Firstly Dubai is a great place in which i have lived in for three years. However, during the end of my stay i hired a car from DISCOUNT RENT A CAR and can honestly say it was the worst service i have ever experienced anywhere in the world. The cars were shocking, old, high milage, unreliable with bald tyres. Within a four week period i had to return the hire car five times. Each time i received a new car which was just as bad as the previous. To make matters worse, i have now been waiting for four months for discount rent a car to return my deposit. They are ignoring my emails and making false promises over the phone. I wonder if this is a usual trick they play!?
Dubai is expensive, and nothing comes for free (apart from drinks on Ladies Night!) so it's understandable that more & more parts of the city are subject to paid parking.
You are charged per hour, and prices vary from area to area. In general though, you have to feed the machine either Dhs 1.- or 2.- (Dirhams) for one hour and Dhs 5.- for two hours.
There are still a lot of free "plots" of sand throughout the city & many people use these future construction sites for free parking, but now the police is also cracking down on this practice and slapping hefty fines of up to Dhs 500.- on offenders.
Paid Parking Hours are:
Saturdays to Thursdays, from 08:00AM - 01:00pm & 04:00pm - 09:00pm.
Parking is free in those 3 hours in the afternoon,
as well as on Fridays (local weekend) & public holidays.
1 USD = 3.67 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirhams)
Road, Roads everywhere, but not a space to park... Dubai's traffic & parking problems are reaching breaking point, and the city is now considering some drastic changes: The study would look at the prospect of reducing the maximum parking time from 2 hours to 1 hour at some of the busiest shopping areas such as the Gold Souk, Deira Fish Market, Karama & Baniyas Square in order to help avoid double-parking in these areas and offer available parking space to the maximum number of people.
A lot of the shopping malls & hotels used to offer free underground parking to visitors but are now also introducing paid parking metres, much to the disgruntlement of residents.
So if you rent a car and travel around town, watch out for the big ORANGE SIGNS & orange machines that indicate paid parking lots.
--> UPDATE 2008: TIP: Most hotels & even shopping malls now offer free valet parking. Just have your ticket stamped at one of the restaurants or shops, and take advantage of this convenient service (this is great especially in summertime!)
--> UPDATE Aug. 2009: Some malls will soon start charging visitors for their parking in order to try and deter park-and-ride Metro users who may use the malls' parking facilities as Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre Metro Stations are close by.
Traffic in Dubai has increased to nearly unbearable levels... and the faulty street planning & crazy drivers only add to the problem, on top of bottlenecks due to major construction. The UAE has the highest road death rate per capita in the world, with an average of 1 accident every 4 minutes & 1 death every day.
There are 3 ways of getting around:
I recomment options 1 or 3:
The bus system in Dubai is (because of heavy traffic) very irregular and is used by (without wanting to offend anyone) mainly 'low-income workers'. Men taking the bus are alright (if you can fight for a seat!) but women may feel uncomfortable being mentally undressed by 50 pairs of eyes...!
If you feel confident enough (or feel brave enough!) to drive yourself in Dubai, the Bur Dubai-side is well laid-out with plenty of road signs, Deira-side is a bit more confusing.
Either way, taxis are relatively cheap. There are many different taxi-companies, but they all have a taxi-sign on the roof, and are mostly cream or white in colour.
TOURIST TIP: Try to MEMORISE the general area & direction of your hotel, as some taxi drivers will try and take you 'the long way around' as soon as they realise you are a tourist...
Also, try to organise the timing for your plans according to traffic & rush hours - e.g. I wouldn't advise trying to go from Deira side to Jebel Ali Beach at 9am, when rush-hour from Sharjah hits Dubai. Equally bad would be trying to get to Deira City Centre (or even the airport) across Garhoud Bridge around 6pm. It will take you hours!
DUBAI IS NOT A PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY CITY. Many roads do not have sidewalks & there aren't sufficient road crossings.
Also: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to cycle around Dubai... you can cycle within the city's parks, but there are no cycle paths around the city & trying to cycle on the main roads is suicide!
Sand storms & flooding in winter can also cause chaos (see photos!)
Though i was going around Dubai by a private car,it was very easier to go around and visit many places within the metropolis and neighbouring cities like Deira city.no traffic nor waste of time in roundabouts.
Rental cars are currently being outshined by the efficient taxi service and now the metro of Dubai. But for anyone planning to go this route, as of May 2010, the traffic in Dubai is not as bad as it used to be depicted here in VT back in '08.
My husband and I rented cars for our two consecutive weekends in Dubai and we're glad that we did, we were able to explore much of the city and get around comfortably lugging our tripods and my big bags around the city. I especially recommend this if you are travelling with kids, since this will be less stress for everybody.
A car rental rate for the chepest economy car (A toyota yaris) is about 177 AED at the airport, but you have to pay airport fees (25 AED) each time you decide to pick up or drop off the car from there. It would be much better to have car rentals arranged by your hotel, it can go as cheap as 130 AED. Just make sure you return it with as much petrol as you've taken it (petrol by the way is cheap too), or else the rental company will dictate the price.
If you have an international license and a little guts, take on the road via a rented car. Thats if you are planning to stay like a month or so. A month car rental cost about AED 1900. I find it cheaper than taking the cap (comparing a month cost). Furthermore, fuel is quite cheap too.
Driving in Dubai is a real hassle. It's traffic congestion at every corner. Most of the time, it's easier to simply walk (unless the summer heat becomes too unbearable). Driving simply makes you feel tense and it's not the best way to spend a holiday.
Most countries have something rather usual on top of their death cause list. Mostly these are heart and blood circulation diseases, cancer is also always among the main causes and in some countries the HI virus has claimed the most deaths. In Dubai, the main cause of death is a traffic accident. Perhaps you’ll find out why, if you want to cross one of the big roads like Sheikh Zayed road and can’t find a traffic light (on which I wouldn’t encessarily rely on…). People speed around and do not always respect traffic rules. But this is only one side of Dubai’s trafficproblem. On the other side, the city’s streets are not growing with the same speed as Dubai’s population and their cars. So, during rush hours (early from 8:00 am on and in the afternoon from 4:00 pm), it is likely to see the mother of all traffic jams. Try to avoid these hours and check if your point of destination is within walking distance. Everything is better than to sit almost two hours trapped in a bus (or a car).
Well Guys to make it easy for you, I leave you the name and contact detail of some car rental companies in Dubai. All you have to do is to call them and find out about the deals that they offer:
United Car Rentals
P.O.BOX 8138, Dubai.
Gargash Car Rental
P.O.BOX 131834, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2623111
Gold Star Rent A Car LLC
P.O.BOX 120332, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3372371
Gold Star Rent A Car LLC
P.O.BOX 120332, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3372371
Fleet Luxury Car Rental Company LLC
Next to Mary Land Furniture, Sheikh Zayed Road, Between 3rd & 4th Interchange, Dubai
P.O.BOX 186008, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3380074
Royal Drive Rent A Car (LLC)
Warehouse No # 4, Near Madina Printing Press, Industrial Area 4, Dubai
Landmark Behind Galadari Driving School Ghusais.
P.O.BOX 13207, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2581313
Avenue Rent A Car LLC
P.O.BOX 30994, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3386555
Alice Rent A Car
Damascus Road, Al Gusais No 4, Dubai
Landmark Behind Galadari Driving School.
P.O.BOX 16469, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2277886
Seven Skys Passenger Transport & Car Rental
P.O.BOX 48328, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2676590
Fast Rent A Car
P.O.BOX 32011, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3387171
Millennium Rent A Car & Passenger Transport LLC
P.O.BOX 80755, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2731117
Sapphire Luxury Car Rental
P.O.BOX 81530, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2949007
Silver Car Bus Rental LLC
P.O.BOX 49141, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3971771
Aaliya Rent A Car LLC
P.O.BOX 116498, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3344621
Ace Car Rental
P.O.BOX 27948, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3516525
Al Ghaya Rent A Car
P.O.BOX 35322, Sharjah.
Tel: 06 5749696
Al Moutanawee Rent A Car
P.O.BOX 122118, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3973030
Al Nasr Rent A Car
P.O.BOX 2999, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3964400
Al Sayyad Rent A Car - General Transportation
P.O.BOX 80631, Dubai.
Tel: 04 2623234
Arab Star Car & Bus Rental LLC
P.O.BOX 117003, Dubai.
Tel: 04 3977899
Safety on the road
Motor vehicle statistics in various parts of the world has indicated what the traffic accidents cause in term of public or privates losses or human causalities. In the UAE, the statistics shows that traffic accidents are considered among the leading fatality causes among the youths.
Causes of the traffic accidents
The statistics of Dubai Police indicated that the most important reasons of traffic accidents in 2000 are the following:
Passing red lights.
Poor anticipation by the motorists.
Knowing what should be done during accidents and emergencies helps a lot in avoiding chaos and fear. Knowing the first aid, no doubt, is of utmost importance as it could be the difference between life and death, the difference between temporary and permanent disability, the difference between fast and prolonged treatment.
There are a number of instructions, which should be followed in case of any traffic accident.
Make phone calls and describe the problem and seek help by requesting ambulance or fire fighting, (in Dubai/U.A.E. the number to be called is 999 .
Get the spectators away from the accident scene.
Put warning signs on the road.
Direct the traffic.
Give information about the location of the accident, number of injured people and your phone number.
Do not attempt to move the injured.
If you have any knowledge about first aid, try to help the injured if necessary.
Emergency tools inside the car
Additional inflated tire.
Lift jack to lift the car when changing tires.
Wooden piece to stabilize the lift jack.
Basic tool box.
First aid kit.
Additional fan belt and water hoses.
Electrical wires for recharging the battery.
Maps for the roads.
Enough amount of water.
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