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Out of line: Who would’ve thought there’d be hair pulling involved in taxi queuing?
The art of queuing is lost on Dubai; especially in Dubai Mall.
July 11, 2011 12:42 by Eva Fernandes
Dubai has come a long, long, long way. And no one will acknowledge the Emirate’s progression quicker than Kipp, having seen this sleepy old fishing village morph into one of the flashiest, albeit indebted, cities on the earth. And though the city may have sophisticated sub-cities like Healthcare City, Internet City, Knowledge Village and Academic City, the fact remains that despite all its developments there is still a lot that needs to be developed.
This was the one thought that was on Kipp’s mind this weekend, when we were standing in what could possibly be the most redundant taxi line in the entire world.
Yes, if you’ve been through it, you will probably know what we are on about: the most superfluous taxi line at the world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall.
To begin with, if you thought that the world’s largest mall and consequently toughest mall to navigate through, would have more than one taxi queue to catch a cab from, then you are a simpleton indeed, unaccustomed to the twisted and illogical ways of architectural design and urban planning in Dubai. Of course, the largest mall would only have one taxi pick-up: which means one must endure a brisk 10-minute walk minimum before arriving at the pick-up spot.
If your spirits drop during the quest to the taxi spot, they will undoubtedly pick up on seeing the hoards of happily disposed cream taxis lined up waiting for passengers. When Kipp did a rough estimate, we counted at least 75 cabs lined up in three different queues all bottle necking up to one exit.
When you’ve lived during the Taxi Famine of 2008, such a sight tends to induce a rare form of mania in the observer. Kipp wanted to just rush out and get into the nearest taxi and zoom off into the horizon.
…only we couldn’t. In fact, nobody could. Despite the fact that there were under a hundred taxis there was still a long queue of people waiting to get in. Infuriated and confused, Kipp waited our turn before we could figure what was at the root of this delay.
As we edged slowly towards the front of the line, amidst whistles being blown and horns being hooted, the source of the delay became very clear. There at the top of the line was an attendant from Dubai Mall, who was personally directing each passenger to a taxi. For the family that was ahead of Kipp, he suggested the taxi on the left, for the young man who rudely cut the line, he suggested the taxi in the center and for good ol’ Kipp, he suggested, well what do you know, the taxi on the right.
This kind of micro-management is truly counterproductive and unacceptable for a mall, which prides itself with having the best of everything. Appalled by such inefficiency, Kipp asked a few of our friends who use taxis to see if our experience was the exception to the rule-but unfortunately it wasn’t. So, Emaar and Dubai Mall, consider this rant as an open plea to revamp the outdated and inefficient taxi system currently in place. Replace it with a system that’s more in keeping with the sophisticated air of the rest of the mall.