After a suffering from a broken bone in my ankle for the past three weeks, I’ve learnt a few things about Dubai, both good and bad.
Being on crutches has meant I’ve seen things differently, been treated differently and had some pretty serious issues getting around.
It’s given me a new perspective, and newfound empathy for people with mobility issues, and I’ve learned a few things really quickly.
5. JLT just might be the least accessible/handicap friendly area in the world
No pedestrian ramps, only spiral staircases to get up and down, and long long angular walks to get anywhere. I’ve accepted I cannot move around JLT, and so don’t bother going anywhere within there unless it’s in a taxi.
Genuinely feel for those in wheelchairs, it’s an ill-thought out layout for anyone with mobility issues.
4. Malls (and a lot of facilities) are unequipped to cope with me
They might have wheelchairs for rent, but it’ll cost you a hefty cash deposit and your Emirates ID to get one, and they’re only from specific places (often right up the other end of the mall from where I am).
Entering malls, there are some ramps, but even then, at times the ramp led to an entry-way that had a high lip for the door, so it was tough to get over.
Actually, all across Dubai, there is a lot of uneven ground, big steps up that I can’t maneuver – even my apartment’s balcony has a huge step that I can’t get over.
3. Marina tourists are the least courteous
Seriously, I live near where the tour buses drop off, and these people are so unaware, or outright rude.
They hover around, without clearing a path for anyone and don’t give any consideration to anything except getting a picture of Cayan Tower.
2. Careem drivers are a god-send
Massive shoutout to Careem drivers, these guys have been angels.
Breaking my right leg means I can’t drive so anytime I go anywhere, I’ve been using Careem, and every driver will jump out of the car to help me and go to great lengths to ensure I’m comfortable and okay.
1. There are a lot more nice people in this city than you’d realise
If you have lost faith in humanity, it’ll quickly be restored with a broken limb. Apart from the tourists in Dubai Marina, people go out of their way to help me.
If I’m struggling, there are often people quick to offer help, and always hold doors for me, offer to carry bags and all kinds.
A guy even gave me his taxi on NYE so I didn’t have to wait. Legend.
There are a lot of considerate people in this city, a lot more than meets the eye.