Worshipped in the form of a mother, loved in the form of wife and treasured in the role of a sister, the woman folk of any country are a blessing to its survival. Their well-being remains a matter of great surveillance as well as great pride in many countries today. UAE is one such country that is extremely cautious of the safety and security of its women – whether they are working women, college girls or housewives.
Women in this part of the world have the liberty to sometimes skip queues, get their pass and board special metro and bus compartments with dedicated seating areas. Women taxis are available at your beck and call and there are special timings for woman at amusement parks, zoos and surprisingly, some beaches too. Ladies night in the UAE at restaurants and lounges are only a cherry on top of the cake. We took the liberty of speaking to a few women living in the UAE to get their opinion on the matter.
The student culture in Dubai has many travelling in the late hours at night. Kavya Prasad, a student at Heriott Watt University, Dubai confirms the same: “I use the taxis more often than other means of public transport and I know that even if I’m out late at night, I am safe.”
Aged 42 and self- employed as an Executive and Personal Wellness Consultant, Anuradha Kamath agrees by saying “Once, during the course of formalities after an accident the lady who hit my car was hugging me and grateful that she did not kill me to which one of the officers said ‘Women are at loggerheads usually and here are two hugging each other.’ In a moment of tension, such a respite I felt by his words.”
“The way the police force works here is commendable” adds Garima Himthani, a 20-year-old student in Dubai.
Waheeda, a housewife is a frequent traveler loves to travel by the metro. “Dubai has people who are always ready to help and don’t turn a blind eye to people in need” She says. Bhavna Chandnani, aged 50, recalls an incident from the past “We were in Fujairah for a picnic and while we got down on our way to the Friday market, all the doors of our car got locked and the key was left inside. A stranger came to our help and even assisted us in getting a mechanic for the same.”
Car breakdowns are an issue, especially when you have to find someone to fix the tyre. “Once I had a flat tyre on Sheikh Zayed Road and it was my first time. Feeling lost, I waited on the road hoping for help. A few minutes later, an Emirati gentleman stopped his car and helped me change the tire. I truly appreciate such acts of responsibility by people – especially men – here” recalls Lina Abraham, aged 35.
Another interesting example shared by Reema Mukherjee, aged 35, shows us this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. “A few months ago, while at the supermarket, a man started following me. I stopped and shouted at him and strangely, there were a couple of Indians standing there, yet, they did nothing. To my surprise, an Emirati man came up to me and started arguing with the man and offered to call the cops. He called the security and got him out of the supermarket. Never got the chance to thank him but he will be in my prayers” she reminisces.
Nisha, aged 40, is a journalist who has to often travel late in the night and she shared an interesting bit. “Recently, I hailed a cab from office to home and I usually take the Al Wasl Road. The cabbie assured a shorter route, but we got stuck in heavy traffic. Halfway through, he began apologizing and refused to take the full fare. He believed it was his fault. I had to leave the entire amount on the seat or else he would have had to pay from his pocket.” She shares.
Hailing from Canada, Hiba, aged 29, recalls a humbling incident that made her feel grateful for being here. “I was in DAFZA for a meeting one afternoon and didn’t have coins for parking. A truck driver came up to me and handed over a 5 dirham bill. I offered to repay, but he refused. Financially, he had less, but his heart was much richer” she smiles.
There’s good and bad everywhere but these little acts of kindness in the UAE make you believe you are in a safe place.