Why driving in Dubai sucks

One of the major cons of living in Dubai is having to deal with many lanes of horrible drivers. Every time you get in a car, you’re playing a little game called “Am I going to live today?” And I’m not even exaggerating. I mean, it’s fun every once in a while. But every single time? Not so much.

I’m going to describe to you now what some of the main problems are, and at the end of my little lecture, I’m going to share with you a true story of how I almost died yesterday.

People who have never heard of an indicator. I’m going to be honest here. I don’t indicate every time I’m turning or merging or whatever. If there is traffic and I’d like to cut across several lanes to get to my exit, I do. If I’m turning right into a street, and I see a guy that wants to come out of that street, I signal to let him know, “Hey buddy, it’s safe to pull out in front of me, because I’m turning off anyway.” If I’m going to make an illegal U-turn, I at least have the decency to inform the drivers behind me of my plan. What really pisses me off is when people NEVER signal and expect me to be able to read their sick minds, forcing me to either slam on my brakes, beep like an angry maniac, or swerve into another lane.

The WRONG way

The RIGHT way

People who beep 0.0001 zilliseconds after the light turns green. Seriously? I mean, I too was waiting for this change to occur. I too have somewhere to go. And I too understand that green means go. Do you really need to be obnoxious?

Irritating and unnecessary

Acceptable and cool

People who don’t understand the concept of a lane. Lanes are wide enough to accommodate a full-sized SUV plus like, a motorbike next to it or something. They’re pretty wide. You have no excuse to be straddling the lane, thereby making me wonder if you’re near-sighted, or drunk, or playing a game, or trying to come into my lane without warning (again, the lack of signaling becomes an issue). Can you just stick to your side and leave me alone?

People who drive slowly in the goddamn FAST lane. It’s called “fast” for a reason, you stupid guy. The minimum you should be driving in this lane is the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit is usually preferred. But if you wanna mosey around at 80 kmph, get the fuck outta my lane. Go creep around in one of the right lanes, the ones reserved for old people and 1.6 L Peugeots and large slow trucks.

And there’s many more problems that I just don’t have the energy to discuss: people who brake spastically, people who have young children and live animals crawling around on their dashboard, people who drive way too close behind you, etc. I understand that these issues aren’t only a problem in Dubai, but everywhere else too. However, in “everywhere else” it doesn’t happen every day, every time you get in the car, with every driver.

Now on to my story of near-death.

I was approaching a green light that started flashing yellow when I was about 25 meters away. There was a car in front of me, and no one else. The car in front of me didn’t brake, which translated to “I’m going to run this yellow slash maybe-red light, tee hee!” which was excellent, because I also planned to drive straight through it. Mind you this was a small intersection, with no cameras, there were no cops, and it was like eleven o’clock at night so there were few cars around.

Anyway, when the car in front of me got about 10 meters away, the light turned solid yellow. I was still following closely behind, and the car in front still made no indication of braking.

FIVE METERS FROM THE GODDAMN LIGHT THAT WAS STILL YELLOW, douchebag decided to chicken out and slam on his brakes. Not even a huge problem, because as I said, I checked my mirrors, and there wasn’t another car in sight. Technically I could veer into the left lane and still happily go through.

Just as I was getting into the left lane (by a thing of habit), I checked my blind spot and zeeoooom! this car whizzed past me, through the now-red light. I don’t even think it was a car, actually. I think it was a Lamborghini rocket. I swerved back into my lane by reflex, but now I had a stationary car three meters in front of my face. So I had to squeal to a jerking stop and when I came to a complete halt, I was literally practically touching the guy’s car. Not that I had an accident, but I think we were touching.

When I regained feeling in my face and the light turned green again, I shakily sped off. You have to keep in mind that this entire ordeal took place over a period of about two and a half seconds. And the worst part was, like three lights later, I caught up with the zooming guy, which really pissed me off. Because if you’re going to speed in such a way that one second you’re invisible in all the mirrors, and the next second you zoom past my window nearly scraping the body off and killing me instantly, I shouldn’t be able to catch up with you.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Never try to run a light if someone is in front of you. Move over first, and then run.

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10 Responses to “Why driving in Dubai sucks”

  1. Biological D. Says:

    ufff! that was a tough earned lesson. thank god nothing happened.
    I love you!
    at least you don´t have the additional extremely stupid fahrradfahrer, die ohne licht, geisterfahrend, trotzdem immer recht meinen zu haben, weil autos sowieso die umwelt so verschmutzen…

  2. adamdubai Says:

    Are you sure thats the truth? Maybe you also have the insane driving demons inside you, tsk tsk.

  3. Biological D. Says:

    dodgy? uh?

    • onamatopoeia Says:

      Dodgy means… Shady. Sketchy. If something’s dodgy-looking, you probably shouldn’t buy it. If a guy is dodgy, he’s probably got a crystal meth lab and eats live puppies. If a place is dodgy, you probs shouldn’t go there at night. Getting the gist?

  4. Biological D. Says:

    well, in that case, i´m glad to be driving a ford

  5. Tene Says:

    That picture of the Edge is mad accurate dude

  6. yamana gotum Says:

    The writer is full of shit. I live in Dubai as an Expat and there is literally no traffic whatsoever. 7-8 lanes of wide ass roads bro! I would suggest you to go to Istanbul and see the traffic there. You spend 3-4 a day for just going and coming back from work. Don’t talk shit bf seeing the worse. I also lived other major cities and whoever says Dubai has a traffic problem, must be smoking some hard ass shit.

    • onamatopoeia Says:

      Hello there, expat living in Dubai! Sorry for the late reply. I realise your comment was probably rhetorical and requires no reply, but since I’m on my comment page, I felt bad skipping you.

      Just some things to note: the wide lanes still have accidents on them (several daily), which creates horrible funneling due to poor drivers. Also, I’ve been to Istanbul and even have those freaky blue eye-shaped souvenirs as proof. I didn’t know about the lengthy amount of time it takes to go to and from work though, so thank you for this information.

      Regarding the part about how I can’t talk shit until I see the “worse,” I disagree. I can do whatever I want.

      That is all.

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