Weng Valenzuela, a driving instructor with Al Muqadam Motor Driving company, emphasises the importance of defensive driving anywhere. Silvia Razgova / The National
Weng Valenzuela, a driving instructor with Al Muqadam Motor Driving company, emphasises the importance of defensive driving anywhere. Silvia Razgova / The National

UAE driving: Fatal consequences of erratic motoring



When you ask an expert what the main driver errors are on the roads of the UAE, they don't have to think for very long: speeding, talking on mobile phones, tailgating at high speeds and failing to check mirrors were just some of the problems rattled off by driving instructors who spoke to The National this week.

Careless and erratic driving directly translates into accidents and deaths. Although the number of accidents fell in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai last year, there were still more than 100 people killed in Dubai in the first 11 months of 2012.

In Abu Dhabi, more than 150 people died in the first 10 months of last year.

The capital recently launched its first road safety campaign of the year, which will focus on pedestrians, as this group made up one third of its road deaths last year.

But opinion, among both experts and drivers, was divided on whether the driving habits in the UAE are worse than those seen in other countries.

Weng Valenzuela has been a driving instructor in the UAE for the last seven years and "the worst thing" she spots on the country's roads is speeding.

"Usually in a 60kph limit they do 80kph or 90kph, which is dangerous," said the 52-year-old from the Philippines.

But she would still rather get behind a wheel in the UAE than take to the roads in her home country. "In the Philippines, I went there for a vacation and I was afraid to drive because they drive too close together. I'm not used to it anymore," she said.

Fellow instructor and Filipina Joseline Simpelo, who has been teaching people to negotiate Abu Dhabi's roads since 1990, believes the opposite.

"The driving is worse here because the cars here are speeding. In my country, you cannot speed as there is a lot of congestion. The thing here is that the road is very wide - four or five lanes - that's why people have room to speed," she said.

"They are aggressive drivers. They are showing off that they have a new car, like 'I have a Lamborghini', this sort of thing."

The 54-year-old also believes the multicultural nature of society in the UAE has an impact. "Every nationality, they think they are better than everyone at driving, they compete with each other," she said.

Safety consultant Dr Robert Lee Reams, from the United States, has been working in the Middle East for 25 years and said people still do not adhere to safe driving practices.

"One of the number one problems is that this particular environment is so fluid - you have a lot of people coming and a lot of people going. A lot of people are coming with bad habits," he said.

"When people's lives are on the line, everyone needs to become more caring and a little more understanding. Here, I would say people are just focusing on 'I have to get from point A to point B - I don't care what I do to get there."

Andreea Barbu, 28, from France, has been living in Abu Dhabi for 18 months and is not a fan of the driving she witnesses on the emirate's roads. "I think driving here is very dangerous," she said.

"People are not paying attention to anybody. On the motorway, people are in the wrong lanes. It's very difficult to get used to that. People drive fast in the slow lane and slow in the fast lane.

"What shocked me was that children are everywhere in the car. They are not in their seats, they are playing everywhere."

Mansour Mohammad, from Australia, has lived in the UAE for 10 years and describes the driving as "very challenging and dangerous". "Every road here is a highway," the 38-year-old Dubai-based civil engineer said.

"People here don't do signals and they don't abide by the rules. They just swerve into the lanes without giving indications."

However, Egyptian Hatem Younig, who lives in Abu Dhabi, has a very different view. "I find driving here perfect compared with Egypt," the 56-year-old electronic archiving expert said.

"The standard of driving needs some improvement from the youngest, with regards to speeding and changing lanes, but I think the driving standard here is better than Egypt - 100 per cent."

ecleland@thenational.ae

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier

ICC Academy, November 22-28

UAE fixtures
Nov 22, v Malaysia
Nov 23, v Hong Kong
Nov 25, v Bhutan
Nov 26, v Kuwait
Nov 28, v Nepal

ICC T20I rankings
14. Nepal
17. UAE
25. Hong Kong
34. Kuwait
35. Malaysia
44. Bhutan

UAE squad
Chaya Mughal (captain), Natasha Cherriath, Samaira Dharnidharka, Kavisha Egodage, Mahika Gaur, Priyanjali Jain, Suraksha Kotte, Vaishnave Mahesh, Judit Peter, Esha Rohit, Theertha Satish, Chamani Seneviratne, Khushi Sharma, Subha Venkataraman

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The five pillars of Islam
So what is Spicy Chickenjoy?

Just as McDonald’s has the Big Mac, Jollibee has Spicy Chickenjoy – a piece of fried chicken that’s crispy and spicy on the outside and comes with a side of spaghetti, all covered in tomato sauce and topped with sausage slices and ground beef. It sounds like a recipe that a child would come up with, but perhaps that’s the point – a flavourbomb combination of cheap comfort foods. Chickenjoy is Jollibee’s best-selling product in every country in which it has a presence.
 

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

Main camera: Triple: 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP 5x telephoto (f/2.8); 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 10x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 25x; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 60fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4441mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min (with at least 20W adaptor); MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay), second-generation Ultra Wideband chip

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP68, water-resistant up to 6m up to 30min; dust/splash-resistant

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium, white titanium

In the box: iPhone 15 Pro Max, USB-C-to-USB-C woven cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cylinder

Transmission: CVT auto

Power: 181bhp

Torque: 244Nm

Price: Dh122,900

'The Alchemist's Euphoria'

Artist: Kasabian
Label: Columbia
Rating: 3/5

The flights: South African Airways flies from Dubai International Airport with a stop in Johannesburg, with prices starting from around Dh4,000 return. Emirates can get you there with a stop in Lusaka from around Dh4,600 return.
The details: Visas are available for 247 Zambian kwacha or US$20 (Dh73) per person on arrival at Livingstone Airport. Single entry into Victoria Falls for international visitors costs 371 kwacha or $30 (Dh110). Microlight flights are available through Batoka Sky, with 15-minute flights costing 2,265 kwacha (Dh680).
Accommodation: The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Hotel by Anantara is an ideal place to stay, within walking distance of the falls and right on the Zambezi River. Rooms here start from 6,635 kwacha (Dh2,398) per night, including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi. Water arrivals cost from 587 kwacha (Dh212) per person.

No more lice

Defining head lice

Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny wingless insects that feed on blood from the human scalp. The adult head louse is up to 3mm long, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white in colour. The female lives up to four weeks and, once mature, can lay up to 10 eggs per day. These tiny nits firmly attach to the base of the hair shaft, get incubated by body heat and hatch in eight days or so.

Identifying lice

Lice can be identified by itching or a tickling sensation of something moving within the hair. One can confirm that a person has lice by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs or lice. Head lice are most frequently located behind the ears and near the neckline.

Treating lice at home

Head lice must be treated as soon as they are spotted. Start by checking everyone in the family for them, then follow these steps. Remove and wash all clothing and bedding with hot water. Apply medicine according to the label instructions. If some live lice are still found eight to 12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not re-treat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed comb.
After the initial treatment, check for, comb and remove nits and lice from hair every two to three days. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

Courtesy Dr Vishal Rajmal Mehta, specialist paediatrics, RAK Hospital

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

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