Plot Numbers

Every building here in Al Ain has one of these signs on it (this one is from the library):

I figured that the big number was something like an address, since they seem to be sequential. But I didn't have any idea what the multi-part number at the bottom was.

I should back up here and explain that all the streets here in Al Ain have a name (the main ones) or a number (the neighborhood streets), but that no one ever uses them, except for just a few of the main streets, and even then sometimes they are not known by their real name. For example, Al Ain Street is not called Al Ain Street by the cab drivers, I'm told, but the the Arabic equivilent of Main Street.

So, to get around or give directions, you tell what district you live in. Even that is open to some interpretation though. For example, I live in the Khabisi district, but everyone calls it the Markhaniya district, which is really a good 1.5 km west of here. I have told cab drivers I wanted to go to Khabisi, and then when we get here they tell me that this isn't Khabisi, it is Markhaniya. This is despite the fact that the street signs say, in English and Arabic, that it is the Khabisi district and the Shahabnat al Khabisi community (see a street sign below). Of course the vast majority of the cab drivers can't read either language.

So, what does this have to do with the numbers on the house signs? Well I found a book at the library that explains it. If you notice on the street sign, it has numbers after the district (7) and community (5). All of the districts in the town have been assigned a number and the districts subdivided into communities which have also been assigned a number. Then all the streets in the community have been numbered from 1 to whatever. Then all the lots on the street assigned a number, even numbers on one side, odd on the other. So every lot has a number made up of the district number (two digits), a community number (two digits), a street number (three digits; the first digits is 0 for a local road, 1 for a main road), and a three digit lot number.

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