Monday, August 30, 2010

Address, please?

This past weekend, my husband and I were pretty busy getting sorted, packed and moved (before you ask, let me answer: no, we are not moving back to Brazil - we are simply moving to a new flat…). Of course, a new place deserves new furniture. So, we set out to look for the perfect pieces.

For a moment there, going from IKEA, to Pottery Barn to Crate and Barrel, we almost forgot we were in the UAE. But then, they guy in charge of scheduling the delivery gave us a reality check by posing the following question: address, please?

BAM! Back in the UAE!

You are probably wondering why such an ordinary question has that effect. Well, it’s very simple my friend. There are no addresses here in the UAE. No. I am not kidding.

Some streets have names, others have numbers, and you might find a few more that have both a name and a number. Problem is, everything is so confusing, that people rarely know these names and numbers. And, even if you do find the street you are looking for, you will have a hard time finding the building you need to get to because they have no numbers!

I know. It’s crazy. The first time I came for a visit, my husband - boyfriend at the time - was actually flying the day I arrived, so he instructed me: “Tell the cab driver you need to go to X street, in X neighborhood. The building is called X, and is located in front of X park, between a KFC and a Burger King.” I seriously thought he was trying to play a practical joke on me...

When you live in the UAE, the first thing you probably need to do is go to the post office and rent a mailbox so all your correspondence can be directed there. No chance of receiving them at your door!

The second thing you will want to do is memorize a few key landmarks next to your home or places you need to go so you can direct cab drivers, delivery guys, guests, etc. Keep your eyes open for big hotels, banks, shops...

Last, but not least, learn how to draw a map. Yes, you heard me - a map. When you buy something at a store and need it delivered, you will most probably be asked to draw a map of your location. Include as many details as you can and don’t forget to include all those landmarks you memorized!

Address, please? Not as simple and straightforward as you thought, huh?


  1. Address in the UAE
    I live next to X and this means it is eighter in front, behing or on the side of X, it takes time to get the hang of references, beside names and numbers of streets you also have the popular name and the old name... and you are lucky if the taxi driver speeks understandable english.
    by the way your travel tips and guide will be a big success
    if you like cycling I highly recommend the Yas Circuit on Tuesday nights "safe Cycling"

  2. Incriveeell!!
    imagina eu que sou super distraida!! com numeros e nomes já me perco!! rsrsrsrs...

  3. Fui eu quem deixou o ultimo depoimento Mary.

  4. Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador are all like that.
    Even Amsterdam was like that befor WW2.

  5. Really? Good to know I am not alone!!!