What the Uber driver heard…
It’s all in a night’s work on the roads for Dubai’s Uber drivers
UAE residents often dish the dirt on taxi drivers who drive recklessly or take longer routes for more cash. But it’s not just the passengers who can share some bizarre tales – the drivers also have their share of stories to tell.
Uber drivers in the US are known to spill the beans on unruly passengers with ‘Uber Driver Confessions’ and ‘Uber Horror Stories’ being covered widely in the media over the years.
7DAYS contacted some Dubai-based Uber drivers to hear about their experiences.
From dealing with drunk passengers, fighting couples and cheating partners, drivers in Dubai have seen it all.
BABYSITTER FOR DRUNK PASSENGERS
Uber driver Tofiq Muhammad has been driving taxis for several years, and sometimes he feels like he is also a babysitter for revellers who need help to get home after a wild night.
He shared a story about two worse-for- wear passengers he was dropping home at 2am.
Muhammad said: “I picked up two guys outside a hotel late at night. They were really drunk. At first they couldn’t remember their address was.
“I drove around for a while so they could remember. Finally, I started heading to their home, they fell asleep. It took me 15 minutes just to wake them up.
“After getting out of the car, one of them fell onto the sidewalk and starting sleeping there, right next to my car. It was so funny. It was something that should’ve ended up on YouTube.
“We had to drag him further away from the road and wake him up. I think we waited there for at least 25 minutes. It was a crazy night.”
SHOULDER TO CRY ON
Ayaz Mahboob said he loves driving for Uber, but one pattern he has noticed is that he attracts customers who vent their personal problems to him. However, Mahboob has no problem in lending a shoulder for people to cry on.
He said: “There was a British lady who I was dropping to the airport once. She seemed very quiet and sad when she got into my car, but soon she starting crying. And it wasn’t soundless kind of crying. It was out loud.
“I felt bad for her, so I asked her what had happened.
“She told me her entire story. She dated a guy for so long, got married to him and now he was cheating on her. That’s why she was on the way to the airport. She was leaving.”
A DRIVING PSYCHIATRIST
Muhammed Hussain believes that he is not just a driver, he has also become a psychiatrist during his two years driving Uber cars.
He said he deals with frustrated people who get into his car and often fight with each other - and often ends up acting as a counsellor.
He shared a story of how he became stuck in an “awkward situation” where a married couple were arguing in his car.
He said: “A French couple were in my car once and they looked very angry. A few minutes after getting into my car, they started arguing very aggressively and used some bad language towards each other.
“It got very tense in the car, so I decided to play some music to get rid of the tension. But they kept arguing. “So I decided to interfere and I told them life is too short to be fighting. I said to them ‘you could either spend that time fighting, or enjoy each
moment you have with each other’. By the end of the ride, they were OK and were hugging. They also hugged and thanked me.”
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Shoaib Ali says his ability to speak and understand English has improved over the years, but sometimes when dealing with western expat passengers, he still struggles to understand them.
Ali said: “I was on my way to pick up a British lady at Souk Al Bahar. She told me to come in front of the ‘wood gate’.
“I found a wooden gate and I waited there for 10 minutes. I get a call from her and she’s yelling at me asking me where I am.
“I said I’m in front of the wood gate.
“Turns out she was actually saying the ‘oud gate’.”
IN THE DRIVING SEAT: Uber drivers hear, and see, a lot of things