Something you can’t fail to miss in Dubai is the number of luxury cars on the roads. There’s a car culture in the Middle East, fuelled (excuse the pun) by the wide roads, distances and the fact petrol is cheaper than milk.
If you know Dubai, I don’t need to tell you that Dubai Police even has its own separate superfleet, enabling the cops to drive around the city in much-admired vehicles, including a Mercedes SLS, Lamborghini Aventador and a limited edition Aston Martin One-77.
If this comes as a surprise, imagine how strange it seemed during Dubai’s economic downturn to see expensive cars left abandoned in car parks and on roadsides. I’d drive past two each day, on my way home – left gathering sand on the hardshoulder near our compound (their bankrupt owners having fled the country).
How odd, I thought, that while some cities have a litter problem, and others suffer from high crime rates, in Dubai there was the unusual problem of high-end cars being dumped.
These days, when a flashy car streaks past me, I don’t bat an eyelid. And the truth is, although Dubai might be about to get its own tram, and a few years ago introduced a metro system that governments around the region are attempting to copy, the preference for the latest Italian and German sports cars isn’t going to change.
Anyway. I digress. This blog post was meant to be about my school run yesterday. It’s not lost on my sons that there are lots of nice cars here, and we see a fair few parked outside the school gates each day.
It was the last day of the school/work week, and I was talking to Son2 about the day ahead as I edged our Ford Explorer into a space not much bigger, right behind a gleaming, silver Porsche.
“Now, you’re going to have a good day today, aren’t you?” I said to my five year old. He’s not liking school at the moment, and his teacher and I are spending lots of time chatting to him about making ‘good choices’. (I don’t mean choosing an apple over a Big Mac, I do mean behavioural).
He chose not to hear my question, and I saw him eyeing up the car in front with a glint in his enormous chocolate brown eyes.
“Mummy?” he said, the corners of his mouth turned up in a cheeky grin. “See that car?”
“Yes, I see it. It’s a Porsche”
“STEAL IT, Mummy!”
Sweet Jesus – what am I in for during his teenage years?