It's been that way for a long time, with the occassional hand-wringing and tut-tutting from those in a position to do something about it.
But action? No, no action.
Now Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is on the case, and suddenly people are running around doing what they should have done long ago.
Why is it that things get done only when he becomes personally involved?
I would hazard a guess that he's is a very busy man. The UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Also a very successful businessman with a huge business empire. Not to mention finding time for his interests such as being one of the world's leading racehorse owners, taking part in equestrian events and all the rest of it.
He surely can't be personally involved in every routine decision that needs to be taken. Yet it needs his personal involvement in things that other people are highly paid to do before they actually do them.
Yesterday Gulf News told us Dubai to crack down on reckless drivers. The story was that Sheikh Mohammed had ordered road traffic officials to come down hard on reckless drivers, to find immediate solutions to the city's traffic problems and to implement them as a priority. He also ordered the police to increase traffic patrols and radar devices.
Sheikh Mohammed warned them that "any delay or slackness in implementing the directives would be considered negligence and will not be tolerated." He also warned them that he would be personally watching the traffic situation until it is resolved.
Today Gulf News follows-up with reports of action being taken already. Errant motorists face full force of the law.
The Acting Chief of Dubai Police said: "the directions of Sheikh Mohammed are being implemented immediately."
You bet your life they are, he obviously terrified them.
But it's an unacceptable situation that people in highly-paid positions of responsibility need to be told how to do their jobs by Sheikh Mohammed.
For those of you who don't live here, here's a sample of the problem:
In a 60kph zone!
A policeman issues parking fine to a driving
school instructor who parked his car in the
middle of a busy road in Bur Dubai.
This motorist committed a blatant traffic
violation in Dubai yesterday which resulted
in the car being impounded.