Emirates Post Group (EPG), Empost services in the UAE
Emirates Post Group (previously the General Postal Authority, GPA, of the UAE) is the company that operates postal services and Post Offices in Dubai and the UAE. Emirates Post is a subsidiary of Emirates Post Holding (which has more than just philatelic interests), and is sometimes referred to as Empost but Empost is the courier company subsidiary of Emirates Post Holdings.
- The first post office in the UAE opened in Dubai 19 August 1909.
- The UAE joined the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on 20 Mar 1973.
- EPG operates more than 115 post offices (as of Dec 2016).
- Acting CEO is Fahad Eisa Al Hosani (last checked Dec 2016).
- Subsidiaries include Wall Street Exchange Centre, Electronic Documents Centre (last checked Dec 2016).
[Check] Company structure
- Emirates Post Group Holding > Emirates Post Group > Emirates Post, EMS, Wall Street Exchange Centre, Electronic Documents Centre, Empost.
Public PO Box delivery at UAE post offices
Most residents will have either their own private PO Box or use the company PO Box where they work. But for the latter, check if you really can have personal mail delivered to your company address. Some large companies seem to have a black hole into which employee mail disappears rather than being delivered to the employee. Alternatively, it is possible to have mail and packages delivered to a post office Public PO Box where it will be held for collection. Information moved to separate page:
Emirates Post Group services
Updated list of services (21 Jan 2017), reference EPG Services Guide (booklet available at post offices, RN:SG-01-2016).
- Post Office Boxes (PO Boxes) for mail delivery.
- Letter and parcel delivery, national and international.
- Courier and express mail delivery.
- Money transfer, local and international.
- Postal and stationery items: stamps, aerogrammes, envelopes, postcards.
- Government services.
- Personal and corporate services.
- Advertising and marketing services: unaddressed mail, special edition stamps.
- Licence issuing for postal activities.
- Philatelic services.
- Online, e-services.
- Track and trace of postal items.
- Apps for smartphone use.
- Mail rate calculator.
- Online parcel delivery information submission (but still need to bring parcel to post office, and submission reference ignored anyway, tested in 2015).
- Home and office mail delivery.
- EMS Express Mail Service (EMS Mumtaz Post).
- Letter and parcel delivery timings. Our test: letter envelope to Europe posted 23 Dec 2016, arrived 18 Jan 2017, took almost 4 weeks. Allow 2-4 weeks for normal delivery to most international destinations. If you're lucky, will be 1-2 weeks. Local mail delivery allow a week.
Emir Mail - no longer operating?
- Private mail delivery service in UAE announced in 2010. Launched early in 2011.
- Websites no longer available (since end of 2011?). Last Twitter post 27 Jun 2011, first post 03 Nov 2010.
[Update] (last update Aug 2011) Heading was Emirates Post Office services
Emirates Post counters offer the usual post office services (stamps, letter and parcel delivery, express post, registered letters, PO Box rentals). Additional services available at Emirates Post Offices include the following but don't expect all services at all post offices, especially the smaller ones, and any times mentioned are overridden by the individual post office opening hours:
- Air Arabia flights booking and ticket purchases (8am to 8pm).
- Customer service by email: send complaint or enquiry to the Emirates Post ecustomer service email@example.com, they say a reply should be received within 24 hours.
- Emirates ID applications.
- Driving licence: submit your application for lessons and a UAE driving licence in Dubai or Sharjah with Emirates Driving School (450 dhs gets you 6 classes and covers administrative and typing fees).
- Driving permit, International: applications (bring passport with residence visa and copy, Emirates ID, UAE driving licence, 2 photos, and AED 150 dhs).
- Express mail delivery (Mumtaz Post or EMS for Express Mail Service).
- Ministry of Labour (MOL) labour cards renewals and labour licence applications can be delivered to a post office, along with necessary documents and fees (plus a few extra dirhams for the stamps), and Emirates Post will ship them off to the Labour department for processing. When complete, the applicant can collect them from Emirates Post. A good way to avoid waiting in queues at the Labour Department and wait in a post office queue instead.
- Mobi-Post - mobile post offices to be established for labour camps in the UAE.
- Mobile telephone recharge for Etisalat and Du telecoms.
- Money transfers through Western Union (8am to 8pm), or Empost's own "Instant Cash Global Money Transfer".
- Postal items: aerogrammes (AED 2 - any destination), registered envelopes (AED 0.50-1.00), parcel boxes (AED 1.50-3.50).
- Postcard Millionaire: buy postcards, send them, and win a million postcards. Or maybe dirhams. Started in 2004, with weekly and 3-monthly prize draws.
- Salary payments to workers if an employer sets up an account to do this with Emirates Post.
- Shopping: magazines and newspapers, mobile phones, stationery.
- SMS Track and Trace service: send your receipt number for an Empost service (registered letter, parcels, application, bill payment, etc) to 7678 (POST) from your mobile phone and you'll get a reply with a status report. If you bought a stamp, don't expect a reply saying "I'm wet" just after you licked it.
- Traffic fine payments.
- Utilities payments for DEWA, SEWA, and FEWA electricity and water bills.
Emirates Stamp Club and Philatelic Services
[Update] (last update Aug 2011)
- Emirates Post has philatelic counters at the Central Post Offices in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Sharjah. Additional philatelic counters are at the Dubai Airport transit lounge post office, and the main post office in Deira, possibly also at Deira City Center.
- Philatelists can join the Emirates Stamp Club and get postage stamp orders sent free of charge to them anywhere in the world. Contact details are:
- Emirates Stamp Club, Emirates Post, PO Box 99999, Dubai, UAE.
- Tel: +971-4-2031421, +971-4-2031250. Fax: +971-4-2031372. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Other Emirates Post items available through the Stamp Club include First Day Covers (FDCs) and commemorative stamp issues.
- Application form for Emirates Stamp Club also available on the Emirates Post website (Home > Emirates Philatelic > How to become a member).
Emirates Philatelic Association
[Update] (last update Aug 2011)
- Emirates Philatelic Association (EPA) location is Building No 87 in the Al-Bastakia Heritage Area, Bur Dubai, called Philately House. It has a permanent exhibition of the history of postal services in the UAE including the period before the UAE was formed in 1971.
- Opening hours are 0900 to 1300 (9am-1pm) and 1700-2100 (5pm-9pm) daily (but double check opening hours on Fridays and during Ramadan). EPA website also says working hours are 1830-2130 (6:30pm-9:30pm daily but that might apply to the EPA office rather than the stamp and postal history exhibition.
- EPA sells UAE stamps and can arrange sale of your UAE postal items.
- EPA tel number is +971-4-3538383. Address is PO Box 33333, Dubai, UAE.
- EPA was established 24 June 1996 and has, or had, a room at the Riga Post Office in Dubai. EPA website says this room is open for members from 1930-2200 (7:30pm-10pm) on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday but check with them first if this information is still current.
- EPA president is Abdullah Al Khoury.
Mail Delivery in the UAE and Post Office boxes
[Update] (last update Aug 2011)
There is no mail delivery to street addresses in the UAE, all mail goes to PO Boxes at the various post office locations. Most residents have mail delivered to their company's post office box, which is usually collected daily by companies, and delivered to their employees. Your address is normally accepted as the company's PO Box in the UAE. This can cause problems when supplying an address to various organisations overseas who are not familiar with mail delivery in Dubai and the UAE (and many other countries in the Middle East). Usually if you explain the situation, companies will be sympathetic.
Courier companies such as Aramex, DHL, Fedex will do home and office deliveries. It is normal to supply them with a telephone number for the recipient so the courier company can phone and get directions to the delivery location. Street addresses do exist, sort of, but navigation is more often done with the use of major landmarks, common names for streets (rather than the signposted name), and building names and colors.
It's possible (but unlikely) that those living in apartment buildings have PO Boxes provided - the building owner, not you or your landlord, has to arrange this with the Emirates Post. Or if undesignated post office boxes are installed in the building already, you might be able to rent one individually direct from Emirates Post - see below about PO Box rental but also bring along your tenancy contract.
There were reports in early 2009 that Emirates Post was implementing a system of home delivery of mail in the UAE, to be up and running by 2012. Don't get too excited just yet - when you start seeing letter boxes outside your apartment building or villa, then something might be on the cards.
Private Post Office Box rental UAE
Update January 2011
Emirates Post increased PO Box rental prices (minimum AED 200 per year for individual), and decreased rental period from a choice of 1-3 years to just one year. Rental application or renewal at post office or online but going to post office seems easier - they might be less fussy about documentation required (such as Emirates ID card, residence visa copy, photos, but you will at least need passport copy), and how accurately you fill in the form.
There is an option of once per week mail pick up and deliver for business customers for minimum AED 3,500 (approximately, unconfirmed).
Previous post office box rental information for Dubai and UAE
You can get your own personal mail box - a good idea if you think you may be changing employers on a regular basis, but want to stay in the UAE. The disadvantage is you have to go and get your own mail. PO Box rental costs about 200-500 dhs per year (increased from 100-250 dhs in February 2008). New applications can be accepted at anytime (if there are PO Boxes available) but renewal is always done in January. Go to your favorite post office location with passport & residence visa (employment shouldn't be necessary), 2 copies, 2 photos, and some cash. There's an application form on the Empost website you can download and fill in, or get one at the post office.
For convenience, look for a post office near where you live or work, and remember that if you sign up for a PO Box in another emirate or new location in the same emirate, you will end up with a new PO Box number.
Post office box access is normally available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week but parcel and registered letter collection is not.
Fridays and public holiday post office opening hours
Update: Friday openings ceased at all post offices including Central PO in Karama (date of change unknown). Except for Dubai airport post office which is still open 24/7.
- [Update needed] See links at end of page to lists of post offices for each emirate with opening hours and telephone numbers. Post office names in bold are those that might be open on Fridays and public holidays. Normal opening hours apply Saturdays to Thursdays.
- UAE newspapers usually carry details of post office timings the day before public holidays start.
- Collection of mail from PO Boxes should be available 24 hrs per day. Collection of large packets and registered mail is during normal post office
- [Update needed] On public holidays and Fridays, most post offices are closed. However, the larger branches may be open from 9am to 1pm, and in Dubai shopping centers some post offices are open from 5pm to 9pm. The Dubai airport post office is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
- Some information, press releases, and newspaper reports indicate all post offices are open 8am to 8pm, but this is not the case. Telephone first for correct timings, and add a reply to the Emirates Post topic in the discussion forum with any updated information.
24 hour post offices
- Dubai International Airport in the departure area, airside after clearing
security check, immigration and customs. Branches in Terminal 1, 3.
If you know of post office locations with 24 hour postal services, please add details to the UAE post office topic.
- Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1 post office is not open 24 hrs, timings are 0730-2100 Sat-Thu, closed Fri (EPG information, last checked Oct 2016).
[Update] EPG history and archive information
11 Aug 2011 update
- The Arabian Center in Mirdiff had an exhibition of UAE stamps to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first UAE post office, running until 25 August 2009.
- On 31 March 2009, Emirates Post announced the opening of their 100th post office in their UAE post office network, at the new Arabian Center shopping mall in Mirdiff, Al Mizhar.
- Emirates Post has 106 post offices in the UAE as of 02 November 2009 with the opening of a new post office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
- The CEO of Emirates Post is Ibrahim Bin Karam, CEO of Empost is Sultan Al Midfa.
General Postal Authority
The UAE General Postal Authority (GPA) rebranded itself and launched as Emirates Post on 15 September 2001 (or about then) along with the usual marketing-speak like new corporate identity, new vision, new commitment, new brand, new logo, new standards, new technology, enhanced customer service, new dedicated to consumer satisfaction, and so on. The GPA boss at the time, director-general Abdullah Ibrahim Al Daboos, used most of those phrases in a press release announcing the new postal agency.
Degree attestation and verification service through Emirates Post
[last update Aug 2011]
This service is no longer available. For the curious though, it was a service introduced by the UAE Ministry of Labour and Emirates Post in September 2005 to make it easier for foreign workers to get their degrees attested (verified). This was normally a tedious procedure involving notarisations, stamps and signatures from several organisations including the issuing university, the UAE embassy or consulate, the embassy or consulate of the worker, perhaps an education ministry along the way, and always one more official body that applicants had forgotten about. The reason for this was to weed out fake certificates and easily frustrated workers. Emirates Post, after payment of a fee of AED 500, would take the workers certificates, hand them to Integra Screen (an international document screening organisation) and return the attested copies after a month or two. In April 2008, the Ministry of Labour said the degree attestation process would revert back to the old system.
- http://www.ems.post/emirates-post-group - EPG information on EMS website. EMS is the international Express Mail Service, operated by Universal Postal Union (UPU) members.
- http://www.ems.post/tracking - EMS online mail tracking for international EMS deliveries.
- http://www.upu.int/en/the-upu/member-countries/southern-asia-and-oceania/united-arab-emirates.html - UPU website page for the UAE (limited information).
- http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/general/the-postman-cometh-home-1.738232 - earliest found Emir Mail news announcement, 30 Dec 2010.
- Public post box service, information conflict. Announced in 2003 and in 2016. Was obviously available for many years prior to 2016 announcement.
- 17 Feb 2003: KT reprint of press release, www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/general/emirates-post-unveils-new-p.o.-box-service
- 10 Aug 2016: EPG press release, www.epg.gov.ae/portal/_en/newsdetail.xhtml?news=news710
- 10 Aug 2016: GN reprint looks like copy-past-merge of EPG news and old KT times article, www.gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/public-post-box-service-launched-1.1876999
Emirates Post contact details
- Tel 600-5-99999 (*not* toll free, is a premium rate number), fax: +971-4-3340333, email: email@example.com (checked Jan 2017, source EPG).
- EPG Philatelic Department, PO Box 99999, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971-4-2031250, fax: +971-4-2031228, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (checked Jan 2017, source EPG).
- Emirates Philatelic Association (also seen referenced as Emirates Philately Club). Location: Philately House, number 87 Al Fahidi Historical Area (Bastakia Heritage Area), Bur Dubai. Opening times 0830-1730 Saturday to Thursday. Tel +971-4-3538383, fax: 971-4-3535005, email: email@example.com (checked Jan 2017, source epa.ae).
Old or out of date information
- [Date, source unknown] Tel: +971-4-2303000, fax: +971-4-2148884, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- [Aug 2011 info] Tel 600-565555 in the UAE (not toll-free), 0800-2000 (8am-8pm) Sat-Thu, 1600-2000 (4pm-8pm) on Fridays. Email email@example.com.
- [Feb 2006 info, source emiratespost.co.ae] location: behind Abu Hail Centre, Deira, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971-4-2031464 or +971-4-2031359, fax: +971-4-3340333, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Email address probably invalid now.
- [Date, source unknown] Emirates Post Call Center tel +971-4-3340033, fax +971-4-3340333, email: email@example.com. Postal address PO Box 99999, Dubai, UAE. Email address probably invalid, website gives DNS error. Tel number rings but no answer (Jan 2017 checked).
- [Date, source unknown] Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlikely to still be functioning, website not available.
Last update Monday 18-Mar-2019