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I've hired a car and taken it out for a spin this morning, and had to go for a lie down.

Absolutely shocking driving!! :eek:

Is this the norm here, or is it just particularly bad on a Tuesday morning???

I see a gap in the market if not!
 

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bad driving is the norm here :) basically just try to stay alert 100% of the time and try to develop your clairvoyant abilities so you can predict the stupidity of the other drivers around you. Is not only the locals and lorries who are bad drivers, even expats who used to be good drivers back home acquire some horrible driving habits once they settle down here.
 

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It's the norm, some parts of Dubai are worse than others but you do get kind of used to it. Try going out on a Friday when it is a lot quieter to get used to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road and find your bearings, it gets easier when you know where you are going.

Develop a bit of a thick skin, if someone is flashing and honking behind you, try to ignore them until it is safe to pull over. Easier said than done but again comes with practise. Also on roads out of Dubai eg to Abu Dhabi, RAK etc you'll find yourself looking in the rear view mirror more, if you see a Land Crusier hurtling towards you pull over when safe to do so.

Watch when you are changing lanes, nobody will let you in. In fact if you indicate to change lanes some w*nkers will actually speed up and close the gap you were otherwise going to move into. I still indicate but indicate then move almost immediately rather than the mirror, signal, maneuver that you would have been trained to do.

Also as dizzyizzy said try to stay alert more than you would perhaps back home and try to 'read' the road ahead of you.

You get used to it over time, but never full relax with it either, there are just far too many *rseholes behind the wheel of a car here.
 

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been only 16 days in this country and have the drive licence for the last 15 years (Canada)... have seen many other Arab countries (short term) .
admit UAE is the worst... I CAN NOT dare to drive....
no respect for the lane, no signaling, even on the highway you can not tell which lane is the slower than the other.... no rule at all....
was thinking to buy a car and put a "baby on board" on the back... but I am sure does not help...
for the first time I went on the highway (AD to Dubai) yesterday ( of course by Taxi)..
I saw terrible and the worst driver there... flushing and driving 160 km/h ( half meter or less following each car)....

From now I feel bad if I getting back driving habit with time here :-(
 

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and I love it here

wow i'm surprised that you all find it bad over here... i don't dare to drive in my home country Russia or my husband's Jordan - both are rules-free
i love driving in dubai and find it very safe... everything goes in comparison... no worries, you gonna get used to it, just remember:
1) 90% of the drivers don't look at you when they change the lane, so you need to look in all the mirrors to see them;
2) drivers who still dare to talk on the mobile even though it's fined are the most dangerous ones - they can kill a camel without noticing )))
3) use horn whenever you feel like it's gonna save your car
4) always check your car for scratches whenever you park in the malls as after getting the staff from the trolleys, many people just push them and they can easily heat your car
5) follow the rules and don't speed with drivers who have too much money to pay the fines

good luck!
 

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wow i'm surprised that you all find it bad over here... i don't dare to drive in my home country Russia or my husband's Jordan - both are rules-free
i love driving in dubai and find it very safe... everything goes in comparison... no worries, you gonna get used to it, just remember:
1) 90% of the drivers don't look at you when they change the lane, so you need to look in all the mirrors to see them;
2) drivers who still dare to talk on the mobile even though it's fined are the most dangerous ones - they can kill a camel without noticing )))
3) use horn whenever you feel like it's gonna save your car
4) always check your car for scratches whenever you park in the malls as after getting the staff from the trolleys, many people just push them and they can easily heat your car
5) follow the rules and don't speed with drivers who have too much money to pay the fines

good luck!
1) yep
2) I really don't think so, a camel would be straight through the windscreen, death to the driver - and camel meat to the locals....
3)Bollocks - i rarely use my horn....
4) Whatever
5) Surely it should be don't speed - or are you saying racing?????

X!
 

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i will be in dubai in 8 weeks and i can honestly say the thought of driving in dubai is keeping me up at night. Im seriously concerned for my familys safety. I cant understand why this kind of behaviour is allowed.....they need to seriously crack down.
 

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Catmul, don't worry, just be aware.....
I'm just back after living here 1995-97. Driving was bad then, but I reckon it's worse now. (Although that might be down to sheer volume)
I've only been back behind the wheel here for 36 hours, and I've already lost count of how many close encounters of the dangerous kind I've had!
Doesn't help that I'm driving my daughter's Peugeot 206 CC ... tiny! Can't wait to buy a 4x4 so that I feel a bit safer at least.
 

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I'm just back after living here 1995-97. Driving was bad then, but I reckon it's worse now. (Although that might be down to sheer volume)
I've only been back behind the wheel here for 36 hours, and I've already lost count of how many close encounters of the dangerous kind I've had!
Doesn't help that I'm driving my daughter's Peugeot 206 CC ... tiny! Can't wait to buy a 4x4 so that I feel a bit safer at least.
I know what you're sayin Anna, but really, the size is not the issue (yes i know all the guys say that), it's the awareness of what is around you basically....

You're a great driver - treat everyone else like a 2 year old!
 

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I'm just back after living here 1995-97. Driving was bad then, but I reckon it's worse now. (Although that might be down to sheer volume)
I've only been back behind the wheel here for 36 hours, and I've already lost count of how many close encounters of the dangerous kind I've had!
Doesn't help that I'm driving my daughter's Peugeot 206 CC ... tiny! Can't wait to buy a 4x4 so that I feel a bit safer at least.
Anna that is also my intention. The bigger the better. Apparently the Volvo XC90 is a very safe car, im going to look into that.
 

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I have no idea what a prado is, but apparently the volvo is a very safe car and that would be priority with all the lunatics on the road!
You save yourself, don't rely on your car - you want to see landcruiser deaths - just search youtube.

You are responsible, no-one else (if you're driving)....
 

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Just a Word.

Dont horn if you are driving in RAK. It is taking here as saying bad words. and most probably the other driver will stop and start quarreling with you. so avoid horn especially when driving in RAK.
 

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I was initially amazed at the driving standard here. I am a very relaxed driver but even here my patience got tested.

One of the fundamental flaws here, is that speeding only results in the fine, whereas in the UK you face court and jail depending on the level of speeding. If they applied it here, I'm sure it would help things. It may reduce some of the fines, but I guess a court case with a fine + Jail would be a decent deterrant.

I don't mind the driving at all now after about a month of adjusting, my personal experience is as follows:

1) The rear view mirror is redundant. If someone is behind you, they are not your problem, you are their problem. Side mirrors for lane changing and people cutting you, blind spot and front windscreen are your main if not only priorities.

2) There is very little signalling used ,so as per point 1, make sure you are always conscious of arbitrary unsignalled lane changes from both the overtaker and the undertaker (freudian slip?)

3) I do a short horn beep if I am undertaking someone, or see someone drifting into my lane. Not used to doing that normally, but it can't do any harm.

4) any aggressive manouvres you do in changing lanes are fine, and anyone who beeps you will shut up without much fuss if you ignore him for a second.

The main danger is not the Indians, who will likely tap your car at some point. I Think the main danger is the locals who drive like maniacs at times, many of which are youths with little experience and appear to have been gifted their licence (if they have one). With them it's not so much a tap, but likely an explosion.

I also hate the way the Indian drivers for some bizarre reason, decide to open their car door at full speed so that they can dispatch some phlegm onto the road!
 

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I was initially amazed at the driving standard here. I am a very relaxed driver but even here my patience got tested.

One of the fundamental flaws here, is that speeding only results in the fine, whereas in the UK you face court and jail depending on the level of speeding. If they applied it here, I'm sure it would help things. It may reduce some of the fines, but I guess a court case with a fine + Jail would be a decent deterrant.

I don't mind the driving at all now after about a month of adjusting, my personal experience is as follows:

1) The rear view mirror is redundant. If someone is behind you, they are not your problem, you are their problem. Side mirrors for lane changing and people cutting you, blind spot and front windscreen are your main if not only priorities.

2) There is very little signalling used ,so as per point 1, make sure you are always conscious of arbitrary unsignalled lane changes from both the overtaker and the undertaker (freudian slip?)

3) I do a short horn beep if I am undertaking someone, or see someone drifting into my lane. Not used to doing that normally, but it can't do any harm.

4) any aggressive manouvres you do in changing lanes are fine, and anyone who beeps you will shut up without much fuss if you ignore him for a second.

The main danger is not the Indians, who will likely tap your car at some point. I Think the main danger is the locals who drive like maniacs at times, many of which are youths with little experience and appear to have been gifted their licence (if they have one). With them it's not so much a tap, but likely an explosion.

I also hate the way the Indian drivers for some bizarre reason, decide to open their car door at full speed so that they can dispatch some phlegm onto the road!
I committed the crime this afternoon of stopping at a pedestrian crossing in Discovery Gardens to let a young lady cross the road. You would not believe the number of drivers behind me who beeped their horns... extremely aggressively. Well tough - I have no intention of letting my driving standards drop.
 

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Defensive driving is the way forward! Yes, some people drive like maniacs but give it a few months, you will most likely become one of the maniacs. I'm talking from experience here - when I was in the UK, I kept to the speed limit but how many people here can say that they still do that, that they indicate each and every time, that they check their mirrors before braking or stopping! Small things but just as dangerous as the maniacs who cut you off, tailgate you, etc

I drive to Abu Dhabi almost every day and the only thing I can say is to expect the unexpected. Everyone drives as if they own the road so stay alert at all times. People will change lanes even when you are parallel to them, so you're gonna be the one that brakes to save you life and your car. I actually prefer driving in Dubai as opposed to AUH! Drivers are still civil in Dubai compared to the behaviour that you witness on the AUH highway!

Yes, it is scary to get tailgated at 160 - 200km/hr but do not panic and take your time to get out of their way. Even when someone is bullying you out of the fast lane, check their position before you move aside cause they might just be about to undertake you.

I had to take a driving test here because my license is different to my passport and they wouldn't swap it. Here are 2 things I got taught (Nr 2 is highly not recommended!!!)
  1. If a slow moving car is blocking your way, it is ok to flash. This will alert them to your presence and let them know to give you way (Err, I'd hazard a guess that you can see me in your mirror but oh well, apparently, that's the way to do it here) - I'm against this by the way!!
  2. If you are on a roundabout in the left lane and your exit is coming up, indicate and move!!! (This floored me) Maz: Wouldn't that cause an accident. It would be safer to change lanes as you approach your exit and make sure that you are in the right lane.
    Instructor: No, you are on the roundabout. You have right of way!!!
    Maz: :eek:I'm not worried about those waiting to join the roundabout but rather the cars already on the roundabout, who I will have to cut off
    Instructor: They can see you, they will brake to avoid you :eek::eek:

Oh, and I drive a 4x4 and no, it is not the safest thing on the road! A burst tyre is enough to wipe you out. Sure if someone hits you, there is a lot of more metal between you and them but does that really matter when you look at the ease with which 4x4s flip!

The best thing that my driving instructor (in the UK) taught me is, do not drive for yourself, drive for others and anticipate their next stupid move and then you'll be fine! This is doubly important here - if it looks like someone is about to do something stupid, then take steps to avoid them, even if common sense prevails and they choose not to do it. It's the only way to get to your destination safely.

Drive safe!
 

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Scary driving

I totally agree. I get so cross when people laugh about the roads issue - so many people die on the roads here, how is that a joke?
The National newspaper have started a campaign aimed at the government, the police, the drivers, passengers - everyone - to try to make the roads safer. There are some really scary photos of mashed up cars to try to help people learn from others mistakes...
Multimedia - The National Newspaper
 
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