Monday, May 21, 2007

'You can believe me, I'm from the RTA'

"Authority dispels fears of clogged Dubai roads."

Oh, that's OK then, we can all relax and drive about the place without any problems.

No more 'can't go there, the traffic's too bad' mutterings from us.

Want to go to dinner in Deira when you live in Dubai Marina? It's not going to be a problem any more, obviously.

Who tells us this? None other than Engineer Maitha Obaid Bin Udai, who as we all know is in a position to know these things. She is indeed the Chief Executive Officer, Traffic & Roads Agency at our beloved RTA.

The eagerly-anticipated Salik road toll stuff up system is going to reduce traffic on the short section of SZR that it covers by 25%, encouraging us to "use alternative roads and public transport."

Public transport?

Maitha Obaid Bin Udai with Salik sticker.
Photo: Gulf News

Maitha says the toll will not create traffic congestion (contradicting the Chief of Traffic Police and the entire motoring public of Dubai). Even though it starts to operate on July 1st it somehow links in with the future - 'the expected opening of the floating bridge, the new (2008) Al Garhoud Bridge, the widening (when?) of Emirates Road'.

And "...the floating bridge will reduce traffic on Maktoum Bridge by 37%."

Ummmm...the toll on Garhoud Bridge will send more traffic to Maktoum bridge. That's the whole idea of it, to get traffic off Garhoud.

My head hurts.

Gulf News report: Salik is coming.


LoneTraveler said...

Life in Dubai,

I am not sure if this is the best way to solicit your thoughts, but I am relatively new to Blogger, and not sure how the best way to exchange thoughts with people is. I have read your blog a bit, and I thought, as someone with extensive living experience in and out of Dubai, you might have some valuable perspectives.

I am an American who is considering a job posting in Dubai. I have read as many blogs as I can to get a feel for what it's like, but I thought I would ask you and your readers directly. Dubai is clearly growing fast, and is suffering some overall growing pains (such as road infrastructure mentioned in the RTA post), but that is not of major concern to me. I am more interested in cultural aspects of life.

What is it like being a Westerner (particularly an American like me who looks like an Iowa farm boy) in Dubai? Is there any cultural tension? Should I be weary when trying to integrate socially? Is crime really as low as people say it is? etc. I am very considerate to other cultures (and very apolitical), but I was wondering how an average American might find daily life and interactions in Dubai.

I know those are wide open questions, but I am not sure exactly how to ask to get a general feel of life in Dubai for an American. I work in finance, and I have lived and worked in the US, Caribbean, and Singapore. Now considering Dubai, and trying to get some lifestyle/cultural perspectives.

Any comments from you and anyone else would be really great. (or suggestions on other blogs or message boards I should visit). Thanks for the time.

Seabee said...

lonetraveler, happy to help, but the best way is by e-mail, there's too much to go into here on 'comments'.

If you go to my full Profile, there's an e-mail link. Just contact me on that I'll get straight back to you.