Thursday, April 18, 2013

Expat Stories: Daily Commute after New Dubai Salik Installed

Just recently two new Salik toll gates were installed in the UAE, one at the  Ittihad Road between Dubai and Sharjah and one in Beirut Road near Dubai Airport Tunnel. People are aware about these planned gates because it had been announced before but when the news came out that it will soon be operational, everyone was fidgeting and dreading about it because it's an additional expense topping up current expenses. We in particular as Sharjah residents thought of moving back to Dubai for awhile but as rents in Dubai hike up to more than 10 percent and more we took a step back with our thought. Also a lot of employees especially field based suggested that companies must give Salik allowances.

April 15 marks the opening of these toll gates and improved traffic flow has been reported on the tolled roads above average than the traffic in many alternative routes such as Al Nahda, Al Ghusais and Emirates Road formerly known as Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, which is good right? There are other Salik gates in Dubai, two in Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud.

Each time a tagged vehicle passes these gates, AED 4 is charged. Each day now, we are spending AED 8 for passing in Al Mamzar Salik in the morning and Airport Tunnel Salik in the evening. That is AED 160/month and AED 1920 or $ 522 in a year exclusive of fees paid over the weekends and extra trips to Sharjah and Dubai at a given time.

In the first two days we have noticed that traffic eased up and I've caught that in a video.

Ittihad Road at 6:40 am (yes my friend that you see on the video-that already eased up)

Dubai Airport Tunnel 7:33 pm, the whole tunnel was free flowing but wait until you reach the bridge and the intersection

Yesterday night on our way home was different; everywhere we go it is bumper to bumper in Ittihad Road. Have you seen an ant colony poured with hot water and ants are running in all direction away from from danger, yesterdays scene was like this, I see red color lights everywhere, everyone trying to access  roads without traffic to get home and just like any other commuters we keep on ending up finding traffic where we've headed.

I am sure this is not the case all day everyday and it helps to think that we are home few more minutes earlier than usual, time is most important and oh few more minutes of sleep in the morning too.

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