Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The good & the bad on Dubai's roads.

Sitting at the traffic lights on Al Sufouh Road this morning. Three lanes of solid traffic, I'm in a queue of maybe 20 cars in the outside lane.

As the lights change to green a police car screams up to the back of our queue with lights and siren going. We all try to move over to the right...and guess what. We all did. All the traffic on our right let us all in and in no time at all the police car was through and away.

That's about 40 motorists all doing the right thing at the right time. Not a common occurrence so it's worth recording.

But there's always a but.

Access to my building in Dubai Marina was blocked by a mobile crane that was parked, with telescopic stabilisers fully extended, across the public road.

A lady was sitting in a car waving her arms at them, a resigned-looking taxi driver was stuck in the building's forecourt with a passenger fuming inside and I was stuck the other side of the crane.

I did what you, sadly, have to do in Dubai to get anyone to listen. I screamed at the top of my voice to the crowd of labourers gathered around the crane, waving my arms about and pointing. They looked scared and one ran off to get a supervisor. He spoke a little English, so I repeated the performance, adding threats of "police" and getting my mobile ready.

They pulled the telescopic legs back in so that we could all go about our business. The crane was gone a couple of hours later.

Then into Deira to collect my car from servicing.

Sitting at the traffic lights waiting to U-turn, the sound of squealing tyres made me look in the rear view mirror - just in time to see a small white sedan weaving about, at high speed, behind me. He completely lost it, crashed across the central reservation into the front of a 4X4 waiting at the lights the other side.

I U-turned, waited at the next set of lights. Six lanes, three going in one direction, three in another. A Rav4, Umm Al Quwain registered, windows blacked out at I'd say about 90% is in the far outside lane. He decides he needs to be in the lanes way over on the right, so he forces his way across our three lanes at right angles, bounces across the central reservation taking down two red & white plastic bollard things, and forces his way into where he wants to be.

Onto Sheikh Zayed Road, traffic heavy but moving, in the outside lane overtaking a solid line of cars and sitting on the speed limit of 120kph. I had a Camry a foot off my rear flashing his lights at me - not something that I'm partial to. A stamp on the brakes, a finger waved at him and a shout from a contorted face had the desired effect and he pulled back. When I'd passed the line of cars and pulled into the right-hand lane, still sitting on the 120kph limit, he screamed past and disappeared towards Abu Dhabi at, I'd say, 140 and counting.

All in all, apart from the first bit, a fairly average sort of a day on Dubai's roads.

1 comment:

i*maginate said...

Shame what you've had to live through. Shame no cup of tea to get me through this post, no Hob-Knobs. Life is a shame.