Crime & Safety... the down-side of progress
Dubai has often been viewed as a safe haven and it's true that many foolishly leave the doors to homes & cars open and can still come back to find them untouched and intact.
But as the emirate has grown and begun to attract more money and tourists, the place has also become more vulnerable to crime.
Luckily, most expatriates & tourists have so far been deterred from crime because of Dubai's strict deportation laws.
You will notice that Dubai Police is constantly patrolling certain areas of the city.
With the arrival of crowds of tourists, the odd pickpocket can be spotted in busy public areas frequented by visitors that are too busy taking pictures, without noticing a hand in their pocket or bag.
A disturbing phenomenon is the arrival of "date-rape" drugs in the clubbing-scene. It's advisable for women to not leave any drinks unattended, and to keep a close eye on the cute stranger that just offered to buy you a cocktail...
Especially in the summer months most expatriates flee from the heat and take-up "shelter" in their home countries in Europe, USA, South Africa, etc.
It is at this time that thieves come out of the shadows, prying on uninhabited residences: large villas in expensive parts of town (e.g. Jumeirah)) are at highest risk. The danger is amplified by the fact that many residents never got acquainted to their neighbours, and so this incredible story happened a mere 5 houses from my old residence:
Personal Experience: the family was on vacation, and cunning burglars drove-up in broad daylight with a van painted with the logo of a fake removals/furniture packing company. Neighbours & passers-by simply assumed that another expatriate family was leaving, and nobody even looked twice whilst the thieves emptied out the entire house over a 4 hour period: television sets, sofa, curtains, beds, furniture, painting, clothing... Everything!
Either way: Dubai is still one of the safest places in the world where we all live a relatively care-free existence, but residents & tourists should not be fooled into a sense of false security - there's always the exception to the rule...
Dubai Police: 999.
PROBLEMS? Since August 2007 there is a new department within Dubai Police, especially for tourists: Tourists may call on toll-free number 8004438 (24 hours) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Need for Speed..." and no police to stop you!
My office decided to organise a go-karting evening for all of us as a "team building exercise". I don't know if we got closer or more competitive as a team, but it sure was a lot of fun!
The Dubai Autodrome is the region's first motorsports facility of this kind.
The complex not only includes an FIA sanctioned 5.39km circuit, but also incorporates a Race & Driving school and a CIK approved Karting track.
It was officially inaugurated in October 2004 when it hosted the final round of the FIA GT Championship
The 1.2km CIK-approved circuit at the Kartdrome features 17 corners plus a small tunnel and bridge. It can be divided into two smaller circuits of 720 metres & 525 metres each. It's equipped with a complete set of floodlight, so it wasn't a problem for us to go in the evening, we finished work.
The karts have a single Honda 4-stroke engine, with 390cc capacity and 13.5 bhp (break horse power) and hydraulic brakes... and a deafening noise to match!
For maintaining the karts and track there are multiple pit areas, and above the pit garage are a timing room and a race control room equipped with CCTV cameras, keeping an eye us whilst we where speeding with shrieking tyres around every corner ;-)
The karts are also equipped with computer chips to time each driver's best laps. To give you an idea: the fastest lap ever recorded on this track is 1 minute 12 seconds.
Considering the fact that this was my first ever karting experience, I'm quite proud of my fastest lap of 1 minute 22 seconds (a few of my colleagues only managed 1 minute 35 seconds and slower...) Maybe all Germans indeed have the "Schuhmacher-gene"? hahaha! You are provided with a racing suit, face mask, gloves and helmet (all available in different sizes). Just make sure to wear soft, comfortable sports/tennis shoes. Otherwise you will not be allowed to drive.
It's great fun, finally something a bit different to do in Dubai, and it really tests your skills, risk tolerance & reflexes. All in all: highly recommendable!
The Kartdrome also have smaller karts for children (ages 7 - 12)
Price per person: AED 100.- for a 15-minute session.
This may sound expensive, but believe me: 15 minutes in one of these karts seems like a iloooong time! But a long and really fun time!
For corporate events, it's also possible to reserve the track privately for your group only. Check with the kartdrome on booking schedules and prices.
Wafi City Mall
The Wafi City shopping mall has a very definite Egyptian feel to it, decorated as it is with a number of ceramic pyramids and Pharoahs!
Wafi City is much more than just a shopping mall. While the mall itself is impressive, with over 200 stores and eating establishments, Wafi City also offers a number of other amenities, including:
Pharoahs' Club (fitness centre and gymnasium),
"Pyramids" - offering a number of International restaurants,
Luxury apartment blocks and a hotel. Wafi City mall plays host to a vast array of fashion stores, electronics shops, department stores, bookshops, watch shops....
So, you can buy pretty much anything you want there!
It is worth visiting the mall near Christmas in order to see the surreal and incongruous sight of snow covered (not real, obviously!) Christmas trees and penguins aside pyramids and sphinxes!
Rock Your Night!
A cozy bar located in Regent Hotel, Bur Dubai. Great live music, great crowd and great food and drinks!! A choice for young people to spend their weekend night, dancing, karaoke, enjoy the drinks in the bar, playing pools or munching chicken Shawarma. They also offer ladies night for almost every night.
A recommend place to visit for clubbing lovers.
Bar, restaurant and nightclub: the cattle market where everyone always ends up at weekends for a Bullfrog or two. In-house schwarma joint for the munchies, karaoke on a Friday. No sneakers, dress casual
Excellent Indian Restaurant
This restaurant has a good selection of well-prepared indian food. I can’t speak well enough of this place: It is elegant enough to have a good dinner, but szill down to earth so that a budget tourist would feel fine to be here. Staff is very friendly and the location is just incredible: In the heart of the famous Sheikh Zayed Road with all the beautiful skyscrapers in the background. With this mix of price, service, location and excellent food quality, Jashan is one of the best-renowned indian restaurants in Dubai. Jashan is a small restaurant chains, with a dozen of branches all over the world. The food here is probably not as authentic as in a good restaurant in India. However, it is far better than the stuff you usually get outside of India. I had a dish with goat cheese and vegetables on a spit. Papadums were offered as an entrée, with a spicy candis mix offered after the meal. All very delicious, although I was not sure why we got that much of the spicy candis (or whatever I should call it…). Also, the portions were very generous, so you won’t strave here.