The joys of cruise control

I drove up to Dubai last weekend in my new Honda CRV and had the joy of using cruise control for the first time in my life.

As my car is new and has less than 1,000 kilometers on it, the guy who sold me the car told me to be careful with its engine and to NOT drive faster than 100km/hour until I had put 1,000 kms on the odometer.

Staying at only 100kph on Sheikh Zayed Road is easier said than done, especially when all the other cars are whizzing by you at 140kph! Since I had to keep the car at a constant 100kph on the highway I realized that the easiest way to do so would be to use the cruise control.

As soon as I engaged it, I was able to take my foot off of the accelerator and let it rest while my car’s computer kept me at a steady 100kph. The only thing I had to do was keep my hands on the steering wheel. Cars did whizz by me, but several of them did follow behind me for kilometers on end, before getting tired of going at such a relatively “slow” speed and zooming past me.

Just before arriving at the Mall of the Emirates, where I was meeting my friend Kelly, I stopped at two gasoline stations to get my highway toll Salik tag. The first station had the forms but no photocopying machine to take a copy of my car registration. “The next gasoline station has a copier,” said the helpful salesman. Sure enough, I was able to get my Salik tag at the next station after paying Dh100 for it and Dh1 for the photocopy.

The tag comes in what looks like those cardboard CD cases. Inside is a plastic sticker with a chip embedded in it. You have to stick the chip onto your windshield in the right position so that when you drive below the Salik toll structures that span Sheikh Zayed highway like little bridges, the sensors can correctly read your chip. Again, a friendly salesman came to my aid and came out to my car and made sure I placed it in the right position.