Wednesday, 25 June 2008


The scenes outside our local ADNOC have started to become apocalyptic: a line of 45 buses stretches out onto the sand-roads behind the petrol station, blocking access to our house from the main road: the line of trucks on the other side stretches out just as far, curling into a strange mandala of decorated, jangling, garishly painted flat-backs. We’re looking at well over 100 vehicles stacked up for the final approach to cheap diesel: Dhs10 per gallon less than Dubai’s filling stations. For a lorry with a 100 gallon tank, that’s a lot of Mars Bars. Every ADNOC’s the same - a line of waiting diesel consumers stretches around the back, down the road - any which way they can, really!

Lugubrious taxi driver Mr G says it’s because Dubai won’t buy refined product from Abu Dhabi and insists on importing the stuff. Interesting, the thought that this could all be down to a sort of family squabble.

Whatever the reason (and we have been rather short of investigative insight from our trusted ‘analogue’ media sources on that one, so Mr. G.’s speculative take is the best thing I’ve heard), the insane queues continue. It must be awful driving one of those orange tankers queued up outside Dubai Shitty City: ten hours to dump your load and then another five hours to fill up with enough diesel to get through the next day.

Paying Salik would be a relief for them: in fact, I could afford to let both queues cross Salik at my expense and still have credit left over, thanks to the muddled administration of the toll that likes to say ‘It’s not our fault our system doesn’t work’...

Silence from the RTA continues. Gulf News' report on Salik's failings today just makes me feel even better about my chances of recovering the money they took as a result of their screw-up.


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