Pakistan CG: Service is top priority

Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General at Pakistan Consulate in Dubai
Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General at Pakistan Consulate in Dubai

Consulate-General of Pakistan in Dubai goes all-out to serve the community

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 1:00 AM

The UAE and Pakistan are time-tested friends and committed to further enhance their brotherly relationship in political, economic, social and cultural fronts with every passing day, says Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul-General of Pakistan in Dubai.

The two countries have built strong relationships since the establishment of diplomatic relations since 1971. This friendship bond is being strengthened in all spheres.  

"Pakistan was among the first countries that established diplomatic relations with the UAE after its independence in 1971. This relationship is deep rooted and we are proud of our friendship with the UAE," Ali told Khaleej Times during an interview.

He said that both countries have exchanged various high-level delegations in past year and half to improve bilateral ties on an economic front and to open new avenues to expand trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

"Dubai is an international commercial hub and hosts number of world-class trade events and exhibitions round the year. Hundreds of Pakistani delegations arrive in Dubai every year to participate in these events and we facilitate them to explore trade and investment opportunities for the country," he said.

"We participate in almost every trade exhibition in Dubai. We facilitate Pakistani exporters and traders to participate in these events and arrange business-to-business meetings with UAE companies and other multinational groups.  We also facilitate those foreign investors who are keen to explore trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan," he added.
Community services
Ali said that around 1.2 million of 1.6 million Pakistanis living in the UAE reside in Dubai and Northern Emirates, and the consulate effectively serves the community by offering key services at their doorsteps.
"We offer services such as issuance and renewal of machine readable passports and national ID cards, attestation of documents and issuance of foreign exchange remittance cards and visa, among others. We handle up to 1,200 visitors daily at the Consulate, in addition to the consular services being provided across the UAE on weekends.

"The consular team visits Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah every Friday to provide consular services to the Pakistani community. We also help needy people to solve their immigration and labour problems and have facilitated more than 5,000 people during visits to Northern Emirates in past 10 months," he added.
 On a welfare front, the consulate provided around 10,000 tickets, from its own resources and with help of philanthropists, to deserving people last year.

"We also help transport dead bodies and pay for stretcher cases. It is one of the main expenditures among the welfare services as it costs up to Dh21,000 due to airline requirements. We work 24/7, including weekends, to ensure they reach home through completed documentation. We have also introduced an emergency helpline number to help the community in real time even after working hours," he added.
Consulate building
Ali said the consulate building complex is looking forward to being re-built and the process is underway to get required permission from Pakistan and UAE authorities.
"We will move to a temporary location and start reconstruction once we secure all the relevant approvals from the authorities concerned," he said.

Ali shared that the consulate recently increased its temporary seating capacity in the existing complex, and this is expected to expand further to accommodate during the hot season.
"It will be a temporary adjustment as we don't want people to suffer during peak summer heat," he said.
 Education improvement

All three schools that run under the consulate's supervision have shown marked improvement.
"We supervise three schools - one each in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah - and their rankings have improved due to hard work of principals and school staff. We also have plans to expand student capacity in school buildings by September. Our plans to introduce British curriculum and GCSE subjects in the Dubai-based school will provide a big leap in the education sector," he said.

He added that all the schools are currently operating at full capacity, which is a sign of trust from community members and are expected to undergo construction soon for a new buildings and facilities.
"We have made recruitment based on merit and the results are encouraging. Now, people have trust and confidence in our schools," he said.

To a question, he said that others Pakistani schools in the region, either under consulate supervision or otherwise, approach the consulate for improvements. The consulate takes their concerns into consideration and looks after the welfare of all Pakistani teachers and students in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.


President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan

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