I haven't written much lately, since this blog is about aspects of the Middle East that seem strange to a Westerner. Not bad, not worse than the West, just different.
And, since the worldwide crash, things in Dubai have looked about like a Western crash. So nothing for DubaiatRandom to report.
But yesterday, I was on one of the new RTA buses.
During the boom, back in '07-'08, it was very hard to get around Dubai. The traffic was terrible for those with cars, and, when the car reached its destination, there was no place to park. Taxis seemed eligible for CITES. And the buses were always full and sped past since they could take no more passengers.
So the RTA used the boom money to order a massive new fleet, but the new fleet didn't arrive until after the crash.
The combination of the new buses and the crash means that one can get around Dubai very well using the buses and the metro. I can usually find a seat (or at least some polite young person who insists on giving me his), and the new buses and the metro are very comfortable, and I can read and relax instead of worrying about traffic. And, as Dubai made a big deal about in '07, most bus stops have shelters, some of which have working A/Cs that keep the shelters at 22 degrees (that's 72º for Americans). Which is nice, since, in the afternoon, it's now 45 degrees in the shade. Of which there isn't any. (That's 113 for Americans.)
One feature of the new buses is that they all have TVs.
But, since the crash, there hasn't been money to hook up all of the TVs in the new buses, so many buses have three or four TVs that sit showing nothing except the screen saver with just the RTA logo.
Yesterday, I got on a bus that had working TVs running a strange programme: 'Try the Dubai buses.'
It was a loop showing animated buses running all over Dubai, with signs, 'The most efficient way to get around Dubai. Try it.'
So, as I rode the bus, I was constantly urged to ride the bus, or at least to give it a try.
This is like a nondescript shop with a flashing neon sign in the very back of the shop asking people to please come in.
I occasionally ride with friends in their cars, and I haven't seen any ads aimed at the people in cars urging them to try the buses.
Only the ads running in that one bus, ads aimed at the RTA bus riders urging them to please try the RTA buses.