Runner edges closer to completing goal of pounding every street in Dubai

''Pink Taxi Runner' Yasmine Salaam has completed 98.9 per cent of her target

This mother of three has run almost all of Dubai streets

This mother of three has run almost all of Dubai streets
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After almost five years of pounding the streets of Dubai, the end is in sight for a passionate marathon runner who aims to cover every metre of road in the city.

From the mansions of Emirates Hills to the industrial zones of Al Quoz, a voyage of discovery that began in 2018 is drawing to a close for Yasmine Salaam, 52.

On Sunday morning, an 8km run around Deira Islands was the latest area chalked off – and it followed a 16km run around Al Aweer on Friday.

People even ask me for real estate advice on where to move to as I know what these communities are like
Yasmine Salaam

It has taken her tally to 98.9 per cent of her goal, according to the map that tracks her progress and an app on which the streets she has completed turn purple.

“I am all over the map now, trying to finish off areas and improve my coverage – I’m a perfectionist,” said Ms Salaam, who goes by the name of Pink Taxi Runner on social media where she documents her progress.

“The most interesting thing has been the variety of environments, from residential, industrial, rural, in the mountains and by the sea.

“Dubai is almost like its own country, with so many different cultures and communities.

“My project is not just about informing people of the UAE but the world’s running community that is doing similar things in other countries.

“People are in tune with their communities, and hopefully I have inspired others to get out there and run.”

Ms Salaam’s personal best for a full 42.2km marathon is 4 hours 12 minutes recorded in Geneva, Switzerland.

She runs four days a week and during Ramadan ran every day during iftar time.

Initially, the challenge was due to take her into next year but she now expects to finish her running map well ahead of schedule by October, in time for the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Favourite area

She has run about 1,000km every year and has pounded her way through a serious number of running shoes that are changed every six months.

A coach has been keeping tabs on Ms Salaam for the past 12 years, helping to keep her training varied and injury free.

While a running app tracks her progress, she also takes photos of street signs along her routes to make a daily diary of her efforts.

A favourite community is Jebel Ali Hills, with a set of streets with homes yet to be built, giving her a private running ground.

Other communities have been left deserted after housing projects were abandoned, leaving ghost towns behind.

“I have seen an array of cultural and socioeconomic experiences, running through depot centres and communities of truck drivers, taxi drivers, camel herders and even police compounds,” she said.

“Anyone can speak to me about Dubai and where they live or work and I can relate to them – I know it.

“People even ask me for real estate advice on where to move to as I know what these communities are like.

“No matter what time of day or night that I run, I feel safe – even in neighbourhoods that are exclusively men.

“I have not run on The Palm Jumeirah yet. I am keeping that for last.

“Some people run for a good cause or for a charity, I run because I am part of Dubai.

“I have lived here all my life and I feel part of this dynamic city.”

Updated: June 13, 2023, 4:08 PM