Getting Around

Dubai is a city geared up for cars, and has a good and continuously improving infrastructure. With a grid-like street system it shouldn’t take you too long to find your way around either. However, if you’re planning on using satellite navigation systems they won’t help you much due to a lack of official addresses in the city at the moment; so you’ll have to get your Explorer map out if you get lost. 

There are some good public transport options but most people travel by car, whether that’s driving themselves or using the generally excellent and inexpensive taxi service. Getting behind the wheel of a car is probably the best way to get the measure of the city’s numerous districts though. 
 
Other sights you may find unusual at first are the number of cars that pull over and stop on the hard shoulders of the highways - especially at sunset when some drivers will stop to answer the call to prayer by the side of the road. And once it’s dark, watch out for workers who loiter by the side of roads waiting for lifts back to their camp. Sometimes they can be quite close to the road and difficult to spot. People sometimes try to cross highways on foot too.

Address System 
As part of Dubai’s new District Addressing project, which will cover the entire city by 2016, the city has been divided into several districts, and each district further sub-divided into communities.

The project will see more than 22,000 Dubai streets renamed over the next two years, with the address system featuring the building number, street name, community and district. This replaces the rather confusing system of street numbers.
 
New districts to be aware of include Marsa Dubai, which is the new name for Dubai Marina; and Nakhlat Jumeira, which is the new name for Palm Jumeirah. ‘Marsa’ is Arabic for ‘marina’ and ‘nakhlat’ is Arabic for ‘palm’. Another new district is Burj Khalifa, which includes the Downtown community (and of course, the Burj Khalifa building); and the old district Al Souk Al Kabeer, which includes Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (formerly known as Bastakiya).
 
Although all roads in the city have an official name or number, several roads are referred to by a different moniker. For instance, Jumeira Road is often known as Beach Road, and Interchange One, on Sheikh Zayed Road, is invariably called Defence Roundabout. Dubai Municipality has started a more formal road-naming process to help eliminate confusion, and many of the city’s main roads have been given the names of prominent Arab cities, such as Marrakech Road.

Street signs now also include the direction of travel, so you know whether you are travelling north or south. This lack of consistency makes locating an address difficult. Companies often only list their building name, road and nearest landmark when writing their address. Explorer’s Dubai Street Atlas features an index of over 13,000 roads and buildings. Also, you can search for a business, product or service on localsearch.ae, which lists information for around 110,000 companies such as telephone number, email and website address.
 
Maps
With new roads popping up on a weekly basis, finding your way around Dubai can be difficult. Explorer produces several of the most up-to-date street maps available, including the fully indexed Dubai Street Atlas and the pocket-sized Dubai Mini Map. Newly released is the Dubai Map app, one of a series of GCC map apps. 

Smart app
Launched in 2014 by the Department of Transport (DoT), Darb is a mobile app that has a bunch of smart features to make getting around easier. It lets users see live data on traffic conditions, incidents and road works as well as real-time bus arrival information and nearest bus stops, and airport information including arrivals and departures. The app also has a route planning function that will use the real-time information to give an accurate arrival time. On top of that you can also book taxis, pay for on-street parking and even give the DoT feedback on damaged signs or malfunctioning traffic lights.

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