Abu Dhabi Weather

Friday, July 1, 2011


One of the things that friends who have visited me in Abu Dhabi have commented on is the driving. I've talked about this to the point of obsession so there isn't really that much more that I can say, but I'll summarize here: Driving in Abu Dhabi is pretty bad. I've heard from friends that it's much worse in other Middle Eastern countries. One friend who has lived in New York said it is similar to driving there. I can believe it. I understand that driving in other places is worse. That doesn't change the fact that there are reckless people on the roads of Abu Dhabi who needlessly create situations that cause accidents.

A very good example of this happened last April when the driver of a car going 140 kilometers an hour (85 miles an hour) in heavy fog hit the car in front of him and caused a 127-car-pileup. The fact that a driver was going this fast wasn't as much the issue. The issue was that three weeks later in similar conditions a coworker was driving and had a number of people pass him at what he estimated to be 140 miles an hour. The same thing happened in 2008. People aren't going to learn.

I have any number of examples that it isn't worth getting too in-depth in: people turning left from the far right lane, drivers deliberately side-swiping another car because they didn't like something the second driver did, people tailgating at high speed on the highway to intimidate drivers, I've seen some pretty impressive driving. This was enough for me to determine that I wanted to have a gas-guzzling SUV for my wife and kids. Even my Jeep feels like it doesn't have enough metal protecting me from the front bumper of some guy's land cruiser but it will do.

Many people attribute this phenomenon to the variety of cultures bringing different driving customs to Abu Dhabi into one big melting pot. That may be so, but I have a theory that explains a majority of the problem: a lot of people here drive like a**holes.

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