Ever had a really bad cab ride?
I could count on one hand the number of really good cab ride experiences I’ve had in Dubai.
I’d be a mutant if I could say the same for the opposite.
But this isn’t about that, even though my non-mutant fingers are itching to rant about the bad service and traumatization I’ve experienced at the mercy of so many cab drivers.
A new luxury chauffeur service has been launched in Dubai called Uber.
Smart phone users can, through a few little taps of their fingers on their smartphones, place an order for an Uber ride. GPS tracking eliminates need for the driver to ask for directions (supposedly).
I decided to test the service last Thursday when I was going for the Atlantis Monster Halloween Party at Nasimi Beach.
Uber is the perfect service to use for events that take place in remote locations where cabs are hard to come by.
Signing up for Uber is simple enough, you register your phone number and credit card – all transactions happen through the card – and no money exchanges hands. Easy as pie, and you don’t have to sweat making change in groceries.
GPS automatically tracks you and you can hit the button that orders a car. The nearest driver’s name and car details are shown on the screen as well as estimated time of reaching.
Anyway, I had envisioned a chauffeured cab to arrive right at the curb and I’d just have to just hop in and save myself the embarrassment of standing outside in my Halloween costume.
That wasn’t to be.
See, there are three ways you can dress for Halloween:
- Terrifying and nightmare inducing
- Sexy and scantily dressed, preferably with some form of animal ears
- A funny pop culture reference that virtually no one gets
Not worth mentioning, is also number 4, detested by all people who have taken the time and energy to put together a costume, and that’s the "My Costume is Myself" costume.
I took the 3rd route, and went as Candy Crush Saga, the annoying , addictive game of the moment that has everyone hypnotized with bright colorful candies and wanting to strangle the annoyingly perky Candy Crush Girl with her stupid, stupid face.
I went as that girl.
So there I was, dressed with a giant pink bow on my head, a giant signboard around my neck and lollipops in my hand. (Lollipops are these special candies that can be used in the game to… actually I’m getting carried away. Now where was I?)
The driver did end up calling for directions (so the GPS didn’t exactly work) and it was around a 20 minute wait, which ended up being pretty fun anyway.
“I’m Candy Crush.” I sighed, for the millionth time, when a random stranger confused me for a Barbie. (I had also worn the costume for work and the guys from Finance just did not get it.)
“OOOHH…” he said, completely bemused.
But maybe I shouldn't have taken it personally since a friend went as Hermione Granger and he asked her who she was supposed to be.
She had a broom, a History of Magic book, little stick Ron and Harry, a witches hat and full graduation gown. Like honestly, deductive reasoning was not his forte.
But finally, I saw a Lexus approaching and I excitedly opened the door and sat inside quite undignified with my lollipops and board going askew.
My driver, Shiraz was a nice guy who obliged me by putting on Virgin Radio, and further obliged me when I asked him to turn it up. He even offered me a bottle of water.
Yep, complimentary bottled water. This was the life.
I sat back in the comfortably cool air-conditioning and enjoyed the fact that the cab smelled like a spa and not like a something died inside it, which was what I was usually accustomed to, taking cabs in Dubai. I was so impressed, I sent out a little tweet and got back one in return.
Shiraz wasn’t wearing a clown wig, seemed like he was too dignified for one.
In comparison, I was totally not. When he dropped me off and saw everyone else dressed up equally badly, if not worse, he finally expressed an "Ahh..." of realization.
Did he just think I dressed like this for kicks?
|Getting into character.|
All in all, it was a great start to the night and the Virgin Radio VIP (I won some free tickets) was awesome. My life is on its way to becoming slightly more glamorous it seems!
|Rubbed shoulders with some Virgin Radio hosts.|
A ride in Uber will set you back a wee bit more than an ordinary cab ride, minimum fare is at 35 dirhams, base fare is 12.5 Dhs with 2.5 Dhs per km.
To put it into perspective: 35 km between Karama to Atlantis is roughly 100 Dhs, but with a nice little promotional code from the launch, this was covered.
You can now split fares if you're travelling with others, and they promise promo codes in the future so keep your eyes peeled for new ones!