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10 of the world's slowest cities

May 2013

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With a more laid back workforce and flexibility on what 'late' means (we're looking at you, Dubai), these cities move at a calmer pace

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The fishing village transformed by oil money into a high-rise global metropolis likes to take things slow.

How late is late?
Everyone is late all the time in Dubai. No one is on time for anything. It's 'Dubai time'.
Are commuters 'plugged in'?
Dubai's metro offers fabulous views, but everyone has their face in their BlackBerrys.
How fast is the food?
For a fast-food joint about five to ten minutes. For a gourmet restaurant about 15 to 30 minutes.
How long to wait for a coffee?
Three to five minutes.
A 24-hour city?
Some corner shops open 24 hours and the malls are open until midnight most days. Takeout joints will deliver until 3am/4am. Gyms close about midnight.
Do people walk or stand on escalators?
No one walks. Everyone is happy to just do everything slowly here.
How long's the wait for a train?
About four to ten minutes.
Sonja Stephen

The Chilean capital is works efficiently but isn't open 24/7

How late is late?
Half an hour is the rough cut-off point, but they would be straight on their phones to find out what's happening.
Are commuters 'plugged in'?
Around 40 per cent have their Blackberrys/iPhones out.
How long does it take to get a coffee?
Two minutes.
How long do people take for a lunch break?
A lunch break is just one hour, unlike some of the country's smaller cities, where the siesta means workers have three hours off in the middle of the day.
A 24-hour city?
Not so much. Shops opening until 6.30pm, malls till 8pm or 10pm.
Do people walk or stand on the escalator?
Around 90 per cent of people stand on the escalator.
How long is train waiting time?
On the metro the trains arrive every two minutes or so.
Sarah Gordon

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