For the biggest thrill in Dubai, forget the skiing in a shopping mall, four wheel driving in the desert or the world-famous water parks – no, for the biggest rush of adrenaline, try driving.
Before leaving, my partner got his international licence for a mere $30 and a passport photo.
‘Do you think I should get mine?’ I asked. ‘You know, just in case? Might be convenient to go to the shops or something?’
In the UAE, like the US they drive on the opposite side to Australia and of course, I’m so left-right dyslexic, I can’t even work out what side that is.
‘Nooooo. No, no, no,’ he responded, gently, but very firmly. Perhaps best for all concerned.
So he’s driving and I’m navigating. It’s a wonder we’re still together. We went up that main drag twice in a row, headed towards Abu Dhabi instead of Al Sharjarh– ie, the absolute wrong direction - because when we did get off, we managed to loop around through road works and follow the cars ahead, only to be spat out onto the main drag and do it all again. Miss your exit and it’s a long way to redemption.
We try and head home and discover freeways in the desert not even mapped. As I’m starting to lose hope, my sister-in-law’s car shoots past with my brother driving and her waving out the side. As we follow them around a spaghetti trail of roads back to the villa, I think perhaps there is a god of traffic!
Happy Christmas everyone!!!