x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Main concerns: road rage and vandalism

Road rage appears to be a serious problem in the Emirates, with more than a third of respondents (37 per cent) saying they have personally experienced it.

Only three per cent of respondents said they have had their car stolen, with the highest proportion living in Dubai (five per cent) and the other emirates (seven per cent), and westerners (eight per cent) being the most frequent victims. Respondents in Abu Dhabi (one per cent) and Sharjah (two per cent) reported a very low incidence of auto theft. But more than a quarter overall (27 per cent) said they knew someone whose car was stolen.

Similarly, while only eight per cent overall say they have had possessions stolen from inside their car, more than a third (34 per cent) say they know someone to whom this has happened. Westerners (12 per cent) and Emiratis (11 per cent) appear to be the most targeted by thieves. Vandalism, however, has been experienced by more than one in 10 car owners (13 per cent), and 34 per cent know someone who has been a victim, rising to 44 per cent of westerners.

Mariam, an Iranian-Canadian doctor who has been in the UAE for two years, said she had had an iPod stolen from her car when it was parked in Airport Road in Abu Dhabi, and on two occasions her car's paintwork was deliberately scratched while it was parked in a downtown area. One of the findings from the survey reported on Monday was that four out of every 10 victims of crime did not report it to the police.

Mariam was one of them: "Even if we tell them," she said, "what will they do?" Some 42 per cent say they have been the victim of a motoring offence and an almost equal proportion (43 per cent) say they know someone in their circle of friends and family who has. Falling foul of another motorist's driving is least likely to happen in Dubai (37 per cent) and more likely in Abu Dhabi (43 per cent), Sharjah (46 per cent) and the other emirates (47 per cent).

Again, it is westerners (56 per cent) who seem to have the worst luck in this respect, followed by Arab expatriates (50 per cent) and Emiratis (46 per cent). Asians (34 per cent) come off best, as do women (32 per cent) compared with men (47 per cent). Road rage appears to be a serious problem in the Emirates, with more than a third of respondents (37 per cent) saying they have personally experienced it and 42 per cent knowing someone who has.

Men and women have about the same level of experience. However, the difference in experience between Emirati drivers (30 per cent) and the 70 per cent of westerners who say they have been the victim of road rage may stem from the UAE's culture of aggressive driving. Although illegal, tailgating and flashing headlights in the fast lane are common in the UAE. newsdesk@thenational.ae