Fans caught out by lack of taxis


By Fareed Rahman

DUBAI // A “miscommunication” was to blame for the mayhem outside Dubai International Cricket Stadium on the first day of the Test match between Pakistan and England, according to the Roads and Transport Authority.

  Cricket fans wait for the taxis outside the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.  Satish Kumar / The National
Cricket fans wait for the taxis outside the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Satish Kumar / The National

About 1,500 people showed up for the first day, and a security guard at the stadium said the queues for taxis started at about 4pm and continued until 7pm.

“There were hundreds of people waiting to find a cab. It was a complete chaos,” he said.

Mohammed Akbar, a Pakistani fan, said: “I waited for nearly two hours to find a cab on Tuesday. There were long queues extending into the stadium from the road.

“We came to enjoy the match, not struggle to catch a taxi. It was terrible.”

Organisers say Dubai Police were on the scene to maintain order among the crowd.

The stadium, located on Emirates Road, is not yet connected to any bus route and people must either take their own cars or rely on taxis to commute to and from the stadium.

One spectator who travelled from the US to watch the match said he was baffled by the mismanagement. “I am surprised that there were not enough taxis to pick up passengers during an important event. I see a lot of taxis cruising around Dubai. This was shocking,” he said.

Other supporters turned to Twitter to voice their frustration. John Harris, posting under the handle RugbyCricketFan, wrote: “We waited 1 hr 40 mins for a taxi. It was dark and very cold by the time we got a cab.”

Responding to the criticism yesterday, a Roads and Transports Authority employee said a miscommunication between Dubai Sports City and the events department of the RTA had led to the problem.

Mohammed Yousuf, the operations director at Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), said his department should have received written warning about the volume.

“We did not got a letter from Dubai Sports City regarding the event,” he said.

There are 7,700 taxis in Dubai, of which about 3,500 are operated by the DTC under the RTA. More info


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