Archive for the ‘Dubai traffic’ Category


Cultural Expressions

May 11, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

Who would have thought that the “caution: children” signs on school buses would be a place for cultural expression?

sign on school bus showing children in traditional dress

I posted this picture before. My best guess it that this is an older sister and younger brother in Emirati dress. Since then, I’ve been watching for these signs on school buses and noticed that the silhouettes reflect the nationality or ethnicity of the school.

boy with headress, girl with bonnet

Again, I’m guessing, but these seem to be Pakistani children, a brother and younger sister.

brother and younger sister

This is a slight variation on the previous.

generic silhouettes of older children

The high school bus has generic figures, but they are clearly older.

two "caution: children" signs on a single bus

This one doubled up, just to be safe. The silhouettes seem to be generic Westerners.


Time to Once Again Drive Safely

May 11, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

vehicle sign "am i drive safe if not please call"

You may remember that back in the fall of 2009 when we returned from summer travels we noticed that these “Am I Driving Safely” signs had begun to appear on commercial vehicles. Ever since we have been collecting the variations on a theme.

am i driving safely in both English and Arabic

Some are bilingual.

vehicle sign "I am driving safely if not please call"

Some don’t ask, just tell.

vehicle drive safely sign with an incomplete phone number

Good luck calling this number.

vehicle drive safely sign with tiny lettering

Some are so tiny that you have no hope of calling the number unless you are stopped at a light directly behind the vehicle.

lettering on vehicle stating "trained to drive safely"

Nice to know that this one was trained to drive safely.

How am I driving? Your suggestions are valued. Please call...

And, of course, our suggestions are valued.


Speed Bump Ahead

February 12, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

There is a new GIGANTIC speed bump on our street. It appears to accommodate some very large pipes that start here.

pump machinery

And go along here, entering the speed bump…

large black pipes entering side of the speed bump made of bricks

The speed bump, itself…

large speed bump made of bricks and cement

At the other side the pipes continue…

pipes going down an alley covered in part by wooden boxes

Then end in this curly Q…

large black pipes that circle & attach to each other

Notice that the ends of the two pipes seem to be attached to each other in one big, pointless loop. We are assuming that is only temporary and that they will be eventually attached to something else. Also, even though the speed bump is made of cement and bricks, we expect it to be temporary, too. It is the Dubai way.

caution sign with a zig zag arrow

If this sign were to truly symbolize Dubai it would have to look more like a crazy straw than just a zig zag.


Street Sights

November 16, 2010

Posted by Kanga.

truck load of goats

This is not an uncommon site on the streets of Dubai and probably anywhere else in the Emirates. These poor fellows are on their way to someone’s dinner table and not as guests.


This, however, is not something I see regularly. I doubt any of those three guys had a seat belt (maybe the driver, but it’s not a given) or any other safety equipment that would protect them in case of collision. It looked like a pretty rough ride.


Magic School Bus

October 7, 2010

Posted by Kanga.
several yellow school buses
This picture may seem quite pedestrian to you, but this sight caught my attention. Two and one half years ago when we moved here, school buses were not yellow. It was extremely rare to see a yellow school bus. Somewhere along the way, the regulations changed and now they are everywhere. They also have stop signs mounted on the left side that are extended when the bus stops to pick up children. However, none of the other drivers know what that means and they just drive around the bus without stopping.
a tiny bumper sticker
An even rarer sight – a bumper sticker. This is the one and only that I have seen. The print is quite small, so you have to be very close to even see it. It says “I may be slow…but I’m ahead of you.” Which is not particularly pithy here. Impatient drivers here do not pause long enough to read something like this. They are too busy speeding around slower cars.


Iconic carts

May 21, 2010

Posted by Kanga.

A common site in Dubai is the cart. Actually, let me clarify, it is a common site in Deira and Bur Dubai, the older parts of the city.

The quintessential sighting we had was as we came around the corner heading for our apartment building, we passed a guy pulling an empty cart down the left side of the street (our lane) while talking on his cell phone. Unfortunately, we did not have time to get a picture of that. DaddyBird was too busy trying not to crash into him.

When we first arrived in Dubai, one of our fellow “newbies” described Dubai as “first world meets third world.” That’s a pretty accurate description and the use of carts is one excellent example of that.

handcart loaded with boxes in the Spice Souk area

It makes perfect sense to see these in the souk areas because the souks are pedestrian traffic only, so a hand cart is perfectly suited to the task of moving goods around.

carts chained to a sign post

Naif has car traffic, but you will still see many carts here because it is the easier way to move things from place to place.

It is not uncommon in Naif to see a family or group of women who are shopping with a cartman following them with a cart full of their purchases.

This video shows two cart-men negotiating the crossing of a busy street.

carts loaded with living room furniture

The most amusing use of carts is for moving.

furniture cushions piled high on a hand cart


Safe Driving

May 14, 2010

Posted by Kanga

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived back in Dubai last August was the seemingly sudden appearance of signs on the back of commercial vans and trucks stating something along the line of “Am I driving safely? If not, please call…” These have existed in the States for a long time, but they were a new sight on Dubai streets. Why is this of interest? Because of the standard “sign phenomenon.” The first few we saw suffered from creative spelling and grammar. “Pleas” instead of “please.” “Safle” instead of “safely.” Unfortunately, I didn’t get those first few on film and then correct signs started to appear. We have, however, collected 22 (to date) showing various variations on the theme.

Am I drive safe, if not please call

The signs usually give a phone number to call, but sometimes have an email address, for those of you who can send an email while driving (safely).

Some of the signs were professionally printed, but some are spray painted on with a stencil.

Am I safe driver? If not please call

The corker, however, was captured by DaddyBird. The vehicle was yellow, so they simply wrote the sign on with a black marker.

If any comments on my driving, please call

To see all 22 pictures (or more if we add to them in the future), click here.