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SPECIAL FEATURE – Drive Me Crazy: is the system of learning how to drive making you nuts?

SPECIAL FEATURE – Drive Me Crazy: is the system of learning how to drive making you nuts?

Eva Fernandes explores rumours that learning how to drive in Dubai is nothing short of a time-consuming, infuriatingly tedious and ridiculously expensive affair.


June 23, 2011 3:55 by


It is these ‘mandatory’ classes the institute forces a student to take that is most infuriating. Let me explain, if you fail a driving test, you are forced to take a series of classes before the next test. And if you feel like you are being failed for no fault of your own, this added expense is a burden many feel too bitter to bear.

For instance sales executive, Dina Magdy Labib, a 28 year-old Egpyptian new in Dubai who, despite having driven in her native her country since she got out of school, took nearly half a year to get a driver license; a process which set her back just a little under Dh11,000. Labib said “I don’t mind that I have to take 40 classes in the beginning, but if I fail once you shouldn’t force me to take extra classes.”



And though, the driving class system is definitely not without its critics there are some, like Labib, who think there really is a method to the maddness: “I really liked the way they give the driver’s license, because it doesn’t let anyone just start driving. In Egypt you don’t need to use a signal to change lanes and the streets are very crowded. But in Dubai, with the strict driving pass-rates you feel like at least 80 percent people who are driving here are respecting the right of another car to drive.”

Labib might be as charitable to see virtues in the current system, but having had to spend more than Dh3,000 every month since the start of the year for my license, I am less able to see merit in the steep pricing and multi-failure system. Instead of educating students and making them eager to abide by driving rules, the current system instills nothing but a bitter resentment at being made to waste time and money—and a genuine dislike for the art of driving.

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