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The streets of Dubai

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Le strade di Dubai
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Nessuno è perfetto, si sa, e devo riconoscere che il senso dell’orientamento non è decisamente fra le mie doti. Come dice una cara amica, se mai un domani qualche neurologo dovesse definire il concetto di dislessia tridimensionale, io ne risulterei sicuramente affetta. Vero è che solo ieri mi sono trovata a dover inviare in allegato Whatsapp la mia posizione su Google Maps a mio marito, all’estero per lavoro, a seguito di un dubbio sulla direzione presa dal Careem sul quale viaggiavo e della mia incapacità, circondata da sabbia, tristi edifici e piloni dell’alta tensione, a capire dove fossi.

Ma non era tutta colpa mia: fra la mia distrazione e la parlata sconnessa dell’autista, non avevo capito che quello che a me suonava come Meydan – da me frainteso come “Signò, passo pe’ Meydan?” – fosse invece un normalissimo appellativo Madam nei miei confronti. Insomma, eravamo sulla Al Khail, dove dovevamo essere. Cose che succedono a Dubai, luogo nel quale le persone provengono da tutte le parti del mondo e passeggeri, autisti e tassisti hanno gli accenti più disparati: addirittura molti anni fa mi capitò un tassista che chiaramente non sapeva nemmeno leggere i cartelli stradali perché, appena arrivato, non aveva ancora imparato a decifrare i caratteri occidentali o arabi… probabilmente aveva ottenuto la licenza o semplicemente il taxi in prestito dal cugino del fratello della zia del nipote del cognato vedovo della moglie: a quei tempi ancora funzionava così.

Problemi linguistici a parte, l’introduzione dei navigatori satellitari in tempi recenti sta diventando quasi fattibile in una città nella quale, come notai sin dall’inizio, le strade cambiano all’improvviso spostandosi come le scalinate della scuola di magia di Harry Potter. Non solo: nemmeno quelle fatte e finite sono cosa certa, perché a volte cambiano anche i nomi, con situazioni estreme come il caso “Emirates Road”, denominazione storica della E311 che ora non si chiama più così, ma “Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road”… e adesso la targa di “Emirates Road” è assegnata alla E611.

Stesso nome, strade completamente diverse. Poi uno dice che ci si confonde. Per forza di cose qui non esistono gli indirizzi come li intendiamo noi. Per capire dove andare a Dubai è bene rinunciare al concetto di via, civico, codice postale e quant’altro e affidarsi invece a quello di landmark, ovvero di edificio di riferimento più vicino. Chi deve andare in un posto isolato è perduto per sempre. L’abitudine di cambiare nomi o di usare nomi di uso comune invece di quelli riportati ufficialmente sulle cartine si è tra l’altro estesa anche alle fermate della metropolitana, che insieme alla rete autobus è molto utilizzata.

Proprio per questa situazione indefinita relativa agli indirizzi, sta prendendo sempre più piede l’uso del GPS e del Makani, ossia la posizione in forma di coordinate satellitari. Ciò non garantisce comunque di arrivare per tempo nel punto desiderato perché non è detto che le mappe stradali riportate nel navigatore siano esattamente aggiornate o fedeli alla realtà, ma con un po’ di esperienza e magari con un quattroruote che consente di avanzare nella sabbia od oltrepassare cordoli e muretti ci si può arrangiare.

Un altro elemento di confusione è causato dalla disposizione dei cartelli segnaletici, posti a volte in luoghi non immediatamente visibili o adeguati a far capire tempestivamente in quale punto svoltare. Adesso va un po’ meglio, ma in passato non era raro, soprattutto spostandosi verso gli emirati vicini, trovare indicazioni direzionali piazzate subito dopo la via che sarebbe stato necessario imboccare. E a Dubai sbagliare strada non è cosa da poco: i chilometri da percorrere prima di trovare una inversione a U in certi casi sono leggendari. Inoltre: la forma a dir poco anticonvenzionale di alcuni svincoli (qui il quadrifoglio ha raggiunto livelli di fioritura mai visti; si mormora in modo semiserio che ciò sia dovuto al fatto che in origine chi costruiva le strade venisse pagato a chilometro, quindi non sempre la via più conveniente per andare da A a B era la retta), il criterio di entrata e uscita nelle strade a grande percorrenza, l’uso randomico delle rotonde e chi più ne ha più ne metta… tutti fattori che, uniti a stili di guida disinvolti, non agevolano le cose.

Facili ironie o sbuffate vere e proprie a parte, è importante anche comprendere la storia delle strade di questa città e dei dintorni. Di recente ho letto, e non ne avevo la minima idea, che solo nel settembre del 1966 a Dubai è stato introdotto l’obbligo di guida sul lato destro. Ai tempi dei Trucial State la guida era a sinistra, come nel Regno Unito. La conversione avvenne con un preavviso agli automobilisti di appena 15 giorni, tramite un semplice cartello affisso su una via parecchio frequentata di Deira. All’inizio riguardò solamente Dubai, creando qualche difficoltà per chi si muoveva in direzione Abu Dhabi, dato che solo più tardi la capitale avrebbe introdotto la nuova modalità di guida.

Ci furono a latere problemi per quel che riguardava il mercato dell’usato, e molti iniziarono ad alterare le automobili facendo rimuovere e spostare a sinistra il volante dal meccanico improvvisato di turno, fino all’adozione di normative più stringenti e precise negli anni Ottanta. È pur vero che negli anni Sessanta le strade erano praticamente larghi sentieri di fango e ciottoli che si interrompevano e riprendevano, e che Dubai contava solo 3.000 abitanti circa, dei quali pochissimi dotati di veicolo proprio, quindi il rischio di incidenti seri che non coinvolgessero cammelli ma solo automobili, pulmini o camioncini era minimo. In effetti Al Seef Road fu la prima ad essere asfaltata, quasi 60 anni fa. Successivamente, 51 anni fa, sempre a Dubai venne introdotto il primo sistema di illuminazione stradale pubblica.

Insomma, di strada da allora ne è stata percorsa davvero tanta, è proprio il caso di dirlo. Municipality e Polizia insieme hanno ottenuto risultati un tempo impensabili, se ragioniamo rimettendo le cose in prospettiva. anche e soprattutto in termini di miglioramento della sicurezza e del rispetto delle regole, in particolare nell’ultimo decennio. Molto poi sta a chi si mette alla guida, ma quello purtroppo è un altro discorso.

Born in Rome, a degree in biomedical mechanical engineering, after a career in multinational companies in the IT sector, she has been working for several years as a free-lance professional translator. She has a diploma in Interior design and is one of the first founding members of the Soroptimist International Gulf-Dubai Club, the first ever in this part of the world. She loves Dubai with all its contradictions, also because her baby girl was born here and it is here that four of the six cats that make up her family were adopted. He wishes to share his experiences in this sometimes tiring, but always surprising city, with expats, Italian and otherwise, who continue to arrive in Dubai.

Health

Italian Healthcare World is one year old

The first web platform of Italian doctors and healthcare professionals abroad blows out the first candle. The results achieved are more than satisfactory: the WebApp to date has obtained over 24,000 impressions with an average of about 100 users per day and not only Italians.

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Italian Healthcare compie un anno
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

1/27/2019 - 1/27/2020: Italian Healthcare World (IHW), the first web platform of Italian doctors and healthcare professionals abroad, today blows out the first candle. She was born in Dubai, on the initiative of dr. Pierdanilo Sanna, as a valid tool able to connect the Italian community with doctors and health professionals abroad, highlighting the added value and significant contribution made by Italian professionals in the health sector worldwide.

One year after its launch on January 27th on the occasion of the event "When Technology Meets Networking: an interactive showcase of the Excellent Italian Medical Expertise and Research in the UAE" under the auspices of the Italian authorities present in the UAE, Italian Healthcare World (IHW) makes the first report. The results achieved are more than satisfactory: the WebApp to date has obtained over 24,000 impressions with an average of about 100 users per day and not only Italians.

In addition to doctors, dentists, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, nutritionists, osteopaths, homeopaths, speech therapists and chiropractors are also part of the network.

To date, over 100 Italian healthcare professionals work in the United Arab Emirates, 80 of which are present in the WebApp.

As can be seen from the name, the goal is to involve the largest number of Italian doctors and health professionals who practice the profession abroad. In the last 3 months there has been a significant expansion of the network with accessions from countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The WebApp covers most of the specialties: 16 of internal medicine and 14 of surgery.

The IHW platform is also accompanied by the online magazine The Journal of Italian Healthcare World, with articles of general interest on health, specific information on health and activities, prizes and awards obtained by professionals of the IHW network in the country of reference. To date, it has received over 89,000 impressions and 22,000 visitors from many parts of the world.

Italian Healthcare World represents a novelty in the field of Italian Healthcare abroad. Just on the occasion of the consular area meeting, held in Abu Dhabi on 23 January in the suggestive location of Ferrari World, the platform was defined by the Ambassador of Italy Nicola Lener as an example of best practice, in the presence, among others , by Minister Luigi Maria Vignali, Director General for Italians Abroad and Migration Policies and by the previous Ambassador of Italy to the UAE Liborio Stellino.

During the meeting, Dr Pierdanilo Sanna, illustrated the various functions of IHW, first of all that of connecting professionals together in a solid network available to citizens residing abroad and to tourists. Dr. Sergio Valenti (Urologist at the Valiant Clinic), Dr. Patrizia Porcu (Oncologist at the Mediclinic City Hospital) and Daniel Rigel (Chiropractor at the Chiropractic Neurology Center) spoke and explained, as members of the network, what they are the other IHW potentials such as the value of the referral between specialists based on their competence, the importance of welcoming and introducing new professionals to the community and finally the possibility of giving support, together with the action of the institutions, to patients in the emergency cases (on IHW TV find the video).

How does the IHW webApp work?

The practical and intuitive WebApp is in Italian and English versions. After signing up, it is possible to consult the profiles of the various professionals, make an appointment in direct call, send an email or locate the structures where the specialists work on a map with an integrated navigator. In some cases, thanks to an end-to-end chat on Telegram, when the specialist becomes available the user can interact, for brief information, directly with the doctor.

The WebApp of Italian Healthcare World can be reached for free from any mobile or fixed device and with any operating system (you can download it here). On the home page there is a link that reports to the emergency numbers of the nearest institutions and another link that allows access to the contents of the Journal of IHW.

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Business

Small guide: Italian companies flying to Dubai

How to start your own commercial development in the UAE without a local sponsor? Rules, risks and cautions explained by the lawyer Davide Parolin

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Piccola guida: aziende italiane in volo a Dubai
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

How to start your own commercial development in the UAE without a local sponsor: overview of rules, risks and cautions.

When an Italian company turns its gaze towards this geographical area, some basic questions inevitably arise, concerning the way in which to implement its "internationalization", which is respectful of local laws and regulations. This is a typical question, which it is correct to ask oneself whenever one's own business leaves national and European borders.

Not yet having its own sales organization, the Italian company will have to decide how to support its commercial development in the region. Nothing prevents them from directly selling their products from Italy to their customers established in the Emirates, through normal international sales and supply contracts.

Easy to say, but often risky in consideration of the fact that foreign products can be imported into the UAE only by subjects established therein, already equipped with special import licenses and capable of completing the related customs procedures (not within everyone's reach, therefore) . In any case, this solution does not respond to the need to boost sales, promote products, and seek customers; in short, carry out clear business development initiatives. The typical alternative is to rely on middlemen (agents, distributors).

Therefore, for companies wishing to access the United Arab Emirates market, the first important decision is whether to use an intermediary (Commercial Agent and / or Distributor) or create an office (rep. Office, Branch) or set up a local commercial company (UAE Trading company ).

The commercial and distribution agency agreements in the United Arab Emirates are governed by Federal Law 18 of 1981, as amended. The use of an agent is in some respects the easiest and cheapest way in the short term, as it does not involve any initial cost or investment (unlike setting up an ad hoc company) and will mean starting your business almost immediately. The Italian company will rely on the company and the agent's license, which will propose and sell the Italian product; the agent generally charges a percentage of the sales made, in addition - in various cases - to a fixed monthly fee (operating in the Emirates only "as a result", often is not sustainable, given the high living costs and commercial development in general ).

However, the use of an agent also means having to renounce its control over initiatives and commercial relations, since it will implement a strong monopoly action on the Italian brand and products imported into the United Arab Emirates. As in any regulatory system, here too there is legislation to protect the local agent, which often makes it difficult to manage the end of the contractual relationship, with the need to go to a local court (where the Italian company evidently plays "outside home ") that is called to sanction for the purpose of the agency relationship.

It should be remembered that agency law only applies if the agreement is "registered" with the UAE Ministry of Economy. Unregistered agreements are not subject to agency law protection. Then there is a wide range of agency agreements, albeit registered but "fictitious", with the interposition of Emirati agents in support of foreign developers (from which various implications and consequences derive).

In order for an agent to benefit from the protection guaranteed by agency law, the following criteria must be met:

  • the agent must be an Emirati citizen or a company wholly owned by Emirati citizens;
  • the assignment provides for exclusivity in favor of the agent;
    it must relate to a defined territory (which may also be the Emirates for only a few);
  • the commercial agency agreement must be registered with the Ministry of Economy.

Once the agency contract has been registered, this leads to important effects and also particularly heavy constraints for the Italian client company:

  • the right to commission on all sales made in the UAE regardless of whether the agent makes or contributes to such sales;
  • the right to prevent the Italian company from appointing a new agent;
  • the right to compensation in case of revocation of the assignment;
  • the right to prevent the importation of the products of the Italian company, carried out by other subjects;
  • protection against termination or non-renewal of the agreement (even if the agreement is temporary, and the term has expired).

The latter circumstance, in particular, must always be carefully evaluated. Termination of the assignment with the agent is permitted only for specific reasons (which are not defined by law, however). Here are what "reasons" to end the relationship:

  • the agent's defaults (e.g. the agent's failure to comply with the sales targets or purchase minimums);
  • any violation of agency law by the agent;
    the agent who undertakes activities in competition with the products or services of the foreign company;
  • the agent who fails to protect the image of the foreign company or acts in such a way as to damage the reputation of the foreign company or its products or services.

It is therefore clear how this solution (the hiring of a local Agent), apparently the simplest and most economic, has absolutely critical implications that should never be overlooked, under penalty of the impossibility of being released from the relationship with the agent himself, which could thus implement a conduct that prevents any subsequent commercial action by the Italian company, up to preventing the access of Italian products within the Emirate territory.

What types of intermediaries are there?

COMMERCIAL AGENT - Commercial agent
A commercial agency contract in the United Arab Emirates is normally an exclusive contract between the foreign party and a commercial agency owned by the Emirates. The commercial agent will have control of the marketing and sales of the product or service in the United Arab Emirates. If the foreign partner wants to regain full control in the future, this - as just seen - could be relatively complex to achieve, as the registered commercial agent should accept the change of scenario proposed to him.

DISTRIBUTION AGENT - Distribution agent
A contract with a distribution agent is a contract not necessarily exclusive with a local Emirati partner, who assumes the right to market and resell the products and services of the Italian company. The foreign Party may enter into relations with multiple distribution agents. If the agreement is not well drawn up, the distributor could argue that the substance of the agreement entered into can be qualified as a commercial agency, with the problems highlighted above. It should be noted, however, that some products still require the intermediation of a registered commercial agent to sell this type of product in the United Arab Emirates (for example drugs).

NATIONAL SERVICE AGENT / LOCAL SERVICE AGENT - Local agent
For example, if the Italian company establishes its own foreign branch, a representative office or similar entities (Foreign Branch, Sole Establishment, Rep. Office), this must be "sponsored" by a local Emirati partner (or Emirate company) who will become his national service agent. The interesting thing is that the Italian company will still be able to hold 100% ownership over the local entity incorporated in the Emirates; but in this case he will still have to use the support in the form of a "local agent". The local service agent (to note is that a local service agent - LSA - and a national service agent - NSA - are the same) does not assume any responsibility or financial commitment towards the Italian company. Its responsibility is to ensure that the branch can carry out its business in Dubai, and will therefore have no legal interest in the administration (governance) in the company ownership, profits (profits) or assets (assets) of the local office of the Italian company. . The local agent plays a role as a signatory for the fulfillment of the various charges imposed by the legislation, providing in this regard an evident support before the local authority. For example, it can take care of the authorization and certification aspects of the products.

These in summary are the rules applicable where the Italian company normally operates in the Emirate territory (so-called "Mainland"), without the need to share any ownership of its entities with sponsors or local partners. Other and very different the rules applicable within the many and well organized free zones ("Free Trade Zone"), which we will perhaps analyze later.

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Business

Dubai Smart City: an App for citizens

"An app to tame them, an app to find them, an app to grab them and chain them in the phone." We are obviously talking about access to services and how Dubai is preparing for the new decade.

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Dubai Smart City: una App per i cittadini
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

To the-Gollum he squeezes his cell phone with enthusiasm, his black eyes thirsty for control, making his desire for possession shine through. "My membership card ...". Muttering to himself and his alter ego, Sir Smeagol, a guttural mantra resounds in the plain of Dubai County. "An App to tame them, an App to find them, an App to look at them and chain them in the phonethe". We are obviously talking about access to services.

We can not blame him: often and willingly it is a great breakdown of boxes having to interface with so many Apps and above all remembering all the damned logins. Not to mention the various claustrophobic requests for data that each department seems to invent together with a selective group of Elves. Well, finally there seems to be something really Smart, tailor-made for us Sand Hobbit, which promises to simplify everyday life.

The Emirates are among the first countries to have set up a structure dedicated to the Smart Government service. Dubai has constantly focused on digitalization since 2015, closing technological gaps and simplifying bureaucracy, controlling its movements. To give a general view, the dedicated website has been created, smartgoverment.ae, while the App is already a widespread reality Dubai Now.

Smart City

The road to a real one Smart City sees the implementation of different strategies that combine process optimization, through the use of technologies. The transformation starts from the study of traffic and roads, which is in all respects (oddly enough, I would say) the main needle of the scale to determine the intelligence level of the city. Put this way, it would seem that the focus on public transport is overshadowing, while it is quite the opposite. Smart Cities are based, among other things, on a network of constantly connected sensors, called Internet Of Things (IoT, the internet of things).

IoT is important because it allows the optimization of everything from the circulation of things and people to the distribution and access to resources. This subsequently impacts in various areas, above all bureaucratic and indirect services. Some examples are the elimination of the card, continuous access to public services, portals for guaranteed employment or payment, and last but not least transport and related activities. Once the structure is set up, the city needs to automate the collection of information and requests, and to do so it is certainly faster to move on public properties than on private ones.

The result after four years of efforts can be seen not only in the streamlining of services to residents and businesses, but also from other factors that make Dubai closer to total automation every day. Government of happiness, online registration for service providers, payment of bills, renewal of car insurance and much more, all online.

What is Dubai Now

Dubai Now is the App developed by the local government to include all the services necessary to live and carry out any type of business in Dubai. At the moment it is possible to access as many as 50 government services. The App is available on stores and the platform can also be accessed from a computer via the official site.

Apart from the obvious convenience of having at hand any service you are looking for in a more simple and direct way, the App also shows the Government's efforts to centralize the activities of as many as 22 Emirati departments, in compliance with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed for Dubai 2021. In addition to bills and fines, you can also access services for your NOL card, Dubai Police, browse the list of doctors and clinics, collect information on how to register a company and much more.

Surely this is part of a larger plan, which the city has put in place to better manage the expectations of growth and which seems to get a further boost starting from Expo 2020 and also in view of the transformations that are taking place in the region. The Middle East, led by the financial giant of Saudi Arabia, is opening up more and more to Western markets and the Emirates, once again, are racing for records and adopting technologies like never before.

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