. Honestly, it's THAT big an occasion when a parcel arrives from the mystical 'U.K'.

If you're in Dubai and want to send anything to the UK, the post office is a bit of a waste of time. There's a very good chance it will never get there. This means that in order to sort birthdays, Christmases, and general gifts, you have to use a courier.

I use the office UPS service. It's easier, quicker, no hassle of trekking to an office or a mall. I have to pay for it, it's not a freebie. Each month a finance bod brings me my bill, I sign it off, and it's deducted from my pay packet.

Want to know what this month's bill was? Really? Ok then:

  • 200 GBP.
  • $280
Whichever currency you write it in, that's a whole lot of dosh in my opinion.

I didn't feel like I'd sent a lot of things...a letter, a few packs of wedding photos, a couple of gifts. But wowser! Call me tight,but that bill made me flinch.

Here's the thing: I want to stay in touch with my lovely friends and family. I don't want to be the kind of person who gives to receive. But it's hard not to feel like things are a little one sided when you see the black and white evidence of the effort you make to stay connected, and compare it to the number of birthday, Christmas and wedding cards you've received over a five year period. Which barely make it into double digits.

What are your thoughts, Dubai chums and overseas ex-pats? How do you correspond with the UK? Rely on Moonpig? Never send gifts or parcels? Or bite the bullet and cough up, like I've been doing? Would love to hear your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Just try Empost international service, can do registered. Sent something to the Netherlands and was there in a week. Worked fine for me,

Mrs Dubai said...

I do all the shopping for people overseas online in their home country - usually the domestic shipping is free.
Cards - Moonpig
Photos- upload to and get them sent direct within UK
Gifts - any website in the country that the person lives.

Just think what you could do with the money you save!

Sue Turner said...

We still have our post redirected from home so receive plenty !! Appreciate that doesn't work for everyone though..Keep uk stamps here and when friends go back I give them cards to post or if the timing isn't right I use Moonpig, Funky Pigeon or Hallmark. To send photos home there are loads of options - Snapfish, Photobox etc. Upload your pics and they print and send them anywhere you want. For gifts I arrange an online grocery shop, Flowers (endless choice of sites),Amazon gift or Marks and Spencer gift card but any website will deliver, and many even giftwrap too..Have never used a courier in 5 years !!

Britney of Arabia said...

Thanks sue, how long have you lived in Dubai? Post can only be forwarded for a limited period.