Well, my friend and I finally applied yesterday for our Schengen Visa at the Netherlands Consulate in Dubai. The way there was a long, long via train ride (almost an hour just one way!) but I must say, it was all worth it.
My friend and I were asked questions on where we've been, how many Schengen Visas we have had in the past, why we were visiting Amsterdam and for how long. It was a very nice lady who processed our paperwork and we paid only 260 Dirhams including the courier service charge of 15 Dhs. It is a lot cheaper to apply directly to the country of your first entry point or where you are staying the longest when you apply for Schengen. If we have availed the services of the VFS Global (they're like an authorised agent/broker accepting applications for various members of the Schengen States), we would have paid almost twice as much because of the processing fee.
So, we're just waiting for our passports and hopefully we get approved and be given multiple entry as I plan to go back in June with my daughter when she spends summer here in Dubai.
It's been a while since we last visited Europe and this is my first time to apply as a principal applicant. I usually get my visas from other countries through my husband as the main applicant because he has higher salary than mine. :) So, I was a bit nervous because I wasn't sure if I had enough money in my bank account or if my salary is too low to be considered. Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed because it seems like the consul officer knew we are travellers. She was pleasantly surprised to see so many visas stamped on my passport and to my delight, she was paying attention to which countries they were issued I'm just glad I love to travel and hopefully, they give us multiple entry with long duration so we can always visit even for short breaks over the weekend. That will be very exciting!
Also, we mentioned it is our birthday gift to ourselves as my friend and I celebrate our birthdays a day apart (I on 15 March and she on 16 March). I hope they give us the approved visa with multiple entry and a longer duration of expiry as our birthday gifts. :)