Ever tried to fill in an international shipping form and found yourself perplexed about what to enter in the “Zip Code Abu Dhabi” field?
You are used to regularly filling this field with “00000” but what happens when you need an actual zip code?
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Why is there no Zip-Code?
Living in Abu Dhabi you have never corresponded with a local zip code, let alone have one assigned to yourself. This is because Abu Dhabi – and the rest of the six Emirates in the UAE – do not follow a zip code system like much of the MENA region. Instead, a Post Office Box number or P.O. Box is the norm for individuals receiving old school snail mail. A P.O. Box number is also used by business in order to receive legal correspondence and employee identification documents.
How do you Apply for a P.O. Box in Abu Dhabi?
While you can use your employer’s PO Box for bank accounts or for registration with the Water & Electricity Department (WED also sends you a digital bill, if preferred), you can only receive a mailed document on a personal P.O. Box – not your street address. You can collect items in your P.O. Box by accessing the post office assigned to your street. In order to acquire a P.O. BOX, you must follow these steps:
- Head to your local post office – you can locate one through Google Maps.
- Ask for a rental form at the P.O. Box Rental Counter.
- Submit a completed form, copy of your Emirates ID and AED 250 in charges.
If a P.O.Box is available, you will receive a key instantly
You can log onto: www.epg.ae & navigate to the E-services portal. Select Rent/Renew P.O. Box and make the payment with a UAE-registered credit card.
On October 1st, 2019, Emirates Post announced that they are removing the administration charges that P.O. Box subscribers need extra services like package inspection or external storage of items that can not be contained in their box.
Other Abu Dhabi Zip Code Alternatives:
You may not need to rent a P.O.Box necessarily in the UAE, most local businesses have a work around that. Local courier services as well as food delivery apps like UberEats and Zomato use your street address and Google Map coordinates to deliver meals. For US brands and retail stores that only deliver to zip codes, you have the alternate option of services like MyUS which holds a virtual shipping space for you in the States and then ships your package to the UAE for upto 80% discounted rates : www.myus.com
Zip Code Possibilities in Abu Dhabi’s near future:
With the Department of Municipal Affairs assigning a number & Quick Response (QR) code to each building in Abu Dhabi, there is now the possibility for a Zip Code infrastructure to be introduced. As per this report in The National (“Progress for New Address System in Abu Dhabi: https://www.thenational.ae/uae/progress-for-new-address-system-in-abu-dhabi-1.88968 “) , the new address system called Onwani offers an app with a GPS navigation system connected to the QR Code of each building – this is quite similar to the function of a zip code.
Onwani: The Onwani app will feature all 240 districts, 19,00 streets, 180,00 building addresses and 49,00 new traffic sign boards into one navigation system. With Onwani QR Codes, we hope they are developed to be interchangeable with Zip Codes – highlighting the accessibility & excellent urban planning of Abu Dhabi city!