At least there is public transport in Dubai. Don’t get too comfy though. You’ll get fined for falling asleep.
We’ve all heard stories of a friend of a friend who was in some remote country: the friend did something perfectly normal in his home country, like walk on the grass, only to be fined by local police in the new country. Take this: in Dubai westerners and travelers beware: you are not allowed to fall asleep on the train. An American girl in town visiting her parents was just fined for dozing on the Dubai Metro, to her “sleepy” surprise. The fine: about $80 US.
According to Gulf News which reports locally in English, a Dh300 fine worth about $80 USD will be given to anyone sleeping in the waiting areas. But no material for travelers is posted about sleeping on the trains themselves.
An official on behalf of the Metro in response said: “It is the rule … [no] sleeping in the waiting areas, shelters or any place in a public transport environment. Fine will be Dh300”.
Other ways you can land a find include drooling, falling over onto someone’s space or snoring.
The newspaper also reported some inconsistencies about whether it is okay or not to sleep on the train.
For my sake, I don’t think I’d enjoy riding the train in Dubai. Trains and buses are where I catch some shut eye. And my baby who I take everywhere likes to drool.
I think these rules discourage the use of public transport. If sex segregation and modesty for the sleeping rule are the reasons for the fines, then I say create same-sex carriages or carriages for idiotic Americans (I am joking of course) who are used to public transport, and who lean on it for a snore.
You can always practice sleeping with one eye open. Or look like the sleeping Sumo pictured above.
My experience in the Middle East is that there is no consistency in the rules that exist or in applying them. If you get caught doing something you are not supposed to, knowingly or unknowingly, try crying. That often works. Then go back to sleep.
Photo via yiie