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Navigating an Uber driver to the unknown

uber experienceI love Uber and I have said it many times. I like the fact that I can travel and have something familiar as a method of transportation so I don’t have to worry about it. Makes me much more relaxed in unfamiliar countries.

I saw yesterday from a friend and fellow blogger, Jeanne that she posted about a scary Uber ride her friend had. Then I remembered I hadn’t shared with you my funny Uber experience in Abu Dhabi recently. That was the time when I navigated our driver to my destination and got lost. Because the Uber GPSs are not the best!

I was staying in the Hyatt Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi and I really wanted to check the new Galleria Mall in Maryam island. Since it is a new place and with some of my favourite, yet many unaffordable brands.  I tried the Uber app for a car and it showed me there were no cars available for like 30min.

Once I got ready I decided to check again and I found one just 4 minutes away. When we got into the car the driver asked us if we know where we are going since the address I gave wasn’t recognised. It was literally a dot in the sea! Well after all it was a man-made island.

After about 5 minutes trying to figure where we are going he handed my husband the Uber GPS and asked him to navigate us. I was bemused to say the least. He explained that he was not from Dubai and was just driving past when he saw our request. Which will explain why he was unfamiliar with the location.

Of course long story short we did get lost and almost ended up in the Sadyat Island about 10miles from where we wanted to go. Navigating through the UAE is not the easiest thing to do and the Uber GPS really didn’t help. The driver told us this happens often since the system is not updated regularly and it was really frustrating. Yet he didn’t have his own GPS in the car. The one I had on my Uber account and the one I had on my phone where showing the island to be built yet the Uber’s driver one was not up to date and he didn’t want to use another.

Some Uber drivers rarely use the GPS located on their phone since they know it will most certainly be incorrect, but when you don’t know the directions you just follow.

After driving for about 40minutes and 15miles we asked a local taxi driver who pointed us to the right direction. I was really annoyed because I had a meeting with a friend there and my whole evening was wasted.

I was indeed charged for the ride. However once in my hotel I did email Uber requesting for it to either be cancelled or adjusted and that they need to do something with their GPS. Or at least for the drivers not to accept rides when they don’t know the location. Believing a tourist or local will know is not the best choice. One of the reasons why I like Uber is because I assume they know their way without overcharging me.

Uber UAE emailed me saying they cancelled the ride and refunded me 250AED in a a coupon to use for future rides. Now this is another problem, because I cannot use those in the UK and when I am in the UAE they actually don’t show in my account. It took me 3 emails and two months for the Marketing manager to reply and refund me the ride into my card.

I will use Uber again but next time I will make sure I ask the driver if he knows where we are going.


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