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UAE: People opt for public transport and carpool to get to work in Dubai and Sharjah – News


On immigration street in Sharjah. Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 1:16 p.m.

Last update: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 3:14 p.m.

As heavy rain continues to hit several parts of the UAE, including Dubai and Sharjah, residents are adapting to the difficult weather conditions by opting for alternative modes of transport. With roads flooded, many have turned to public transportation or carpooling to ensure a smooth commute to work.

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has forecast bad weather for almost two days in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, advising residents to prepare for unsettled conditions. Since Tuesday morning, heavy rains, accompanied by hailstorms, have been recorded in many areas in many parts of the country.

Public transport becomes a lifeline

Mohammed Usman, a Sudanese resident living in Al Nahda, traveled by public transport to his business establishment in Al Ras. “I normally drive to work, but with the roads submerged in water, it is not safe to drive. I walked to the Dubai border and opted for a bus to the Stadium metro station,” said Usman.

Al Nahda Road, Sharjah.  Photo: Shihab

Al Nahda Road, Sharjah. Photo: Shihab

“From there I took the metro to get to my office in Al Ras. “I’m not going to take the car out, at least I know that I will get to the workplace without any problem,” added Usman.

Another resident, Ahmed al Najar, an Egyptian expatriate whose car was partially submerged in the water, said he was unable to get it out. “Taking the car out was a risk that would damage essential components. So I chose to order a taxi to go to my office,” said Al Najar.

“Plus, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck in traffic or damaging my car in the heavy rain. Taking the taxi is a bit inconvenient as I have to move around within Dubai, compared to the hassle of driving,” Al Najar said.

Community Bonding through Ride Sharing

In addition to opting for public transportation, many residents have turned to car sharing as a practical solution. Those with cars with low ground clearance opted to ride with neighbors who own off-road vehicles to safely navigate the flooded streets.

“I offered to carpool with my neighbor who has an SUV, because my car would never be able to get through these flooded roads,” said Ravi Das, from Al Nahda in Dubai. “It’s great to see people coming together and helping each other during these difficult times,” Das said.

The Ittihad Highway from Sharjah to Dubai, which normally faces heavy traffic, was seen with minimal traffic during the morning rush hour, with only a few vehicles braving the bad weather.

A municipal worker in the Umm Hurair area in Karama, Dubai, on Tuesday.  Photo: Rahul Gajjar

A municipal worker in the Umm Hurair area in Karama, Dubai, on Tuesday. Photo: Rahul Gajjar

Choose to work from home

Meanwhile, some residents have chosen to work from home to avoid the hassle of commuting.

“I have decided to work from home today. It’s just not worth the risk of getting stuck in traffic or dealing with flooded roads,” said Khalid, a sales executive at a real estate company in Dubai. “Fortunately, my company has flexible work arrangements, so I can still do my job without having to deal with bad weather.”

Sailing through puddles of water

Residents who left their homes for the office around 8.45am faced significant delays when it began to rain heavily, and many did not reach their destinations until 10am as roads were submerged in water in several places. from Dubai and Sharjah.

Al Nahda Road, Sharjah.  Photo: Shihab

Al Nahda Road, Sharjah. Photo: Shihab

Heavy rain caused waterlogging, causing traffic congestion and slowing travel. “I left for the office around 8:50 am and when I was in the parking lot, it started raining heavily,” said Mohammed Abunael, a marketing executive, who had to attend a meeting at New Gold Souk Extension.

“When I checked Google Maps, I was only 23 minutes away from my destination. But when I was on my way I encountered many puddles on the road and I had to avoid them, which caused significant delays,” Abunael added.

As a result of various strategies adopted by residents, many private parking lots in Sharjah were full at 9am, indicating a change in travel patterns.

‘Nice to arrive early’

Sharjah resident Asim M. said he traveled from Al Nahda Sharjah to his workplace in Dubai and was delighted to arrive early with minimal traffic. “Thanks to the light traffic, I got to the office faster than usual. Normally, the trip takes an hour due to congestion, but today I made it in just thirty minutes. Although there were cases of waterlogging, the roads were surprisingly clear as all schools are imparting distance learning and most companies have adopted work-from-home policies,” Asim said.

“Although I encountered heavy flooding around Al Garhoud and Al Nahda areas, the situation remains manageable thanks to proactive measures by both the government and private companies. Due to this, people who venture out for urgent matters are still They can reach their destinations on time,” Asim added.



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