Visitors from Abu Dhabi toil for transport on Eid

ABU DHABI — To return to Abu Dhabi from Dubai after spending Friday evening on the second day of Eid Al Fitr was like obtaining a ticket to the moon!

By Atef Hanafi

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Published: Sun 6 Nov 2005, 9:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:34 PM

The bus stand in Dubai saw long queues of people from various nationalities. Literally, the queue was almost one-kilometre long. The bus ticket to travel to Abu Dhabi is normally Dh15. The fare increased variably on the various means of transport, and Dubai taxis charged as high as Dh50 per passenger.

Three Syrian brothers, Amjad, Nael and Bashar, aged between 22 and 24, said they came to Dubai on the first day of Eid to spend time with friends.

“I did not imagine things to be this bad and to be in place so crowded like this. Besides, to pay Dh50 as taxi fare to return to Dubai is too much,” said Bashar.

Till about 6.25pm, the queue at the station was increasing with people from all nationalities and age groups. On the other side of the bus station lies the taxi stand. Crowds were struggling to get seats back to Abu Dhabi. The prices rose from Dh25 to Dh40. The seven-seater vans were getting full in no time.

A taxi driver said the large numbers of people were a normal thing on Eid days, “and some drivers take the opportunities to make some more money”.

Dubai-registered taxis were also using the opportunity to make more cash from people wishing to return to their places of residence in Abu Dhabi.

Ibrahim, a Tunisian taxi driver, said his cab accomodates four passengers and the money he would get for a trip to Abu Dhabi is Dh200. “It is better than working inside the city where streets are congested,” he said, adding that he had called some of his taxi driver friends and advised them to take passengers to Abu Dhabi instead of working inside Dubai during Eid.

Private car owners also had a chunck of the business. Passenger hunters were in the vicinity of bus and taxi stands waiting for anyone wishing to return to Abu Dhabi on Friday evening. They charged Dh40 per passenger.

“One private car owner will charge me Dh40. It is a Dh10 discount compared with the taxi fare of Dh50. And he will take me up to my place of residence”, said one passenger travelling back to Abu Dhabi.

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