New street names confuse Abu Dhabi taxi drivers and residents



ABU DHABI // Taxi drivers and residents new to the emirate are struggling to find their way around with the new street address system.

Despite the training TransAD has given taxi drivers, many are confused when faced with two different names for the same street.

K T has driven a taxi for three years in Abu Dhabi. For him the change is manageable because of his familiarity with the streets, but the same cannot be said for many of his colleagues.

“The problem is not for me, it is the new guys that are suffering,” the Sri Lankan said.“They get passengers who sometimes refer to a street as a person’s name but they only know it as a number.”

The system, which started its gradual rollout last year, will give each building a number followed by a unique street name honouring leaders and historical or Arabic themes.

The capital’s existing grid system is based on zones, sectors, main streets, internal streets and plots or buildings.

“That was the system we were happy to use,” said K T.

“It was great, easy to use and nobody needed to be very knowledgeable of the street names to be able to find good work in Abu Dhabi.

“In fact, you didn’t even have to be literate to become a taxi driver. All you had to know was where numbers were, remember certain major streets and get on with your job.”

For Indian expatriate M K, 29, the new system is taking some time to get used to as he mostly depends on landmarks or directions. More info