Yes, Bush is going to be here in Dubai on 14 January 2008.
It didn't strike me or for that matter anyone here in Dubai that Bush would be here on 14 January 2008 though the papers were screaming his arrival for more than a week. The truth is, no one cares and every one has their own business to bother. Reading newspapers are a choice leisure act to be indulged on a lazy holiday.
The morning of 13 January started revealing how Bush is going to impact the lives of poor Dubai’ans. Never a day in the past, the traffic is blocked for any one. The roads would get blocked on its own by the volume of the vehicles flowing on the roads in the morning and evening rush hours. But, oh my, never for a human being! Many a time I would wonder how the rulers manage to travel without harassing the common public. But the morning of 13 Jan is different.
We started at 9.00am from Deira. The route is quite a routine one and passes through all the busy area in Dubai. There are two routes - one via Makhthoum Bridge, Sheik Zayed Road, Zabeel and finally to Burj Dubai where the tallest tower of the world is rising upwards, hitting the sky. The other route is via AlKhaleej Road, the Sindagah Tunnel, Bur Dubai, Port Rasheed Road and then through Zabeel Road to the tower. Both ways it is half an hour road on a normal day. But Dubai was a different city today. Many side roads and bye lanes were closed by Dubai Police. All vehicles were forced to take the main roads waiting in long queue at every junction.
Desperation grew as minutes and seconds tickled away. But no one honked their horns, exhibiting the highest level of patience. Every vehicle was trying to take a turn to break free from the unexpected menace that had dawned uninvitingly on the Dubai'ans. I took the road today without knowing the traffic harassments on the way. Keep driving from road to road, and found every road blocked. First I went to Fish roundabout then took a turn and went back to Naïf Road to reach Hyatt Regency. Then from there I took the tunnel and came to Bur Dubai. I should have gone straight to Port Rashid Road. But I was having my room partner with me who need to be dropped at his office in Karama. I took a turn to Kuwaiti Road - unknowing of the trap ahead. The traffic completely came to a halt and not even moving bumper to bumper. It stopped absolutely.
Patience may be a virtue. But not on a day of this kind! The traffic kept on piling, pushing the drivers to jump the lanes to take new untested roads. Others waiting on were not interested in giving way to the intruders and allow them to move away resulting that the vehicles were moving side by side without any lane disciplines. Luckily no big accidents were seen any where. After struggling and testing various roads, going round and round for some time, I reached my destination after three and a half hours.
At the end of all these mess, only I wonder, why so much of a hassle? Mr. Bush would be taken down the Sheik Zayed Road, the show case of Dubai's huge success! And Bush needed to be impressed about the advancement of Dubai. Yes, Bush would be seeing the sky scrappers, the 16 lane wide Sheik Zayed Road, the half constructed overhead metro passageway etc., But will he be seeing any comman man on his way?
A leader should always be among the fellow human beings, whom they want to lead.
But, then is Mr. Bush a leader or not is anyone's guess.
I Wish Mr.Bush success of his Dubai visit.
Luckily for every one Dubai is closed for business tomorrow, the official day of Mr.Bush visit. And Thanks to the government who thoughtfully had declared a day off to keep the traffic away.
And what a relief!!!