It’s a move that makes sense: for many tourists, taxi drivers are their first point of contact as the chauffeurs shuttle freshly arrived visitors from the airport to their hotel, a route that’s likewise often their first introduction to the city.
According to The Khaleej Times, nearly half of the city’s 3,504 cab drivers have completed a tourist awareness training which teaches drivers about key landmarks, hotels, events and attractions in Dubai.
The program also empowers the people who know the city best, turning humble taxi drivers into ambassadors. Dubai isn’t the first to recognize the potential that cab drivers present when it comes to serving as tourist guides for their city.
In Edinburgh, drivers of black cabs can promote themselves as elite tour guides after a 12-week training program.
Visitors who climb into a cab in London, meanwhile, can rest assured that they’re in good hands as drivers must pass a training course that’s been described as the most demanding in the world: drivers must know 320 routes within the six-mile (10 km) radius of Charing Cross.
That makes them the ideal tourist guide, spawning several outfits which offer guided tours for visitors in the back of the city’s iconic black cabs.