World’s first airconditioned bus shelters — in Jumeirah, Dubai
For bus travellers like me, this is just plain irony and mockery to the real people using the bus everyday. Why put up these airconditioned bus waiting sheds in areas like Jumeirah where the rich and famous are? What made them think that someone is actually going to use this structure? Everyone I know in Jumeirah owns a car. I would not be surprised if all the expats there have not taken a bus since day one.
On the other hand, the bus stop where I wait in the morning has no roof, just a bench hot enough to fry your ass cheeks for just 5 seconds. The bus stop also faces true EAST, meaning the sun’s vicious rays will directly burn every skin cell I have in my face. And the afternoon bus stop? Well, it faces WEST. The sun loves me!!
I had been whining about my bus stories so maybe it’s time I introduce the bus system. The bus system is the cheapest way of travelling around Dubai — just 1.50 Dhs (US$0.40/0.30 Euros) per one-way trip. If you have forgotten, petrol is very cheap here, only 1/3 of what we would pay when we were in Japan!!
- The quality of these buses are fairly good — airconditioned Mercedes, mind you. But!
- The stops are difficult to find for first time travellers and there is no indication on the street that there is a bus stop there.
- The bus stop names are written in too small letters, the electronic sign in the bus indicating the bus number and route is so not clear, a telescope would come in handy.
- The schedules mentioned on their website and/or the bus stations are far from being accurate, since the buses are almost always late.
- The intervals between the bus stops are too long which causes overcrowded busses especially during rush hours.
- There are no bus lanes, so you are stuck in the traffic jam like everyone else.
- Dubai is a multi-culture melting pot. But do not expect to find tourists or locals (Emiratis) in the bus. Most people inside it are Indians or Filipinos, that’s it.
- Women have their own seating, separate with men. Convenient setup to prevent some case of sexual harrassment usually in overcrowded buses but a pain because it means my husband had to go all the way to the end section, among the standing crowd. I need to call him in his mobile phone to tell him our stop is next.