UAE Portrait of a Nation: Delivery man braves heat and traffic for his family

ABU DHABI // Home delivery is part of daily life for UAE residents for everything from a shawarma or cigarettes to sugar and groceries. But few realise what it takes for people like Mohammed Aminuddin to deliver orders on time while braving 48ºC heat and the risk of facing road rage from other drivers. “It’s […]

ABU DHABI // Home delivery is part of daily life for UAE residents for everything from a shawarma or cigarettes to sugar and groceries.

But few realise what it takes for people like Mohammed Aminuddin to deliver orders on time while braving 48ºC heat and the risk of facing road rage from other drivers.

“It’s one of the most dangerous duties. Driving a motorcycle in such a harsh and scorching summer is challenging and dangerous, as you have to face unruly taxi and car drivers who don’t respect bike riders on the road,” the 30-year-old Indian said.

Mr Aminuddin has worked at Hyderabad Star Restaurant, a popular place for Hyderbadi cuisine located off Zayed the First Street (Electra Street), for the past nine years. With free delivery and dishes like mutton biryani at only Dh17 as well as rumali roti and bagara rice, it is popular among single men.

He is one of two delivery men working for the restaurant who deliver their orders on Honda Unicorns. They must be cautious on the roads as they routinly face heavy traffic and angry or unpredictable drivers, he said.

“If they notice it’s a delivery boy, they simply ignore us,” he said. “Moving along with fast paced cars is a dangerous where motorist speed up in absence of cameras, and we on small bikes feel the terrifying sway.”

He is mostly scared of motorists who suddenly change lanes without using the indicators and press their brakes. He also sees many delivery men who violate road rules, and zigzag to pass between cars, which is not allowed.

A few years ago, he had a small accident with a taxi driver that left his bike damaged, though he was unhurt.

“Suddenly the taxi driver in the front slammed the brakes and I couldn’t control and hit him,” said Mr Aminuddin.

Peak delivery hour is noon to 2pm, but it is also a time when temperatures can soar to 50ºC. Office workers typically have 30 to 60 minutes to eat, all at about the same time, and do not accept the orders if they are delivered late.

“Lunchtime remains quite busy, and is the most difficult hour to perform our duties,” he said. “Every day most of the orders we get from offices and residences.”

In Abu Dhabi it usually takes at most 20 minutes to deliver an order, and he can deliver five orders to different locations in an hour.

Despite the odds, Mr Aminuddin said, he loves his job and has been able to help finance his family’s education and health expenses back home in India. He hopes to one day start his own business in India.

After earning his two-wheeler bike driving licence in 2007, he has earned Dh2,000 a month, transferring 15,000 rupees (Dh820) to his wife and two sons each month. The delivery men try to keep hydrated to maintain their health so they can keep sending money to their families.

“It’s our duty and we have to do this for our survival to support the family back home,” he said..

anwar@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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