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The stress of Dubai driving

The stress of Dubai driving

Driving in Dubai is so stressful that some drivers prefer the sardine-tin, rush hour metro ride. And there are now even more cars, according to reports.

January 23, 2011 3:52 by

While we were treading towards the metro after a tiring day of work, Kipp bumped into an old friend from high school who, we were surprised to find out, worked in Media City. But on talking to her, we were even more surprised to find out that despite having a car, she actively chose to ride the metro everyday to work.

Now don’t get us wrong, we are as much of a fan of having our toes stamped on and ribs elbowed as the next metro-user, but there are only so many odious gas emissions we are willing to put up with on a daily basis. Yes, sure, we do boast about saving the environment and endorsing Dubai’s public transport system, and other such virtues of riding the metro daily, but truth be told, if we had the option of a car we’d probably forget about going green in a heartbeat. Which is why we were surprised by the circumstance of our long lost friend.

When we asked her for particulars, she needed no persuasion to launch into a long rant on how stressful navigating through Dubai’s crazy traffic all the way to Media City really is. Driving on Sheikh Zayed road on a daily basis during rush hour, she assured us, was nothing short of asking for high blood pressure. And having been an avid Metro-user for the past few months, she told us she is quite certain she is not going to take her car out to get to work any time soon.

Knowing what it is to be squished in the metro like a can of sardines day in and day out makes us think driving in Dubai has to be seriously stressful if the infamous train seems like a better option.

And driving here could be getting worse, if reports are right. Despite rumors of abandoned cars in parking lots and airports, Emirates 24|7 reports that since 2009 there has been almost a 25 percent increase in the number of cars registered with the RTA. Apparently, Dubai has more than 1 million registered vehicles serving 1.9 million residents, meaning there is one car for every two residents of Dubai.

Emirates 24|7 says the statistics discredit rumors that the improved flow of traffic is a result of less cars on the road; rather, it says it is a result of RTA’s improved traffic management service. Ordinarily we’d disagree just for the sake of it, but we probably shouldn’t be so cynical, especially given the RTA’s latest announcement of extending the lanes dedicated to bus and taxis alone. Maybe they’re really getting on top of all this.

What do you think? Is Dubai traffic so stressful you choose to use the train? And has Dubai traffic actually shown any improvement over the years?

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