Tuesday, 1 July 2008

It's all in the profile

Picture from 'Xpress'

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who's been in Dubai more than 10 minutes, that the taxi drivers here pick and choose potential passengers who try to flag a taxi in the street. According to the Dubai tabloid 'Xpress' here's how its done, (and there are few places in the world where such an article could even be printed):

How cabbies racially profile Dubai’s passengers

Africans They usually head for Deira, Baniyas Square (popularly known as Al Nasr Square), Naif Souq, Frij Al Murar, Hamdan Colony and Al Baraha.

Indians, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Pakistanis They go to Bur Dubai, Karama, Old Pakistani Consulate, Oud Metha Road, Al Rigga Road, Al Muteena Road and Al Qusais.

Indian businessmen Great to pick up during business hours as they take business routes. After 5pm, they head back to the aforementioned locations.

Asians The Chinese live in large congregations, either at International City or in various areas around BurJuman Centre.

Filipinos Usually residing in Satwa, Jebel Ali or Al Muteena in Deira. Always take short rides

Emiratis A rarity

Saudis Singles usually stay at hotels in Deira near Al Rigga or Muraqabbat Roads. Saudi families make great customers as they tend to travel to major shopping malls such as Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall

Arabs Risky pick ups. They get upset fast and go to Sharjah a lot

Eastern Europeans Usually stay in Sharjah or Ajman, which means running into traffic.

Westerners Preferred customers. They usually go to new Dubai, from Jumeirah onwards.

Why new Dubai?

Taxi drivers prefer going around new Dubai because there’s less traffic. An evening trip from Madinat Jumeirah to The Springs 3 would cost around Dh25 would take around 12 minutes. A trip between Oud Metha Road and Al Maktoum Road - about the same distance - would cost around Dh13, but would take 25 minutes.

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