DUBAI: Pakistan's expats in the UAE welcomed on Sunday a new help center established by the country's consulate general in Dubai, as operators say they already receive hundreds of calls a day.
Available since July 18, the call center for Pakistanis in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Umm Al-Quwain and Ajman was officially inaugurated on Sunday.
Run by six trained operators, it will serve over 1.4 million Pakistani expats living and working in Dubai and the northern emirates, especially with queries related to processing documents and permits, Giyan Chand, acting consul general, said during the launch event.
"This idea has emerged because we used to receive hundreds of calls, but many calls used to drop because we were able to attend to only 200 to 250 calls," he told Arab News, adding that the help center's agents can during the calls simultaneously view the status of various applications and documents filed by the callers.
Ahmad Shaikhani, president of the Pakistan Business Council in Dubai, said the initiative will greatly benefit the huge Pakistani community in Dubai.
“We encourage our people to use Pakistan Consulate facilities,” he told Arab News.
Dr. Feisal Ikram, president of Pakistan Association Dubai, also welcomed the new call center, saying that it would make a difference, especially now, during the pandemic.
"It is not possible for everyone to be here physically, especially during COVID restrictions, so this initiative was badly needed," he said.
The help center receives on average 800 calls a day, one of its operators, Kiran Mehnaz, told Arab News.
She said most of the calls are related to regulations in the UAE and document attestation, which is a requirement for all those who seek to work in the Gulf country.
"Recently we received calls with regard to attestation of documents because it was a requirement by the UAE government," Mehnaz said.
The call center follows the consulate's digital initiative, the PakInDubai app that streamlines consular and welfare services for members of the Pakistani community. It provides access to the consulate's services such as document attestation, issuance of identity documents, transportation of the deceased, to information on services for foreign remittance card holders and legal advice.
The PakInDubai app is now available on the Google Play Store.
The call center currently operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UAE time, while a 24/7 helpline is going to be launched soon.
The main exchange number is 04-3973600.