Aug 24

Getting Alcohol in Dubai unlicensed – Barracuda in Umm Al Quwain

So you heard all the “horror” stories about Dubai and the UAE in general, and you are worried that you might go dry when it comes to Alcohol consumption. You can safely put aside your fear, there are several ways to get Alcohol here and most of them don’t even cross the line of legality. Read on for more details….

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Aug 12

Road Toll in Dubai – How it works

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With Dubai’s increasing traffic, the Municipalities introduced a new TOLL system called SALIK. There are gates called SALIK gates in a few places, and when you pass underneath, it deducts the sum from your account. There is no Unlimited sticker like we have it in Hungary and probably in all other countries, but you pay each time you pass through the gate. The good thing is that you dont have to even slow down, the system will auto-deduct the sum from your ballance.

So how does it work exactly?

Once you get your car, you need to go to a Fuel station close to the TOLL area, and you will subscribe for SALIK services. You pay 100AED (25USD) and this includes the sticker for your windshield with the microchip and 50AED in credit. As soon as you apply the sticker you are good to go. See the above diagram for understanding what is SALIK and how it works.

For more info, read on……

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Aug 07

Dubai is loaded with confortable services which enable one not to get out of the house/office for most of the time. You can pay all your bills online or at gas stations, so you wont lose time at Post offices or in lines. The newest thing (to me at least) is the Traffic fine enquiry online. There is a website you go to:

Dubai Police

and on the top right you click “Traffic Fines Inquiry” and it takes you to a form. Here you enter your License plate number and get the results in an instance. Look at the picture below.

What happens is for instance you speed and a camera catches you. In two days time, the pictures are downloaded from the cameras and the website is updated. When you query the site you see that you have a ticket, you give your Credit Card number, and settle the fine. Also there are no black points for speeding tickets, so its basically a money making way for the Dubai municipalities. The traffic fines are not sent to your address at all, so the only way to know is to check online. If you fail to do so, you will be asked to pay all outstanding fines upon registering your car, which takes place every year.

There are harsher punishments also, like vehicle inpounding for crossing a red light etc, and again here you can decide when to give up your car to the Police. People mostly do it while travelling, so its not as painful as otherwise.

Aug 07

I had to do this many times, but still not enough to stick to my head, so I always end up googling for it. I decided to Blog it now finally, so I will always have this information handly, and hope to help others too.

My Distribution is Debian Linux, but I assume it will work on others too.

To set your time-zone, do the following:

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Budapest /etc/localtime

that is if your time zone is Budapest. Just browse the /usr/share/zoneinfo/ folder and see which location matches you.
When that is done, you need to adjust your time. Lately on systems that have internet connectivity, I just use a Time Server which keeps my time updated hourly, as I set a Cron job to do so.

To get this done, I install “ntpdate”

apt-get install ntpdate

Now I set cron to run the job hourly, but you can set whatever timeframe you want:

crontab -e

Here I added the following line:

@hourly /etc/network/if-up.d/ntpdate

then restarted cron

/etc/init.d/cron restart

and that was it. Our hourly automatic time update is set. Now to test if all went well, I manually updated the time:


and checked if it was okay. If you see the right timezone and right time, just save it to the BIOS clock as well so even offline the time will remain correct more or less:

/sbin/hwclock --systohc

and we are done. Enjoy having a Linux box with never failing correct time!