Apply for new visa six months before passport expires

I have just stopped working with a hotel group because I recently received a job offer with another company. But the hotel that is arranging the new visa has stopped processing my paperwork, as I have only four months validity left on my current passport. I am trying to find out if there is a way around this. I already have a residency visa, so it is really just a change of sponsor. I am already in Dubai and have been here for several years. My new boss, however, is telling me that they cannot process the new visa and I have to get a new passport. As I am a Russian national this is likely to take at least a month and I am worried that the job offer will be withdrawn. Do you know if the information I am being told is correct or is there something else I can do? RF Dubai

According to the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, for a new visa to be issued it is necessary to have at least six months left on a current passport, even if the person has an existing Dubai residency visa. RF has no option but to go through the process of obtaining a new passport in order for a new visa to be issued. Happily, in this case, her new employer is keen to employ her and will wait, but the lesson to all is to renew a passport well before it expires.

Every day I seem to receive a number of unwanted text messages telling me about sales and offers in which I have no interest. I have called Etisalat, but the person on the phone did not appear at all interested and said there was nothing they could do to stop them. I know it's a minor problem, but it is irritating and I would love to hear a way of stopping them. Any ideas? ML Al Ain

There was a change in policy in the UAE regarding this issue which came into effect in July 2010. Strictly speaking a company should have your permission in order to send out such a SMS, although often they are sent because you have left a business card in a restaurant or have filled in a customer information card in a shop. For any company to now send such messages they must have your agreement in either paper or electronic form. Legitimate messages are obliged to include a free unsubscribe mechanism to allow people to opt out. This should be activated no later than 24 hours later. If you are now receiving messages without this facility you may make a formal complaint to the service provider. According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency, the provider is obliged to 1) acknowledge receipt of your complaint 2) provide a complaint reference number 3) investigate the complaint in a reasonable timeframe and 4) communicate the result to you. Another policy change worth noting is that companies are only permitted to send out such marketing SMS between 7am and 9pm, although my own experience is that many are not complying with this rule.

I have been in Dubai for nearly a year, but I still have a small company in the UK. It has been dormant so far, but I may start doing some work via the company while remaining employed here. I completed the HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs) form P85 to declare myself as non-resident and received an acknowledgement. What I'd like to know is, in view of this and the fact that I will not be visiting the UK and effectively doing the work here, will I have any issues with tax in the UK? EH Dubai

Although you are considered a UK non-resident for tax purposes in respect of "overseas earnings", this is in respect of the income that you receive for work carried out outside of the UK and generally paid to you outside of the UK as well. If you carry on any business in the UK, or that business is transacted through your UK company, it is likely to be treated as UK income and thus taxable. Bear in mind, however, that you would usually draw income after costs to the company and can, to a certain extent, choose when to draw the monies and also have an annual personal allowance. In the current tax year, 2010/11 you would have to be in receipt of personal UK income in excess of £6,465 (Dh23,745) before you had any tax to pay. If your company is active, and has limited company status, you must keep annual accounts and submit these to HMRC each year.

I have just started work with a company, but despite having been there for a month, I still do not have my new residence visa or labour card. As I am Australian I was able to re-enter the UAE on a visitors visa after my previous visa was cancelled, and have since renewed that, but now I am working on a visitors visa. I have been told by friends that although many companies make their staff do this, it is illegal and not only can the company be fined, but I could be, too. Clearly I am very concerned as I don't want to get into any trouble. NG Dubai

The Ministry of Labour states that you must have a residency visa and labour card provided by your employer in order to take up employment, but they realise that it can take a few weeks for visas to be processed. Provided the application has been made immediately, and there is evidence to this effect, there is a grace period of 60 days maximum during which an individual may work without penalty.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at with queries for this column or for advice on any other financial planning matter. Letters can also be sent to


1 Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck-QuickStep - 4:51:51

2 David Dekker (NED) Team Jumbo-Visma

3 Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto Soudal 

4 Elia Viviani (ITA) Cofidis

5 Matteo Moschetti (ITA) Trek-Segafredo

General Classification

1 Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates - 12:50:21

2 Adam Yates (GBR) Teamn Ineos Grenadiers - 0:00:43

3 Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep - 0:01:03

4 Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:01:43

5 Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo - 0:01:45


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

How to invest in gold

Investors can tap into the gold price by purchasing physical jewellery, coins and even gold bars, but these need to be stored safely and possibly insured.

A cheaper and more straightforward way to benefit from gold price growth is to buy an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Most advisers suggest sticking to “physical” ETFs. These hold actual gold bullion, bars and coins in a vault on investors’ behalf. Others do not hold gold but use derivatives to track the price instead, adding an extra layer of risk. The two biggest physical gold ETFs are SPDR Gold Trust and iShares Gold Trust.

Another way to invest in gold’s success is to buy gold mining stocks, but Mr Gravier says this brings added risks and can be more volatile. “They have a serious downside potential should the price consolidate.”

Mr Kyprianou says gold and gold miners are two different asset classes. “One is a commodity and the other is a company stock, which means they behave differently.”

Mining companies are a business, susceptible to other market forces, such as worker availability, health and safety, strikes, debt levels, and so on. “These have nothing to do with gold at all. It means that some companies will survive, others won’t.”

By contrast, when gold is mined, it just sits in a vault. “It doesn’t even rust, which means it retains its value,” Mr Kyprianou says.

You may already have exposure to gold miners in your portfolio, say, through an international ETF or actively managed mutual fund.

You could spread this risk with an actively managed fund that invests in a spread of gold miners, with the best known being BlackRock Gold & General. It is up an incredible 55 per cent over the past year, and 240 per cent over five years. As always, past performance is no guide to the future.

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

The specs: Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Price, base: Dh1,731,672

Engine: 6.5-litre V12

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 770hp @ 8,500rpm

Torque: 720Nm @ 6,750rpm

Fuel economy: 19.6L / 100km

Company profile

Company name: Xare 

Started: January 18, 2021 

Founders: Padmini Gupta, Milind Singh, Mandeep Singh 

Based: Dubai 

Sector: FinTech 

Funds Raised: $10 million 

Current number of staff: 28 

Investment stage: undisclosed

Investors: MS&AD Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners, Astra Amco, the Dubai International Financial Centre, Fintech Fund, 500 Startups, Khwarizmi Ventures, and Phoenician Funds


First round
Emmanuel Macron: 51.1%
Francois Fillon: 24.2%
Jean-Luc Melenchon: 11.8%
Benoit Hamon: 7.0%
Marine Le Pen: 2.9%

Second round
Emmanuel Macron: 95.1%
Marine Le Pen: 4.9%


Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

The biog

Favourite food: Fish and seafood

Favourite hobby: Socialising with friends

Favourite quote: You only get out what you put in!

Favourite country to visit: Italy

Favourite film: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Family: We all have one!


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2


Battery: 60kW lithium-ion phosphate
Power: Up to 201bhp
0 to 100kph: 7.3 seconds
Range: 418km
Price: From Dh149,900
Available: Now

The Florida Project

Director: Sean Baker

Starring: Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe

Four stars

Key developments

All times UTC+4


Uefa Nations League

League A, Group 4
Spain v England, 10.45pm (UAE)

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

The years Ramadan fell in May






Engine: 2-litre direct injection turbo
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
Torque: 400Nm
Price: From Dh134,999

Long read
Fanney Khan

Producer: T-Series, Anil Kapoor Productions, ROMP, Prerna Arora

Director: Atul Manjrekar

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Rajkummar Rao, Pihu Sand

Rating: 2/5 


Name: Cofe

Year started: 2018

Based: UAE

Employees: 80-100

Amount raised: $13m

Investors: KISP ventures, Cedar Mundi, Towell Holding International, Takamul Capital, Dividend Gate Capital, Nizar AlNusif Sons Holding, Arab Investment Company and Al Imtiaz Investment Group 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Author: Leila Aboulela 

Publisher: Saqi Books

Pages: 320

Available: Now

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Game Of Thrones Season Seven: A Bluffers Guide

Want to sound on message about the biggest show on television without actually watching it? Best not to get locked into the labyrinthine tales of revenge and royalty: as Isaac Hempstead Wright put it, all you really need to know from now on is that there’s going to be a huge fight between humans and the armies of undead White Walkers.

The season ended with a dragon captured by the Night King blowing apart the huge wall of ice that separates the human world from its less appealing counterpart. Not that some of the humans in Westeros have been particularly appealing, either.

Anyway, the White Walkers are now free to cause any kind of havoc they wish, and as Liam Cunningham told us: “Westeros may be zombie land after the Night King has finished.” If the various human factions don’t put aside their differences in season 8, we could be looking at The Walking Dead: The Medieval Years.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Plan to boost public schools

A major shake-up of government-run schools was rolled out across the country in 2017. Known as the Emirati School Model, it placed more emphasis on maths and science while also adding practical skills to the curriculum.

It was accompanied by the promise of a Dh5 billion investment, over six years, to pay for state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements.

Aspects of the school model will be extended to international private schools, the education minister has previously suggested.

Recent developments have also included the introduction of moral education - which public and private schools both must teach - along with reform of the exams system and tougher teacher licensing requirements.


CAF Champions League semi-finals first-leg fixtures


Primeiro Agosto (ANG) v Esperance (TUN) (8pm UAE)
Al Ahly (EGY) v Entente Setif (ALG) (11PM)

Second legs:

October 23



Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Tips from the expert

Dobromir Radichkov, chief data officer at dubizzle and Bayut, offers a few tips for UAE residents looking to earn some cash from pre-loved items.

  1. Sellers should focus on providing high-quality used goods at attractive prices to buyers.
  2. It’s important to use clear and appealing photos, with catchy titles and detailed descriptions to capture the attention of prospective buyers.
  3. Try to advertise a realistic price to attract buyers looking for good deals, especially in the current environment where consumers are significantly more price-sensitive.
  4. Be creative and look around your home for valuable items that you no longer need but might be useful to others.

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