Two weeks ago, I received my first Police fine (and probably not the last...) I had stopped for two seconds to put on my head set when I suddenly discovered the police just behind me. I didnt really pay any attention to what he was doing but after a few metres (when I was done fiddling with my head set) of following me so closely that I thought he was working his way through the trunk, he pulled me over and I was fined. For stopping along the road, bear in mind that this is the country where you can reverse on the highway and it is perfectly legal, but you can not stop for five minutes on the side of a small service road. Reversing on the highway is a lot more dangerous but who cares about logic? Well, he gave me a fine, written in Arabic only and I told him that I will not sign anything that I dont understand (I mean, for all I care, he could have written anything, mad Korean tried to stab me with an ice hatch, or something like that) but he just looked at me and said in broken English: What do I look like?? And I wanted to answer: A fool, but that would probably had cost me my license...You dont insult the law enforcement here (or anywhere for that matter, I guess). So I finally accepted my fine of 200 dhs only to find out that the payment instructions on the backside was in English! How fascinating, the fine itself in Arabic but the payment instructions in English.. so where is the logic? (there is no logic at all)
Today, after two weeks, I went to the Bur Dubai Police Department to pay my fine. Luckily, there is a ladies only line, where I patiently waited along with a few other expat women and one local woman in hejab. The opposite line was for men, taxi drivers, truck drivers and local men in their dish dash (though they dont stand in line, they only proceed to the counter...) A local woman in her abaya told all the men by their first name in a high pitch voice: Ahmed, go and pay your fine and come back! It was actually hilarious to watch. I waited for one hour before it was my turn to hand over my license (was a bit scared I would never see it again) and my fine, paid 210 dhs (10 dhs for administrative fee, as in him stretching out his arm to receive the cash I guess) but I made a promise to myself not to argue, only God knows what that might lead to. So, I walked away fine- free and with a new experience, some black points and a police record to add to my life in Dubai. Fantastic!