I usually wake up at 6:20 AM to find that the roads below are almost completely blocked (in my old studio, located only 2 KM away, I had to wake up at 5 AM). I leave the apartment at 7-something AM, cross the road, take my car (this maneuver removes 40 minutes driving alone for the u-turn) and head for Dubai Bypass Road, which makes the distance between my apartment and my nearest office a whopping 110 KM. If I have to go to the other office it will be a good 130 KM.
The second shortest road is Emirates Road which makes the trip 60 KM. Now that it is six lanes instead of three, it holds more traffic, but unfortunately to be able to take that road I would have to be awake at 5 AM and leave 15 minutes before 6 AM.
The shortest road to my office, 30 KM, well… I think I have to be awake at 4 AM to get to the office and avoid traffic. So on normal days I have to drive 110 KM on average to work if I want to wake up in human hours and not reach the office at 5 AM.
Now that the schools are off, the roads in the UAE are significantly less congested. In fact there is so much LESS traffic that the road below my house starts to get clogged only after 9 AM, which is a solid 3 hour offset from the normal days. Although I still can’t take the 30 KM road (I can but I don’t want to because it is a 2 hour drive), I can now take the 60 KM one and reach in 30 minutes instead of 1.5-2 hours on a normal day.
So the conclusion? Get rid of the kids. Dubai isn’t really a place for children anyway. The pollution is horrible, the city is highly industrialized and I honestly don’t see how kids are able to have fun other than malls – and you can only have so much fun in a mall as a child.
If I manage to survive in this city for longer, I don’t know if I will be able to have kids here. Sure, business is great if you know where to find work, and Dubai caters for a lot of tastes when it comes to lifestyles and nightlife (but it has a tendency to make you more materialistic and lets you lose yourself but that’s for another post).
I am sure my wife and myself will have lots of fun (again, depending on where we live and our jobs of course). But I don’t see myself having kids here, not when they should start going to schools anyway.
If you’re a parent living in Dubai, Sharjah or any place with a similar issue, please share your experiences with me.