Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Typing Centres: What's the Point?

Anyone who's lived in the UAE knows the story about typing centres.  For those not familiar with them, they are basically institutions that exist for the sole purpose of typing documentation for anyone requiring a government service.

While the UAE has been talking extensively about e-services, the job of a typing centre attendant has been thriving.  I saw an example of this when I decided to renew my Emirates Identity Card (EIDA).  With all the hoopla that's surrounded applying for EIDA (click here to read an earlier blog post on this), you'd think that renewing it would be easier as the powers that be would have everything they require from you from the first time you applied for the card.

How wrong I was.  Apart from the obvious of supplying them with a photocopy of my passport, updated UAE visa and presenting them with a copy of my old EIDA card, I was told, this all had to be sent to a typing centre and re-typed onto a form and then it has to be re-submitted to them.


I have no idea.  The bureaucracy that surrounds a simple step like renewing a document can actually serve more as a deterrent in the long term.  Prior to coming to the UAE, I'd never lived in a country where I had to approach a typing centre to do anything for me.  With advancements in technology, I'd always assumed the role of typing centers would diminish in the long term as most typewriters start to suffer from old age and rust.  That though doesn't seem to be the case here in the UAE and if you're looking for a new business to start up, I'd suggest you enroll yourself in a secretarial course and get your typing speed up as you stand to rake in the dough.

P.S. In case you were born after 1990 and are wondering what a typewriter is,  have a read through this Wikipedia link.