Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This story from Arabian Business magazine caused a few laughs. But the giggles quickly stopped when the implications of the statistics became clear.

How incredibly sad that such measures as 'fashion seatbelts' need to even be contemplated.

The latest figures by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi showed that only 11 percent of Emiratis and 44 percent of expatriates wear seatbelts.
Many young drivers have said they do not wear seatbelts because of peer pressure, according to the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.

Maytha al Habsi, the director of the public awareness programmes at the EFP, told the paper: “Young people like fashion in general. Many people would love a Gucci seat belt, for example. Or a seat belt that carries the name of their preferred football team. Also, Emiratis like so much to carry their national flag. It may very well be that fashion is the way to go. Maybe this would encourage them to wear it.”

But how is this relevant to the Dubai Metro? I wonder if more than 11 percent of Emiratis or 44 percent of expats would declare themselves inclined to use the city's new public transport system.

Somehow I fear the figures might be even lower. That's sad, too.

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