Am I driving safely !!

I duly appreciate, that Dubai Police does implement several creative and innovative ways to tackle reckless driving. However, as much as I commend them, I fail to understand, why have companies started these strategic ways of evading penalties.

On one two many occasions, I have jotted down the number of the vehicle and called the company telephone number (which is displayed in the “am I driving safely, If not call so and so”) But of late, I have noticed that the telephone numbers are mobile numbers which are generally switched off !!! or in this particular case, an email address is displayed.

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The mind wonders, how does someone manoeuver a car, jot down the email address and then scan for the car plate ????

I mean, is this ridiculous or WHAT ???

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Dubai Metro.

One of the most spectacular achievements in Dubai’s history has got to be the DUbai Metro. It was inaugegrated on 9-9-09 at time 9pm9mins9secs. Not that Arabs are superstitious culturally but I suppose they have gotten into the habit of making records of everything.

Ofcourse the majority of the riders at the moment are maily joy riders, and probably after a month of so, they will be able to get an estimate of the real traveller. So there we were on Wednesday morning at 8:30o in the morning excietedly going thru the map at the station, and what a modern and fantastic station that is. The decor is exceedingly modern and what I fancied most was how the old generation pictures were displayed thru out Union square station.

So we started out from Mall of the Emirates station and rode to Union Square. The display board were placed prominently to indicate the arrival time of the trains. Small things that count were really well taken care off. The ride was ofcourse smooth. The feel of the train itself was very fresh, clean and new. And then ofcourse the breath taking views. How I regret not having had kept my camera on the charger for longer !!

People tend to take things for granted. I have realized the world is filled with people with “glass is half empty” mentality. People tend to bicker more …  Especially here in Dubai, people get pampered so much that they just never know how to be grateful for what has been given in ones plate. Some people can just never be satisfied leave alone happy @! 

The construction company has done an excellent job and the few teething issues are expected which is a part and parcel of every project worldwide. RTA, Road and transport authorities have taken over very well too.  They deserve a pat on the back. 

Just a few pics to share with you’ll :

 

the bay area, these doors open automatically only when the doors of the train open

the bay area, these doors open automatically only when the doors of the train open

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rules to Driving in Dubai

I found this very entertaining article at a community bloggers site called : UAE Community blog.  It has scores of issues related to Dubai and living here.  I am an optimist so although the below pointers may be true to a certain extent, in all honesty, almost all  of the Gulf is like that, if not worse !!!   

Dubai has been my home for the past two decades and I have been driving almost past one decade.   And I am so pleased to say that inspite of driving in all sorts of areas from Sharjah industrial area  to Deria Nasr square to Jebal Ali – – I’ve just had one small accident while waiting for my right at Al Barsha round about that too by the desperately impatient driver behind me !!!!!!!! What are the odds to that ?????

 Infact if you came from India and Pakistan or such places, you’d think, driving here was much more organized than there although the speed factor is the only reason why fatality in an accident is so high.  Kudus to Dubai RTA for all the fantastic bridges, flyovers, high ways and metros that are “work in progress”       We are with you.   I liked these comments becoz true as they are, there is something very comical about how the author ” James Hamilton”  has written them. Hang in there James, a decade or two and we’ll get there !!  

Quite frankly, there are scores of expats who have landed here in the past 5-7 years having heard of Dubai being a safe, welcoming and prosperous place to live and grow in … they are the ones who have not experienced life in the desert without an airconditioner and would become delirious if they had to walk without their fourwheel drive even if they had to cross the trade center roundabout !!  Complaining is their favorite passtime. Its like a hobby for them. Every lunch break they have to have a subject to brood about !!

Every young country grows gradually, and they all have teething problems, Dubai has grown drastically and the problems here, are the impatient and arrogant expat visitors who really know that they are going to stay here for not more than a year or two and would love to whine about just about anything under the sky ; who expect to transform an Arab Islamic country into a New york or Paris  !!

Agreed,  Driving here is not safe just like any other country … the accidents and casualties may be more than most countries, but when you have stayed in a third world country, driving here is relatively less chaotic.

Following are the rules from the site : UAE community Blog.       

1. If your road map is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and get a new one.

2. If you are in Rashidiya and your map is one day old, then it is already obsolete.

3. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Dubai has it’s own version of traffic rules, which can be summarized as “Hold on and pray!”

4. If it is your priority to cross, forget it and wait.

5. There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Dubai . Everyone drives like that.

6. When you plan to get a new car, ask first about its acceleration from 80 to 160 Km/h (recommended: 3 seconds). Very important if you frequently use the Emirates Road

7. All directions start with Sheikh Zayed Road , which has no beginning and no end.

8. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM, The evening rush hour is from 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM .

9. Thursday’s rush hour starts Wednesday morning.

10. If you slow down at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended and then given a ticket by the Dubai Police.

11. If you are the first one at the intersection, when the light turns green ignore the car honking behind you and count to five to avoid crashing into one of the cars running the red light in cross-traffic.

12. Construction on all main roads is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. (Sorry for the inconvenience)

13. All unfamiliar sights are explained by the phrase, “Oh, we must be in Sharjah!”

14. Car horns are actually toys for big boys.

15. Anyone in a Land Cruiser, Tuned Patrol, jeep or Mercedes with tinted windows has the right of way. Period!

16. If you are driving a Corolla, Sunny, or another small Japanese car, stay on the far right lane. No comment!

17. Most roads mysteriously change names as you cross intersections.

18. To ask directions, you must have good knowledge of Hindi/ Malayalam

19. A trip across town will take a minimum of four hours, although Sheikh Zayed Road has an unposted minimum speed of 150 Km/h.

20. It is sobering to realize that local Arabs are taught how to drive by Malyalyee.

21. 18 wheeler trucks are one of the fastest vehicles in Dubai ; they can do 120 Km/h on Hatta-Oman Road when fully loaded.

22. The minimum acceptable speed on the Emirates Road is 160 km/h. Anything less is considered downright sissy.

23. Al Khail Road is Dubai’s daily version of NASCAR.

24. Dubai Autodrome has a new extension: The Emirates Road.

25. WELCOME TO THE UAE!

RTA

An adventure trip to the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife center.

 

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snack break in the lawns of the desert park

What a fantastic day. I know alot of the Brit folks we meet in Dubai are almost always complaining about the weather in London. So as a ritual, this is around the time we get some healthy and much needed showers here in Dubai, as I hear,  a friend even experienced hail on Saturday. We have been cooped up in the house for sometime now. The spring holidays are being absolutely enjoyed. I have been resisting the temptation to ask the boys to do some handwriting so far !! copy-of-spring-holidays-sharjah-desert-park-049

 Well, in return for getting a dozen chores done on time, I treated the boys to the Desert Park in Sharjah.  Yeah, its nearly 70 – 80 Kms away from the Ranches, but I think it was well worth the effort. The Park is divided into four parts, the Botanical garden, the children’s farm, the arabian wildlife area and the sharjah museum. The museum was closed and invariably we did’nt have so much time to cover it either. The boys loved exploring the different scientific based gadets at the botanical garden, that was really very well done. There was just so much to see and experiment ! They really liked feeding the baby goats (foal).  The wildlife park just overwhelmed the boys, the cheetah, leopard, snakes, beatles, scorpions, bats and what not !  Children learn so much so effortlessly while watching first-hand, rather than drilling information into them.

foal

foal

It was so much fun discussing food chains and food webs in the wildlife park and fish aquariums. Nests of different birds found in the deserts and ofcourse the living conditions of different snakes.  

Amazing and beautiful
Amazing and beautiful
experimenting which resource provides more energy.
experimenting which resource provides more energy.
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Young inquisitive minds

On the return the weather took a drastic turn.  The soothing drizzle turned into a heavy shower.

 

I just had to park the car at a distance on the side of the over bridge and take some photos !    All said and done, I completly enjoyed the rains, although I was really very alert driving considering the number of ambulances and rescue vehicles we saw, drive past us !! Well the silver lining is that the car looks washed and sparkling clean !!

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 copied-spring-holidays-sharjah-desert-park-061Dinner at Raavi with samie was all but a completion to a perfectly fullfilling and lovely day.