So it's time for a new passport a) because the one I have is full – all those in-and-out of the UAE stamps (not to mention 12 countries in 2.5 years!!!) mean there is no room for a visa should I need one, and I will – and b) because mine expires in March and this is one thing I am not leaving to the last minute.
I have been curious to find out that Canadians face much stricter rules than a lot of nationalities when it comes to this issue. Our passports must be renewed every five years, and we need a proper guarantor: a lawyer or doctor or the like, not always that easy when you haven't lived in a place that long.
Brits, for example, only need to renew their passports every 10 years and any old person they've known for two years can vouch for them. I'm still waiting to find out if I need to part with my passport at all during this process. That prospect scares me.