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24 October, 2005

So much for name and shame

A woman bus passenger recounts a horrific ordeal in Emirates Today:

"The driver got angry and snatched my handbag and mobile and flung them outside the bus. He was about to kick me, but one of the men in the bus came to my rescue," she said.

"When I wanted to get off the bus, he repeatedly opened and closed the automatic door, hurting my back and chest. I screamed at him to stop the bus, as I needed to pick up my bag and mobile. He stopped the bus abruptly and I got down feeling abused and humiliated," Usha said.

But more horrific still is the bizarre attitude of transport officials:

Said Essa bin Abdul Rahman Al Dosari, Assistant Director in the Transport Department at Dubai Municipality: "We cannot give away the driver’s name, age, photo or any other personal details to be published as it will damage his personality and may prompt him to commit more serious crimes in future."

Essa, wake up and smell the qahwa. The man already has a damaged personality. He shouldn't even be in a position where he can commit "more serious" crimes:

"The driver will be put under training. If he continues to behave in this way, then he may be suspended," Al Dosari said.

What sort of futile, useless training might this be?

Dubai Municipality's Guide To Bus-Driving
Rule 1 - don't throw passengers' personal belongings out of your bus
Rule 2 - don't kick your passengers
Rule 3 - don't repeatedly open and shut your door on passengers

What you need to do, Essa, is suspend this man forthwith. Not pussyfoot around fretting about his precious "personality" while law-abiding passengers travel in fear. Nor weasel around wondering whether he "may be suspended" if he repeats his behaviour. If this driver does this again he should bloody well go to jail. And so should Municipality officials for failing in their moral duty of care and putting passengers at needless and obvious risk.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm...i thought of understand why they want to protect the bus driver's identity... after all he is a UAE national, right? People want to protect their own, it is only natural. Not only the publicity of the driver would hurt his life, but it would also dramatize the incident, thus hurt the image of transportation system
in Dubai. Sorry for the woman. Wonder why she was the target of his anger. The authority should give her some favor, such as giving her a free pass for the bus ride. She might be too scared to ride a bus again,though, since this would make her being noticed as "that woman" instantly. Some better suggestions?

24 October, 2005 04:50  
Blogger black feline said...

as far as i know..the drivers are non-local..anyway, most of the drivers are RUDE and VIOLENT! and not forgeting the spot checking inspector (young local usually)...gestapo from hell lookalike....try taking bus 8 or 8A at the Bur Dubai station..for the experience of your life..passengers fighting one another, passenger fighting with driver..etc what's new? the lady should file a report with the polices...if u ever want to travel in the public transport..go for self defence classes...i have 5 yrs of Muai Thai im perfectly safe

24 October, 2005 06:11  
Blogger akantha said...

Quote: If this driver does this again he should bloody well go to jail.

Excuse me? This was an assault. In what job are you allowed to assault a customer? The driver should immediately be arrested and fired. Period.

24 October, 2005 06:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret: Hi there.

If the man deliberately opened and shut the huge hydraulic doors of the bus with the passenger stuck in between it is tantamont to assault. I don't think it is a matter of "if he does it again" - he should be punished immediately. This is totally obnoxious - punishment would be a lesson to other drivers to sort out their attitude or ship out.

Hope the lady in question is not hurt.

24 October, 2005 07:43  
Blogger black feline said...

the other side of the story? eye-witnesses pls step out...and did she filed a police report or complaint to the transport company immediately?...if she could reach the press..surely she has no problem doing the above...i remember a smart lady arguing with a taxi driver who literally took her for a long ride..she refused to the middle of bank street..police was called immediately..and the taxi driver was seriously reprimanded..and the damsel in distress was kindly asked to calm the end that stupid driver left without a single dhm..

24 October, 2005 08:10  
Blogger samuraisam said...

i am with black feline on this one, seems odd that no one has come forward after such a dramatic attack to provide a third party perspective. odds on this story is completely exagurated above and beyond all belief.

24 October, 2005 08:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the lady did to aggrevate this mood of the driver ?

24 October, 2005 08:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me?? This is an assault on a human being. The driver needs to be punished immediately. If they don't, it sets precedence for criminal behaviour by all drivers. Where is this country going? No one is safe anymore. In the past Shk Zayed did everything to protect women, now Dubai might as well be Brazil or Mexico.

24 October, 2005 09:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone succeeds in finding out the drivers identity and bus route, please post it here. I'd love to tackle this guy after a couple of Red Bull's.

24 October, 2005 09:29  
Blogger ReginaFilangee said...

as usual...clueless about customer service. I am begining to think it's an offensive word for them!

24 October, 2005 09:39  
Blogger 1Desi said...

Its funny how these guys are two different extremes.

At one end, you have highly paid, well mannered professionals (take a gov enterprise like Nakheel for eg.) and at the other you have these poorly trained, megerely paid, bus drivers (lets not forget the folks at some of the other gov orgs).

They've made amazing progress, no secret about that - they've come full circle with cust serv. at say, Dewa/Etisalat (wrt the face treatment you get) but visit some of their healthcare facilities (eg. Deira Hospital) or the Dept. of Foriegn affairs (where expats need to go to get their academic history attested), etc. and its a whole different Dubai! Its almost like a neglegence for people from a certain monetary bracket. Well, hope things change... but that'll only happen if people demand more 'customer service'.

As for the driver... I'm surprised they haven't thrown him out of the country as yet - must be more to the story than meets the eye.

24 October, 2005 10:28  
Blogger Emirati said...

Dont pin this on the locals anon1..


Like I said and suggested, if the law fails you, take the law into your own hands.

24 October, 2005 10:35  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I had assumed the driver was an expat (as is statistically most likely).

24 October, 2005 10:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will people realise that ' you only get what you pay for'. the drivers are mostly uneducated or poorly educated on meagre salaries. they are OBVIOUSLY not Emiratis ( question to all including locals.. would emiratis work as bus drivers and get by on a salary of 1200+ a month?)

in this particular case, the driver acted vindictively and endagered the life of a passenger ( if the story is true mind you). he should be suspended, fined and made to undergo a crash course ( no pun intended) in customer service. he should be constantly monitored after that to see if his behaviour is improved.

24 October, 2005 10:55  
Blogger CG said...

This is where I get soooooooo MAD. There will be no witnesses, because they will most likely be Asian, on low salaries who cannot afford to get involved in the law here for fear of losing their own jobs/overseas lives etc.
I wish this woman had enough sense to walk (well she can hardly take a bus now can she..since the driver is roaming around waiting for opportunity no.2) to the nearest Police Station, file a complaint and stick to her guns (and use one if she has to). Go to court and get the MF locked up. This is disgusting, but until the Asian population start to stand up for themselves (they DO actually have rights...duh) then they can only expect these kinds of acts to happen.
She was humiliated, abused and assaulted. He was not her husband (in which case I would say, DONT file a complaint hehe) so it was also sexual harrassment, since I am sure he would not have tried that on a male passenger.
I hope she is not alright and ends up in the emergency room at the Rashid Hospital, the Police there will be the first to ask who dunnit.

24 October, 2005 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget, Dubai is the city that cares LOL

24 October, 2005 12:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asians nowadays are getting stronger. You look at Chinese girls and they are not hookers.

Japanese girls are probably doing ok, too.

Besides, worry about AIDs and other sexually-transmitted disease. Get your love, the normal way!

So as Asian guys. 21st century is the century of Asia with China and India rising.

24 October, 2005 12:56  
Blogger One Nine Seven One said...

If an emirati was working as bus driver, i am pretty sure he wont be getting paid 1200+ a month.

24 October, 2005 12:56  
Blogger CG said...

to anon@12.56
what has looking at a Chinese girl got to do with her not being a hooker? I thought they all were...
and how did getting minced in a bus door get you onto that subject?
Oh yes, the Asian thing. well most people know what I meant.

24 October, 2005 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is certainly incomplete with a lot of missing details. I highly doubt that this was the whole episode. A driver randomly angered. In my experience, companies and institutes don't have qualms about firing people.. especially low-level jobs. Which only tells me, as others have pointed out, there's more to it than meets the eye. Much more.

24 October, 2005 13:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of you have travelled by bus?

Not taking sides here... but sometimes passengers can be really rude to the drivers. In fact its racist sometimes. Drivers are of course completed frustrated by the attitude and lets not forget road rage. With Dubai traffic being the way it is... I feel sorry for them.

But it does not mean they can bash up passengers! I agree with the Mohamed. Incomplete information as usual.

24 October, 2005 13:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have riden the bus (and I am - gasp - white) and I have witnessed drivers being rude to female passengers in particular. Not sure why, maybe they are getting their frustrations out on Asian women who won't/can't fight back? Anyway, for the sake of DECENT journalism..I do hope Emirates Today will attempt to do some real reporting and get to the bottom of this! (I won't hold my breath)

24 October, 2005 14:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emirates Today??? decent journalism??? are you taking the proverbial p1ss?

you know in the soviet days they had Tass news agency and Pravda who were in charge of goverment propaganda.. not that i'm implying anything .. ;)

24 October, 2005 14:34  
Blogger moryarti said...

I try very hard to comprehend the fact that these things do happen; a stand off between a pissed customer and an aggravated service provider (bus, taxi driver, waiter...etc) that turns physically ugly.

But what i DO NOT understand is the official's reaction to it.

There is a serious message going out here: "our drivers can assault customers, get them locked between hydraulic doors and throw away customers' personal items from the window when nessarsary.... Oh, and if they were reported in a daily newspaper doing that, we will place them in training and form a special committee to discuss the probability of giving them suspension!"


24 October, 2005 15:09  
Blogger B.D. said...

Honestly, if I were on that bus and such a scene took place I'd probably sit there quietly too. Inside of course I'd be thinking how tragic it is, but it's human nature to not want to get involved. I'm sure some will think, "Are you crazy, I'd get up and help the lady!" That's what people think, but it didn't happen in this case and won't happen in most others. That's reality.

Anyway, it was still a tragedy--even if the woman had done anything (if only verbally) to provoke the driver.

24 October, 2005 16:43  
Blogger samuraisam said...

“Some men were standing too close to my seat, and it made me very uncomfortable. So I asked the driver to tell these men to go back to where there was more space,” Usha said.

“Instead, he yelled back, saying that I was seated comfortably, and that I had better keep quiet. Annoyed at his attitude, I tried calling the toll free number [800 4848 – on the bus], but nobody answered,” Usha said.

Even though i think physical assault was taking it a bit far, what was she expecting the driver to do? park the bus and ask them to stand elsewhere? why could she not do it herself? Or are they not humans like her?

24 October, 2005 16:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more I read about Dubai, the less I am intrigued to go. First, it seems that there is a huge discrimination toward women and non-white foreigners. Second, the transportation seems so unorganized and horrible. This bus incident is beyond common sense in developed countries. Third, all these happenings under ultra-hot temperature. And all the constructions with tacky designs still going on. I might go to Dubai in the future, but I do not think I want to go there for my vacation in Nov. I decided to go to Singapore instead.
See you later,have fun out there, but for now-Bye Bye!

24 October, 2005 17:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, to the person who will just sit there.. you make yourself a useless member of society. I would have done something. I have been known to act on such occasions. There is no reason not to. I couldn't live with myself knowing that I just let something like that happen.. what if she died falling down from the door, run over by a truck? How would you feel about that?

On the other hand, yes, a lot of people, especially subcons seem to have a completely different understanding of personal space (or lack thereof). I like my personal space.. plenty, thank you very much. Most seem to think it's okay to stick right up on you, regardless of the availability of other space or not. That seriously pisses me off. I know it might be a cultural thing and it could be fine in their culture, but it sure as hell is not okay wtih me. So I can understand the woman's frustration. And yes, I would have gone up and told them to bugger off me.

However, being a woman and possibly one with a weak personality, she has asked the bus driver to tell them to quit breathing down her neck. Hardly a reason to tell her to shut up. The bus driver should have ensured everyone is adequately seated before driving off from one stop to the other in ANY case.

24 October, 2005 20:01  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anonymous@17:57 - I was blown away by Singapore, it is an amazing city. Perfect for a holiday or short break. I think you definitely made the right choice. Unless you are specifically looking for guaranteed sunshine and a more "touristy" (artificial) experience, Dubai is not the best place to visit. The construction is also a real problem. I would advise people that are curious about Dubai to wait a couple of years and try to visit when more stuff (like some of the Dubailand theme parks) is ready.

24 October, 2005 20:48  
Blogger CG said...

Yeh, don't visit Dubai.. it is hot and we have miserable bus drivers and construction is popping up all over the show, worst of all it is a case of Hotel California. People just can't seem to find their way out once they get here.
Besides the Saharan weather and maniac drivers you will find something really nice. US

24 October, 2005 21:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because we're a country of 1 bn people, our concept of personal space is very much cosier than people from less crowded countries. Even so, some subcons from smaller towns have a really warped (and sticky) idea of personal space. I've actually turned around and pushed people off me - they press up right against you in a queue even though the place is not crowded and there's no real rush - eg. getting onto a plane or checking out at a supermarket. You need to keep in mind that it may seem horribly close to you, but they probably don't even realise what they are doing. Of course, getting extra close to a woman is rarely done subconciously (there's a pun in there somewhere, but the meanings are the wrong way around... never mind).

24 October, 2005 22:13  
Blogger samuraisam said...

There must be a good reason why he was not fired, i'd say it's because this story was probably dramatised a lot, no one at all came forward to support her claims...

we'll just have to wait till dubai transport installs video camera's in every single vehicle they own before its fair to judge articles like these.

24 October, 2005 22:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mohamed Elzubeir: "especially subcons seem to have a completely different understanding of personal space (or lack thereof)."

This is a puerile generalisation. Subcons are not a homogenous lot. Nepalis, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Indians and Sri-Lankas are people of extremely varying traits and cultural habits, not to mention languages, ethnicity etc. And this is not just among the individual countries but within each of them too. It is therefore silly to make broadbrush remarks about "subcons" as a whole. (post-cons, ex-cons...air-cons...!). There are tremendous contrasts and variations in the subcontinent. Suave criketer Imran Khan and beauty Aishwarya Rai are both from the subcontinent and surely (like hundreds of millions of other "subcons") appreciate their personal space as much as Mr. Mohamed Elzubeir and his compatriots whoever they may be.

Please read under Body Language the second item: "Indians generally allow an arm's length space between themselves and others. Don't stand close to Indians. Indians value personal space."
Coming back to the driver again, he needs to be punished if there is an iota of truth in the article.

25 October, 2005 06:07  
Blogger black feline said...


u never fail to amaze me..blown away by Singapore? hope it's another of your subtle sacarsm..LOL...Thank God...u are definitely NOT like that passing thru toad (frog) in the well..who actually wet its (his) just viewing national geographic on the telly...about big cities..esp Shanghai...LOL

25 October, 2005 08:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singapore is a superb place. Singaporeans have a Fantastic sense of self discipline which manifests itself in everyday life. I've been there twice and I adore the place

25 October, 2005 09:34  
Blogger secretdubai said...

No, it's not sarcasm, Singapore is a really beautiful city with plenty to do for at least a short break.

25 October, 2005 11:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that post is hilarious really...can't believe the municipality is giving such a dumb answer

25 October, 2005 15:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

black feline

"subtle sacarsm.."

gotta learn to spellll before yaa leappfrog -

25 October, 2005 19:39  
Blogger black feline said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 October, 2005 05:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would you kindly consider banning Black Feline . She always provokes people and gets into arguments and generally makes a nuisance of herself.

26 October, 2005 10:39  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Deleting her last comment as I have no clue how rude or offensive it may be, and I can't take the risk.

black_feline: can you please stop goading people on here. If you can't see that you're doing it, then try to stop commeningn for a while.

26 October, 2005 11:28  
Blogger black feline said...

have u ever consider those cloaked in anonymity and that passing thru toad picking up fights for no apparent reason(s)...none of my initial comments were directed at anybody in particular...they took it personally and calling i suppose to swallow it? come on be fair!we can agree to disagree...if they are not dangerous amount of goading or prodding is going to stir them...anyway, i dont like to pick a fight unless provoked..esp in your backyard..if im not be it..thanks for your space..

27 October, 2005 06:37  
Blogger black feline said...

to prove my point:

commeningn...from your last comment, SD. I dont see that toady passing thru making a big fuss on your typo error...HOWEVER..that petty and not half a forever picking on me for no gd reason other than being vindictive..why? because he cant stand my guts and not afraid to ask him to buzz off! I dont see u serving any stern or harsh words to fair

27 October, 2005 06:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BF.. don't you get it? or does it have to be spelt out to you?
you provoke people with your silly/stupid/ argumentative posts. you write trash in other languages not that your english is any better. but you were tolerated for some time. Now please do realise that you are not wanted here.. no one likes you. Go away

27 October, 2005 12:56  
Blogger black feline said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27 October, 2005 15:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good one bf,give it to them.Next time hit below the belt!

27 October, 2005 16:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

halo scumbag webmaster,

what craps have u contributed? only rubbish U r the real trash Now GET LOST!

27 October, 2005 17:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black Feline>> which lips are you showing for us to read?

27 October, 2005 19:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD. Feline is at it again. Cursing and swearing. She just can't control herself ! She is ruining numerous discussions by her juvenile actions.

27 October, 2005 19:47  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Black Feline - CUT IT OUT NOW.

You're getting on my tits, you're getting on the tits of people who don't even have tits.

I'm getting emails from people who are fed up with you.

If you can't say something pleasant and non-goading/trollish, then don't say anything at all.

28 October, 2005 01:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great

28 October, 2005 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UAE has no civic code aside from bakseesh and intimidation... bunch of savages.

30 October, 2005 05:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RULE 1 - NEVER LIVE IN A CITY WHOSE SLOGAN IS - THE CITY THAT CARES,... because it obviously has an inferiority complex!

04 November, 2005 20:35  
Blogger huh said...

The whole story is bogus....then again this is 7days. Such actions by any public transport employee will never be ignored. Informing Dubai Taxi for example (by phone) of distrubting driving behavior of any taxi in the streat will make the driver of that taxi face an automatic fine. And now ur telling me that this driver with all the abuse he gave the lady, is going to be let go and asked to go to more training sessions... Sorry but this is BS. I'm really curious on the future articles that will arrive to our doorstep (from 7days). Some predictions: Aliens have landed in Diera, Haifa Wahbi caught sun bathing in Jumeirah beach, Parents of baby born with 10 fingers on each hand blame govt.

07 November, 2005 11:35  

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