Finding Places - a confusing game in Dubai

Lost or looking for a place in the UAE? Never forget to consult Google Map ahead or turn Mr. GPS on, unless you want to play maze. Taking and following directions from many couldn't be any more troublesome in UAE.  Aside from the major highways, there's no reliable street names on residential and smaller community roads here.  We never use our street numbers because it duplicates another street in the vicinity.

Here, 'beside' is not a popular term to use. It's either front-side or back-side. When they say 'opposite side', go figure if it's front or back, exactly opposite or 3-5 buildings or blocks away.  'Behind' could be mistaken as left or right side.

And when they say walking distance, don't ask them how long, because if they say 5-minute walk, they're probably walking 240 kph then.

Make sure you're also asking a person with correct vision with regards to the building color. Most commonly, gray buildings are referred to as blue, yellow ones are brown, and so on.

A common practice here is to tell the shop or grocery name at the ground floor of the building. But when they tell you there's 'Al Madina Supermarket,' ask for another shop because you will find that shop at almost every block. And oh, please ask if it is "Madina," "Madeena," or Madeenah."

When you're driving and you miss the right turn, it's gonna be double jeopardy because the next U-turn could be kilometers away.

Dubai is a city that updates its map almost everyday. But if streets will remain nameless, finding places will remain a frustrating game.

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