PO Box
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: In 1909, the first postal agency in the UAE was opened in Dubai. Since then, the postal service in the UAE has come a long way, with Emirates Post, the official postal operator for the UAE, being recognised in 2016 as the world’s fastest postal delivery service.

In 2022, when digital communications have swept over handwritten letters or mailed-in documents, Emirates Post continues to provide postal and express delivery services.

Here are some of the services you can use through Emirates Post

1. Send a shipment

You can send documents or parcels through Emirates Post, within the UAE as well as internationally. Depending on the speed with which you want the shipment delivered, you can choose different service options. While parcels within the UAE can be delivered on the same day for premium service, international orders take four days with the service.

Apart from the speed of delivery, the cost of your shipment will also vary depending on the weight and size of your parcel. To get an estimate for your post, you can simply enter the details of the documents or parcel you want shipped in the ‘Get rates’ service on the postal services website – emiratespost.ae.

To send a shipment, visit an Emirates Post office and provide your complete address, as well as the complete address of the receiver. You would then need to simply make the payment, depending on the size of your package, delivery time and destination.

2. Receive your Emirates ID

You may also need to visit a post office if you have an international post being delivered to you, or to collect your Emirates ID. New and renewed Emirates IDs are sent by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) to post offices close to the resident’s area of residence. To receive the Emirates ID, you simply need to provide the notification you received from ICP through SMS, which provides your application number and location of the Emirates Post branch.

3. Set up a PO Box

The UAE does not have zip or postal codes for areas. Instead, the postal system is organised as per the post office box number or PO Box number, provided by Emirates Post to individuals and companies.

If you are a working professional, the easiest way to receive mail is by providing your company’s postal address. Companies in the UAE have registered postal addresses and an employee from the organisation is often tasked with retrieving all the mail delivered to the post box on a regular basis.

However, if you wish to have a personal post box, you can do that as well by applying to Emirates Post.

The rental charges are levied on a yearly basis and can vary depending on whether you wish to get a basic service – where the post box is located at an Emirates Post branch, or a home service – where the post box is set up at your home, with mail delivered weekly by Emirates Post. To know more about how you can complete the set-up process, read our detailed guide here.

4. Get an international driving licence

You can also convert your UAE driving licence into an international driving licence (IDL) by visiting any Emirates Post branch. To apply for an IDL, you need to provide the following documents:

- UAE driving license
- Original passport
- Emirates ID
- A colour photo

You can also apply for the service online through emiratespost.ae

The IDL not only provides legal proof for traffic authorities in other countries that drivers possess a valid driver's licence in their country of residence, but it is also necessary in case of any traffic accidents that you may be involved in, as it is a requirement for getting a legal insurance policy.

According to the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, an added benefit of having an International Driving Licence is that it may also be used as proof of identity, should your passport be lost or stolen while traveling abroad.

To know more on how to complete the process, read our detailed guide here.

5. Get registered document delivery online

If you need to deliver an official document through email, but need the proof of delivery and opening, you can opt for the ‘registered document delivery’ service through Emirates Post, which certifies the opening of documents sent by email or text messages. According to Emirates Post, the service holds legal value, with the possibility to use the electronic notification as evidence. It can be used for services like debt collection, extension of terms or protection of intellectual rights.

While you can send the email from your personal email address, you would need to complete the process through the Emirates Post website - emiratespost.ae.

To send a registered email, simply visit the website and sign up using your UAE Pass account, or if you already have an existing Emirates Post online account.

You first need to top up your wallet with Dh5, which is 'one unit'. The cost of sending an online registered document is Dh5. Once you have topped up a wallet, select the 'Registered document delivery' service and then enter the details of the email, including text and send the email through the service, by providing the text of the email and attaching any documents that need to be attached. Once you make the payment for the service, you can send the email through the website and you will receive updates from Emirates Post on the receipt and opening of the email.

How to find an Emirates Post office near you

Emirates Post has 90 locations across the UAE, with 28 post offices in Abu Dhabi, 28 in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, five in Ajman, nine in Ras Al Khaimah, four in Fujairah and two in Umm Al Quwain.

You can search for the location of a post office around your residential area by visiting emiratespost.ae. Scroll down to click on the 'Find us near you' service.