Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This week is my visa week. Being a South African citizen I need to apply for a French and Moroccan visa to be able to take part in the Marathon des Sables. My first visa I applied for was my UK visa as I am going to see my mum in law and recover from the race in Southhampthon. The second visa was the Moroccan visa which I thought would be the trickiest as you have a lot of red tape here to get through to be able to apply for a Moroccan visa.
Firstly I had to get an no objection letter from my company in English and Arabic. I then took the letter to be stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs just to be turned away as the letter needs to be stamped by the UAE Chamber of Commerce first. So I went off to the COC, took a ticket and fell into a line waiting for my turn. After about 45 minutes I approached on of the clerks just to be turned away, they have assigned me to the wrong area, get another ticket and fall in line in another zone........After about two hours I got the letter stamped, just!
The next day I went back to Abu Dhabi on my day off to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and got my second stamp. With the GPS set I headed towards to Moroccan Embassy with fingers crossed that the process there is less painful! When I arrived at the Embassy I was a bit surprised at the state of the Embassy on the inside. It was very dark with a couple of fused lights and I and took my place in the back of the line. 5 minutes later I left the embassy with the instructions to return in 3 hours, and voila, my visa was ready and passport handed over! Classic, only one more to go, the French Schengen.
Today I submitted my visa application for the French Consulate and have to go back on Thursday to do my finger prints and eye scan, hopefully the visa will be ready by early next week. Fingers crossed.