When we first moved to Dubai we noticed that a lot of the streets have no names. Its normal here when getting directions to base these on land-marks versus road names. And sometimes the landmarks no longer exist but are so well remembered by those that have lived here for some time that they are still used. Took me ages to figure out where Interchange 1 is for example. Even the location maps that companies send you will show roads and intersections with other businesses as landmarks, but sans road names. And you will be told something like – turn left at the new Spinneys (opened in 2005), second roundabout right, third street left where the big boat is parked outside the house with the green roof. No wonder we all get lost all the time right?
The other thing that takes some getting used to is that there is no postal delivery to the house. So most people will use their company post boxes, some (like we did) eventually break down and rent their own post office box. But there aren’t enough and for the most part these are located at the post office, and most of these are in the older part of Dubai. So you end up not checking your post that often as a result. Since last year Emirates Post have been offering a box on-site at your home, but it is still a post office box address vs a street address, and sadly you can’t switch the box you may already have from the post office to your house – so it’s a new box number entirely. Which hardly seems worth the hassle. And there are no postcodes or ZIP codes here either. Its just Dubai, UAE. Anyway, the point of this is that when you order things online and forget to be very specific about it things will get sent to your street address. And never reach you. I have seen this happen with copies of certificates sent from the UK, stuff from the banks overseas and even cards from friends.
There is a point to all this and I am getting to it. In the last year or so there has been a move to start naming not only the streets around Dubai, but also the new suburbs and areas. So we are in Sports City but according to the new little white sign we live in Al Hebiah 2. This will definately have a positive impact over time I think, although most people still don’t seem to know the name of the street they work on. But now in a move that feels very familiar some of the roads are being re-named (this is something that happens a lot in South Africa, especially with a change of government). So first we had the renaming of the old Emirates Road (E311) to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road in honour of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince. But now the Dubai Bypass Road (E611) has also been renamed to ….. Emirates Road. Confusing me thinks.
The second thing that reminded me of home today was the massive rain storm we just had. The last 2 or so days we have been suffering with horrible hot sandstorms blowing dust all over the place, extremely unpleasant. This escalated last night into a howling wind followed by an electric storm and some rain. This morning started off hazy and strange looking, and no wonder, we have had a massive downpour. A very un-Dubai-like day indeed.
Hope your weekend has been good. Take it easy out there in the water ponds.