Pink Taxi Runner, Yasmine Salaam, completes running every street in Dubai.
Journey spans Abu Dhabi to Sharjah, including Hatta.
Project started during 2018 Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Dubai‘s marathon enthusiast, Yasmine Salaam, affectionately known as the Pink Taxi Runner, has accomplished the remarkable feat of running through every street in the emirate.
Her journey spanned the entire expanse of Dubai, extending from the Abudhabi border to the Sharjah border, encompassing the scenic town of Hatta.
“I am so proud of this achievement,” she said, speaking to Khaleej Times. “I have traversed the entire emirate of Dubai, street by street, and with such glee. This means I have run all the streets that are built by RTA, including alleys but not highways.”
Embarking on this venture at the onset of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) in 2018, Yasmine has gained a profound understanding of the nation she has proudly considered her home for the past 48 years. “During this project, I have learned everything about Dubai, how people work and live, how the city operates and services its people, how urban planning is done and civil engineering translates into an organized lifestyle for communities,” she said. “During the five years 2018-2023 including the year of the pandemic, I have observed the growth of an extraordinary city of the future.”
Keeping up with Dubai
Yasmine said she had a tough time keeping up with the ever developing city of Dubai. “While I was running, streets were multiplying and my percentage was decreasing even if I was running more and more,” she said. “I had to keep up with Dubai and this is an extraordinary feature. I also learned about the diversity of the city and how people of all nationalities live in different neighborhoods and quarters or how they sometimes mix.”
Yasmine has consistently covered approximately 1000 kilometers each year, diligently sharing her journey on social media over the past five years. This Wednesday, she expressed her exhilaration upon successfully completing her monumental project.
According to her, each street was a discovery. “My favourite streets are the most iconic ones in Downtown Dubai, old Deira, the Palm, Marina,” she said. “But I also love Jumeirah because I grew up there as a child and I know it well. However the neighbourhoods I discovered were Silicon Oasis with amazing architecture, the desert of Awir and Khawaneej and old neighbourhoods like Wuheida, BuHail, Muraqqabat.”
For Yasmine, her biggest motivator was the DFC. “It has created an environment that builds a sportive community,” she said. “Dubai is a city that moves and the running community is very large. Therefore, I feel the emirate of Dubai is behind my project, encouraging me. This is the emirate where anything is possible and where goals can be reached.”
Yasmin is hoping that her project is noticed by the most important athlete in the city — Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “I would love him to know that I have done this for 5 years for one reason alone: the sports emirate of Dubai that I love.”
Yasmine’s passion project came with its own set of difficulties.
“It has been challenging to run in the heat of the summer, or during fasting month of Ramadan,” she said. “But the project in itself motivates me to run regularly and kept me going because I had goals to finish. It was also challenging to run in areas that are inhabited by males only as Al Qusais, Jebel Ali Industrial and Al Qouz have many working accommodations with men only.”
However, she felt safe at all times because of police patrols. “It was also challenging to run in industrial areas that are dusty and where the roads are not well paved,” she said. “I have also run in all the gated communities where security is very strict and I had to park very far from the entrance because they don’t let you run free through the gates, let alone drive into those areas to reach the most far out streets.”
Originating in San Francisco in 2017 with Ricky Gates, the trend of running every single street quickly gained global popularity. Yasmine was among the early enthusiasts of this movement, joining runners worldwide in exploring and conquering the streets of their towns and cities.
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