Run-ins with UAE police

I was filling DH in this morning on everything that had happened while he was away – a catch up that takes place regularly in our household as we mesh our lives together again after his trips.

“And there was some excitement at the gym,” I suddenly recalled (it’s a fact of life that while he’s traversing the earth, the furthest I often get is to school and the gym).

“It was vandalised,” I said, probably putting a bit too much emphasis on the word, because the damage was very minor.

“It looked like a tiger had been working out,” I added for good effect.

“What do you mean?” he enquired. “There were dead goats left lying around?” (not quite as far-fetched as it sounds, as down the road from our first villa in Dubai there was a house where goats were kept).

“No,” I replied. “Someone broke in during the night and ripped the material on the work-out benches. The police came and everything.

“And took FINGERPRINTS, ” I finished with a flurry.

It was a good story, because this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often in Dubai (punishments are harsh). And it’s not every day you find yourself bouncing up and down on the step machine with an Emirati policeman prowling around.

But, later that day – still on a police theme – I read a brilliant post from a blog I follow based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. The blogger writes The Reluctant Emigrant, inspired by recession in Ireland and emigration to the Middle East, and had just experienced a run-in with a UAE squad car – something I try very hard to avoid out here.

I hope she doesn’t mind me recounting her story.

In her words, she was ‘driving at the speed of a 10-year-old people carrier in need of a service’, when she was surprised to see the flashing lights of a police car in her rear view mirror. He tailed her, pulled in right behind her and engaged even more flashing lights to get her to stop.

Abu Dhabi residents face fines for having dusty cars

Abu Dhabi residents face fines for having dusty cars

“During the 24 steps it took him to get to my driver’s mirror, the world slipped into slow motion,” she writes. “I pictured myself being cuffed while face-down on the bonnet for some minor road offence. The children taken into care and the car confiscated, all because I didn’t use my indicators on the roundabout or some similar mistake.”

The young Emirati officer tapped his stylus on his electronic notepad and told her: “Madam, in order to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the city, I will have to issue you a warning to go home and wash, otherwise there will be a fine.

“Under UAE law, it is a crime to have your car this dirty,” he continued. “Please wash immediately. Also, I will warn you it is illegal to wash using water outside your home, so you must visit service station.”

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!


About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
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6 Responses to Run-ins with UAE police

  1. TK says:

    I have heard about the dirty car rule, but this is the first time I’ve heard about it actually being enforced!

  2. Good grief! Do they have the ‘unkempt hair’ police, or the ‘non-ironed clothes’ police too? 🙂

  3. Monty R says:

    Absolutely hilarious! Could you imagine if Canada starts implementing cars cannot be covered in snow law? Haah! Well thanks for all your posts – we read your blog almost everyday and it helps us get an idea of Dubai life. My wife, doggy and I are making the big move to dubai in a week’s time, I got a job with Emirates airlines in their crisis planning team so really excited and nervous at the same time! BTW I was saddened to hear about the hamster, RIP.

    • Hi Monty, wow, that sounds a great opportunity!! How exciting! And, yes, been through the nerves too. But rest assured, I think you’ll really enjoy yourselves here. There are lots of Canadians here – and lots of dogs too! (we shipped our cat, via a pet hotel in Amsterdam!)…Lots of luck for the move, and please do have your wife contact me if she needs any info – hairdressers, etc – you know, the important stuff! All the very best, and thank you for reading. So glad to hear the blog has been useful.

  4. michelloui says:

    LOL! Oooo *looks out the window at my own dusty car* I might be in trouble then. Car washing is one of those things I just get so bored by.

    Loved to quip about ‘dead goats laying about’!

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