Who needs an address when you’ve been Makani’d?
I may or may not have mentioned in the past how we don’t really have postal addresses in Dubai. If you want to receive mail, you have to have a PO Box, be it at a post office or, more recently and only in some areas, attached to your front wall. Even then, the mail is not addressed to the house, but to the PO Box.
Part of the reason for this was because many of the older houses and streets in Dubai didn’t really have numbers and names. Giving directions to visitors has always been more a case of “Turn left at the rubbish bins, go over two speed bumps and turn right at the purple bougainvillea – not the limp-looking one; the one that’s really in bloom right now? Yeah… usually there’s a tabby cat sitting next to it?”
Which of course is a little worrying when you think about how an ambulance, for example, might find your home in a night-time emergency. I can just see the driver now, hopping out of the ambulance to check the bougainvillea flowers: “Are they purple or hot-pink? It’s hard to tell in the dark… mate, have you got a torch?”
But all this is now academic. Today there was a knock on my door and, though the peephole, I could see it was Security plus another man in uniform. Stifling the urge to run out the back door as fast as I could, I opened it to learn that Dubai is now a Smart City and that physical addresses are “so, like, 2014”.
Oh no, forget “Street This, Villa That” – we are now all to have a Makani number. The whole of Dubai, from ambulance drivers to taxis, pizza delivery boys and all my friends, will download the Makani App on their smart phones and then all I have to do is give my visitors my 10-digit Makani number and they will be directed via GPS to within one metre of my front door. One metre! Yeah, baby! I’m ordering pizza tonight! And it’d better not get lost!