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05 September, 2006

Roads to success

Hooray! Streets in the sandlands are finally getting names. No more endless driving around obscure areas of Jumeirah 2 looking for 19c street, only to realise that you actually need 19c street in Umm Seqeim 3, and it leads off 2 and 4b street before the junction with 12.75q street, rather than 19a street, which is actually somewhere in Al Quoz.

Does this mean streets will finally get interesting, evocative names? Such as "Old Camel Street", "Red Desert Road", "Palm Oasis Avenue" and "Stinking Fish Lane, Karama"? Or will we be stuck with several thousand more "Sheikh Ibn bin Khalid bin Al Waleed bin Talal Al Ziyad al Zayed"-type roads, all mispelt in every possible configuration on every map and road sign, with the result that most people end up in Abu Dhabi before they finally find anywhere?

Some more suggestions:

1. Ramada "roundabout"
Either rebuild a roundabout there, or rename the damn junction Ramada Traffic-lights. There hasn't been a roundabout there for nigh on twenty years.

2. The Dragon Centre
Rename the building that used to be the Dragon Centre as the Dragon Centre again. Because that's all anyone ever calls it.

3. Defence Roundabout
A truly pointless name, which should be changed to Gridlock Interchange. It's not even a roundabout, it's two mini-roundabouts on a road bridge.

4. Al Quoz New Graveyard
It's not new, it's been there for years. When projects like "Downtown Dubai The Old Town" (or whatever the hell it's called) haven't even been built yet, it's more than spurious to tag this cemetery as new.

5. Jumeirah Village
Where is Jumeirah Village? you ask. Is it in the lovely leafy beachside suburb of Jumeirah? No. Is it near the lovely leafy beachside suburb of Jumeirah? No. It's right in the middle of the dusty bloody desert, next to the roaring traffic river of Emirates Road. And no, nor is it anything to do with Jumeirah International (oo - $15 million on a rebrand and we're still not using your new name, sob sob).



Blogger trailingspouse said...

Hear, hear, SD. I don't care if the names are in English, Arabic or Swahili, anything is better than numbers. As you so rightly point out, the population of Dubai has been busy naming locations and streets on their own anyhow. Several years ago I remember being given directions and told to "go straight at the roundabout at Bur Juman Centre." "But there isn't a roundabout at Bur Juman" I said. "Ah, but there used to be" was the response.

05 September, 2006 07:34  
Blogger Woke said...

Just like the Dubai Cinema, trailing spouse. I spent a whole bloody afternoon looking for it.

The addresses in Falcon City is going to be fascinating.

22nd Floor, Eiffel Tower
Taj Mahal 22-C
Villa 3A - Hanging Gardens of Babylon

05 September, 2006 09:43  
Blogger dontfearfreedom said...

Do you think the 'Roundabout of Death' at the Arabian Ranches will be renamed when it becomes an Interchange? I quite like 'Intersection of Infraction' or perhaps 'Junction of Judgement'.

Try renaming a road intersection near your own house; it's fun!

05 September, 2006 10:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post SD.
I have also heard some weird names like 'Egg Roundabout" before DIP roundabout in emirates road. it's also called as stadium round about as people think a stadium could be built inside this roundabout.

05 September, 2006 10:25  
Blogger grinch said...

Hey SD,
quick pointer - I don't think the buildings are going to be renamed; the municipality just wants people to start describing their buildings by block;street;community numbers.
It's not going to get any easier I'm afraid. How they ever thought that it would make sense is beyond me....

05 September, 2006 11:29  
Blogger Seabee said...

I'm afraid grinch is right, it's going to be even more confusing in future with a huge string of pretty-well meaningless numbers.

To locate a house they say we'll identify it by "Community Number, Road Name & Number, Street Number, Building/Villa Number."

And of course, the numbers will be repeated for each area. So for example on Jumeirah Road we'll get an identical string of numbers for Jumeirah 1, 2 and 3. And for Umm Suqeim 1, 2 and 3, and for...

How the hell that's going to help the emergency services,visitors, maybe even eventually the PO Sorting Office, I can't imagine.

05 September, 2006 12:45  
Blogger Seabee said...

By the way SD, on naming things, I'd like to go back to the good old days when we had all the roundabouts as landmarks - Fish, Clocktower, Flame etc. That was so easy.

That could help with the confusion of the SZR interchanges. We have new ones being built in between existing ones, so we'll end up with interchange five, five & a quarter, five & a half...

I'd like to see them follow the Burjuman car park system of cartoon animals. We could have huge brightly coloured fibreglass animals standing on the interchanges so that we could easily recognise Camel Interchange, Giraffe Interchange, Walrus Interchange...we could even keep our beloved yellow maggot for the Modhesh Interchange.

05 September, 2006 12:56  
Blogger SIN said...

Took me 5 years to figure out what the heck Defence r/a was...
and then came along a sorry bloke once asking me for directions to Falcon r/ know the one, which had a falcon perched smack in the centre of it all.
Forget the falcon now, not even a feather remains in his place; and that nameless junction has given us more grief than Modesh. And that's saying something.

05 September, 2006 14:28  
Blogger marwan said...

Flame R/A, another golden oldie.

What used to be the Falcon R/A is now possibly one of the biggest roadblocks in Dubai. Still, not many people call it Falcon any more; the people who'd remember why are long gone.

05 September, 2006 14:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The authority should be focusing on simplifying the proposed address system. Being a multi-national city, it'll be confusing for some. My suggestion would be using Building/ Villa No, Street Name, District, Postal Code.

05 September, 2006 15:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the Ramada Roundabout is neither a roundabout nor is the Ramada actually there (it's perhaps 300 meters away). I guess back in 1980, maybe the Ramada was the only thing there. Something more relevant may be useful today when it comes time to provide proper street names. While "Red Light Square" or "Whorehouse Junction" may not cut it with the locals, perhaps the side streets could be given some locally relevant names like Natasha Lane, Olga Avenue, Ling-Ling Terrace, etc.

05 September, 2006 15:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said SD. Using the suggested 'community no., street no.' method would result in ridiculously long-winded instructions in order to get anywhere. "i live at 24d,street 3a, community 314z. To get here, you take 45b being the 3rd street on the right as you enter Wasl,community 274h, then left at 77r, and right again at 4d. See you soon."'s an exercise in military co-ordinates..

05 September, 2006 20:43  
Blogger Grumpy Goat said...

I suggest numbering the interchanges on SZR by the number of kilometres from Trade Centre Roundabout (interchange zero). Thus, heading towards Abu Dhabi we have
I/C 2 (Defence)
I/C 6 (Safa Park)
I/C 11 (Hard Rock Cafe) etc (I've not measured the distances; this is anly an illustrative example!)

That way we avoid I/C 4a, 4b and similar confusions.

Brilliant idea, eh?

05 September, 2006 23:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Saudi Arabia for 3 weeks and getting around was a complete nightmare. I bought a map which turned out to be useless because the road names on the map were sometimes different from the names indicated on the acutal roads. The road names were not even clearly marked on the roads.

The UAE I think is much better in this respect because road names are actually clearly visible on the roads. Even the 28a, 15b, etc street numbers are clearly visible in those sexy blue boxes, we just need to learn them.

12 September, 2006 15:32  

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