Thursday, February 12, 2009

Off-the-road driving

I am a little bit depressed today. It's not because I have nobody to date this coming Valentine's or because I am exhausted and foolishly mad of this unfriendly sandstorm that keeps on disturbing Dubai since yesterday. By the way, include the disaster it brought. I have to wash again all my clothes I laundered yesterday. Yes, they were all dry and ready to iron but you can not bear to feel the sands. Who can dare to wear them?

Anyway, I went to my driving class today and did a little argument with my instructor. As my final test is scheduled on the 1st of March 2009, he asked me to clear my accountabilities in the cashier otherwise my final test will be cancelled. I insisted to pay because I already paid my bills in advance, if I'm not mistaken, that was last July.

He explained to me details by details. Okay, I have to listen to him or else my efforts, time and money will earn nothing.

• If you have 2 year-old or more driver's license in your country, you are only required to attend 20 classes, if none, 40 classes is a must. This applies to all nationalities other than citizens of Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Brunei and most of the European countries, who can directly convert their local driver's license by just paying a minimal amount. Off course, without attending boring classes. Per class is AED 100.00. Do the USD conversion.
• After completing your classes, you will be given a free assessment by your instructor. If you failed, he will advise you to get 12 additional classes. That is 12 by AED 100.00. In my case, my instructor did not advise me. He just told me to pay for the additional classes we took without my idea that those classes have to be paid.
• If your instructor, after completing those additional classes, has confidence in your driving skill, he will endorse you to an assessment test. This test is to be conducted by the head instructor. If you can not impress the head instructor, he will give you another 12 classes (again 12 by AED 100.00).
• After completing the additional 12 classes given by the head instructor, you will be submitted to a final road test which is to be conducted by the RTA of Dubai. Again the boring part is if you failed on the final road test, you are required to take 8 classes more (8 by AED100.00) and wait for one month before you can take again the final test.

So, that's it. More or less (but I think more and more) before you can have your dreamed Dubai driver's license you have to spend the following:

• Service charge – AED 60.00
• Typing charges – AED 20.00
• Learn Driving Book – AED 50.00
• Lecture Fees – AED 50.00
• Preliminary Lecture Class – AED 50.00
• Signal Lecture Class – AED 50.00
• Safety Protection Training – AED 100.00
• Knowledge Dirham fee – AED 30.00
• Signal test fee – AED 70.00
• File Open and Learning Card – AED 75.00
• Assessment test fees – AED 100.00
• Road test fees – AED 70.00
• Vehicle service charge – AED 30.00
• Regular classes (suppose you are taking 20 classes) – AED 2,000.00
• Additional classes before assessment (12 classes) – AED 1,200.00
• Additional classes after assessment (12 classes) – AED 1,200.00
• Additional classes if you failed on the final test (8 classes) – AED 800.00
• Fees for special Friday classes like me – AED 475.00

Calculate all the fees above. If you are earning below AED 5000.00 a month, you will be embarrassed to invite your friends on a night life. Should I have the knowledge beforehand that this could be the case, I might not dream this Gold Card.