Dubai’s traffic – the bane of pre-financial crisis life in the city — is back. 

At rush hour, queues of cars snake along the Gulf Arab boomtown’s highways. But this time, nobody is complaining. At least not yet.

For many, the relief felt at the sight of such signs of economic recovery still largely outweighs the annoyance at having to once again spend a good part of their day behind the steering wheel.

Dubai taxi drivers can’t believe their luck.

Only six months ago, these drivers – most of them men from Pakistan and India – saw the amount of money they were able to send home each month plummet as the global financial crisis drained Dubai’s streets of their usual clients, mostly tourists and business people. Now, while not back to the levels before the slowdown, they say they are earning a decent wage again.

Signs that things are picking up are not only to be found on the city’s roads. Dubai’s luxurious malls – home to the world’s largest indoor ski slope and shark-filled aquariums – were often glaringly empty over the past months, but are slowly filling up with shoppers again.