Saturday, July 03, 2010
I recently took a trip up to Dubai, and wanted to share my experiences with you all.

Firstly, because Ikea is having a sale, I decided to drive up in my 4x4. Now to people that know me, and know the 4x4 in question, the first words out of their mouths upon hearing this news was, "Are you sure Bertha is going to make it"? Cheeky buggers.

Four and a half hours after setting off on Thursday, we arrived at our destination, the hotels at Festival City. Now Bertha is not a particularly pretty 4x4, I like to refer to her as mature. So pulling up to the concierge of a 5* hotel in Bertha was a touch embarrassing, but it's over and done with now! To further entertain you all, when waiting for the valet to return Bertha to me on Friday, after a longer than expected wait, Bertha finally emerged from where-ever it was that they had stashed her. The driver got out of the truck and said to me rather angrily "too much problems sir". Is there no end to the insults that dear old Bertha has to endure?

First piece of local news: Some clever spark at the Ministry of Roads & Transportation has clued-in to the fact that having turning lanes on high-ways where people drive at speeds over 120 KM/h is probably not the best way to go about things. I report with great pleasure that almost all (but not all) of the turning lanes that you encounter on the highway to the Hatta border are now, or currently, being closed off with guard rails.

This is excellent news for drivers going up and down the highway. I'm not sure how happy I would be if I lived in one of the towns or villages that straddles the highway with no round about to cross the highway (somewhat) safely. I guess that means that some fly-overs are in the pipe works then.

Back to Dubai. As I wrote above, I was visiting Dubai for a spot of Ikea shopping. The sale this year is particularly good, and as the Undercover Dragon would put it, I managed to secure a 4x4 load of treasures (albeit flat packed) for my return.

At the border leaving Oman, and entering into the UAE, I was expecting the ROP officer to ask me for my Orange insurance booklet, but that never happened. I guess that initiative fizzled out already then. The UAE security check point on both Oman borders at Abu Badi / Ar Rawdah is now a permanent thing, with little huts for the guards to stand in. The road works that were under way in Madam (and Sohar for that matter) are now complete. There also appears to be a new speed camera (or something) on the Hwy 44 between Madam and Lahbab. It's an Omani style, in the sense that it captures the rear of your vehicle, but perhaps it's not operational. I drove past it at 120 KM/h thinking that was the limit, only to find out subsequently that the limit was in fact 100 KM/h. Just a warning to anyone planing on making the drive. The camera's are on that stretch of road that goes through the desert dunes.

And that's it for today. Tomorrow, hopefully, something amusing for you all.

le fin.


Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

I am going to hit that sale.

Thanks for the heads up about the camera. Not that my friends with with 2000 RO fines seem to CARE but, yeah, uh, I Do.

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