Friday, 18 March 2011

Chaos, Ajman Style

Wacky Races (video game)Image via WikipediaI pootled off to Ajman City Centre this morning to get some bits and bobs. Imagine my surprise to find the road diverted at Gulf Craft, the big flyover on the Ajman/Umm Al Qawain Road has been totally sealed off and is surrounded by acres of red and white striped concrete blocks, flapping safety tape and bollards. The diversions are enormous, utterly counter-intuitive and the signage has been organised by someone who obviously believes in some arcane school of thought transference rather than anything as mundane as clear written communication.

The result is a most marvellous chaos, a cross between Wacky Races and the Gumball rally as drivers try and Get In Lane (without really knowing which lane to Get In), jostle for position and change their minds at the last minute when they realise that the signs that say 'Centre of the City' don't actually mean 'City Centre', they mean the centre of Ajman. Every now and then, bemused-looking policemen have been deployed, presumably just so there's a witness to what chaos looks like when slathered thickly on a substrate of chaos before being topped with chaotic, Brownian hundreds and thousands.

Eventually I slow down for one particularly nasty snarl-up of bemused and increasingly irritable drivers (some of whom have by now become quite familiar to me) to call out of the window, using my finest Ten Word Arabic, at a policeman.  He shrugs his shoulders and laughs, agreeing that this is all 'too much problem'.

So there you go. Avoid Northern Ajman. It's a total mess.
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Dave said...

God I miss the Emirates!!!!

Anonymous said...

It makes me smile when I see people buying "Roadmap of Dubai" or "Dubai 2011 Transport Guide". Those things are out-dated before they even make it into shops.

The RTA changes its roads like it changes its socks. Daily. The result? Your post.

rosh said...

LOL! Admit it, you did enjoy the lovely weather and the drive (to an extent) to AJ City Centre. It beats the craze / anxiety to the Deirs City Centre.

Ashish Panjabi said...

Was with the folks at Ajman City Centre during their Annual General Meeting for retailers and the road works caught them by surprise as well. They were told that the roadworks were due to commence on April 1st but to their surprise when they drove into work on Friday morning, the bulldozers and orange cones were there to greet them.

The mall is now working to have directional signage put in place. In the meantime, enjoy trying to navigate yourself around that area, it's a mess.

Anonymous said...

I love Ajman! Its sheer insanity is unbeatable after being in over regulated Dubai! But the Whacky Races roundabout has always, for me at least, been the Book roundabout near Kuwait Hospital. Too many lanes, too many exits and no one with a clue which lane they should be in! Great fun to scare tourists with!

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