Dear drivers in the Old Town/Downtown area of Dubai

Hello there, people who drive around where I live!

Apologies for the intrusion, but I just wanted to talk to you all about something rather important.

You really need to understand that just because a road has two or three lanes, no speed cameras and little in the way of speed bumps or general traffic calming, it does not mean that the road is a racing track.

You may have noticed all the apartments around you when you’re whizzing along through the Old Town – they are full of residents. This makes the area a ‘residential’ area.

‘Residential’ means that people live there. They need to cross the road occasionally, they might enjoy taking a walk around the place and certainly need to sleep at night.

So, there’s no need to rev your Nissan Patrol so hard that it backfires at eleven at night. Testing whether Toyota’s marketing brochure was telling the truth when it said your FJ Cruiser and do 0 to 60 in 8 seconds is also something you should do elsewhere. My suggestion would be to do this sort of thing somewhere else – the street you live in, for example. At midnight.

Taxi drivers – testing your Camry’s braking distance, or its ability to accelerate hard towards pedestrians is also a bit silly.

Why not use your off day to drive to an empty road in the desert with your friends and get it out of your system there? You could spend the morning racing towards your colleagues as they try to cross the road, indicating left but turning right and slamming on the brakes at the last minute so as not to miss the entrance to an imaginary hotel. After you’ve had your fun, you can then drive calmly through Downtown to Dubai Mall or to the hotels there. Guess what? You’ll arrive at pretty much the same time! Astonishing, I know, but it’s true!

Finally, a top tip to drivers picking up customers in branded vehicles belonging to leading airlines, or to delivery men working for local businesses. Cutting people up, flying over the three speed bumps we’ve been blessed with or generally pretending you are Jensen Buttenstan or Lewis Hamilreddy is also a bit twitty. There’s a big sign on your vehicle, so when you endanger people’s lives, We Know Who You Are and can call the company you work for to complain about your Formula 1 antics.

This is just a friendly ‘heads up’, as they say in the States. Carry on as you are and the next time it’ll be a friendly ‘heads off’ as the axe-wielding residents of this residential area chase you away.

Thanks guys!



3 Responses to “Dear drivers in the Old Town/Downtown area of Dubai”

  1. Jassim Says:

    That’s a good one and it should not be limited to this place it should apply evreywhere in Dubai and beyound in this country.
    I add my voice to yours Chris.

  2. Seabee Says:

    We have the same problem on the roads in Dubai Marina, which are all clearly marked with a 60kph speed limit but driving at 100 is not at all unusual.
    It’s the problem, I suggest, of having so many dual-carriageway streets in residential areas. They’re not a good idea because too many drivers treat them the same as they would a freeway.

  3. Dan Says:

    International city, entirely a residential area, has clear 40kmh limits on its internal roads but the speeds driven are frightening.
    Another thing, why is it that drivers here have a compulsion to drive in the left-most lane at all times, regardless of the speed they are travelling or whether the lanes on their right are empty or not?
    My taxi driver on Sheikh Zayed Road last night immediately pulled sharply to left lane (across the six other lanes) when we entered from the slip road. It was late and there were hardly any other cars so there was absolutely no reason to do that.
    I asked him why he drives like that and he thought it was the right thing to do!
    When I explained that he now had to pull back across six lanes of traffic to make the next exit and how dangerous that was he finally got it.
    He actually thanked me at the end of the journey for pointing out his mistake and told me that no one had ever explained it to him before and he would be a better driver now!
    I was astonished.
    Firstly because a taxi driver actually took on board what I was saying about safer driving and heeded it (never happened before in five years here).
    Secondly because he had never been taught about lane discipline when he learned to drive.
    So what DO the driving schools here teach?

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