Monday, January 12, 2009

Roads improving

Good news on Dubai traffic.

Since Christmas there has been a noticeable improvement in the traffic levels on the roads in Dubai. It was difficult to tell if this was due to people taking Christmas holidays, but now it's obvious that there really are fewer cars on the roads. Always good to see!

Didn't take long for those in charge to confirm that the improved traffic flows are due to car sharing and bus use. Nothing about the fact that people are leaving the country....

Still, emptier roads are good whatever the reason.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Credit Crunch starting to hit home

Dubai, it seems is not immune to the international credit crunch. Rumours are flying around everywhere although walking around on the streets and in the malls you'd be hard pushed to notice many changes. What's for certain is that the plethora of real estate stands around the city are all empty now with no interest from anyone in buying property. As far as i could tell most of the people buying property were speculators anyway, and with house prices dropping by 40% or more in the last month or so, that section of the market has dried up completely.

Expats are clearly losing their jobs too. A story today in Zawya is talking about 600 cars being dumped at the international airport from expats cutting their losses and escaping the country. Strange times eh!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dubai Car Buying Rules

The rules for buying a new car in Dubai are very straight forward:

1. The car must be white. Don't even think about deviating from this most important rule!
2. All windows must be tinted as much as possible. The law only allows a maximum 30% tint, but if you can get away with more you can use it to show which rung of the ladder you're on in society. Side effect: Night driving, and navigating in underground carparks becomes impossible so don't forget to wind your windows down to get around!
3. Anything demonstrating that your car is brand new MUST remain on the car. Import sticker? Check! Plastic seat covers? Check! These must remain on the car for as many months as possible even if they obscure vision, or look silly.
4. Choice of car should be restricted to BMW x5/6, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sports and Land Cruisers. Anything smaller would look silly.
5. Never, never, never buy a Nissan Tiida or Mitsubishi Lancer for you will look like a tourist in a hire car, and treated as such!

Snowing in Dubai?

It's not every day you get to see snow in Dubai, well not unless you frequent Ski Dubai. This was the scene outside my office window earlier today. A flatbed pulled up full of snow and a team of people set about spreading it on the ground. Later they were seen posing with golf equipment on the snow. Only in Dubai eh!

If you have to ask the question "Why?" The answer as always is "Because we can!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dubai out of petrol?!

Tonight, i went to fill up my car with premium fuel (at a ridiculously low price as per normal), and you'd never guess, but the petrol station had run out of fuel! I went into the station shop to pick up some water anyway, and the cashier asked the classic line "anything else". I just looked at him and said "Well i wouldn't mind some fuel". He looke at me, chuckled and said "yes, it's a bit embarrassing isn't it!"

I never thought i'd see the day that Dubai ran out of fuel. Ok this time the excuse was a delayed tanker delivery from Shajah, but maybe this is the start of the end?!!?

Surely not!

PS Yes i know I haven't been posting recently. Don't worry i have plans to get back blogging properly again soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How will we cope?!

It looks like self service petrol pumps are coming to Dubai. How will we be able to cope? Soon we'll have to get out of our car and actually put the nozzle in the vehicle ourselves! The next thing we know we'll have to spend more than the 70 AED (£9.90) to fill up our tank!

(Don't worry i'm joking. But you'll be surprised how badly some people are taking the news here!)

More here from Gulf News

"I am an Arab and I am sure women from this part of the region will make a big fuss about the entire thing. The majority would prefer the attendant to fill their fuel tank."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wondering Camels

When you live in the city of Dubai, it's easy to forget just how close you are to the desert which is only a couple of kilometres away. Beyond the city limits all sorts of surprises jump out at you like these camels crossing a dual carriageway at a leisurely pace.