Monday, 15 September 2008
The key to it all
Only in Dubai: Did you know that its illegal to have house keys copied without a Letter of No Objection from the Dubai Police? Neither did I. Apparently the law has been on the books for ten years but from today it is being enforced.
A quote from The National: “If [a customer] wants to copy a car key, he has to present the car registration,” said Col Hammad al Hammadi, based at Khalidiya police station. “In the case of a house key, he has to show proof of ownership or rent. In the case of a key to a company’s safe, the person should present a letter from the company.”
Here's a typical situation, maybe you have visitors coming from overseas and you want to give them a house key but you haven't got a spare so you think "I'll get a copy key cut". Then this is what you must do:
1. Present yourself at your nearest police station, show them a copy of either your rental agreement or the mortgage papers for the property you want the key for. No doubt a copy of your passport will be required to prove you are who you say you are.
2. The Police will issue you with a Letter of No Objection (being Dubai that'll probably take 10 days).
3. You take the Police letter to the key cutting shop and have your key cut.
Each time you need an additional key cut, maybe one for the maid, or for overseas visitors staying at your home or of course repeat copies for those dingbats who loose their keys every time they go to Longs Bar, then that's the rigmarole you'll have to go through.
Surprisingly, this announcement provides the answer to the question so many Dubai drivers asked during that complete traffic fiasco yesterday : "Where are the Police?". The answer is that they are at their offices writing Letters of No Objection so you and I, and everyone else in Dubai, can have our own front door keys cut. A possible solution is that you give the key you need to have copied to someone going overseas and get them to have copies cut for you. But then, will there be a limit placed on the number of keys one can bring into the country with the excess being confiscated by Customs.