Tehemten Homi Dhunjiboy Mehta, 97, says he last drove a vehicle in 2004. (Representational)
A 97-year-old Indian-origin man in the UAE has got his driving licence renewed for the next four years. Tehemten Homi Dhunjiboy Mehta, born in 1922, could become the first centenarian to be driving on Dubai roads in three years. His licence is valid until October 2023, the Gulf News reported.
Coincidentally, Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband of British Queen Elizabeth II, has voluntarily surrendered his driving licence, weeks after the duke miraculously escaped unhurt in a terrifying accident that injured two women in another car.
Mr Mehta, a Kenyan of Indian descent, lives alone and is in no hurry to hit the roads as he thinks cars make people lazy. He prefers to walk — sometimes up to four hours daily.
The long-time Dubai resident, who never married, last drove a vehicle in 2004. He now uses public transport or travels around on foot.
“Don’t tell anyone. It’s the secret of my robust health and long life. And yes, I don’t smoke or drink,” he says as he chuckles.
He came to Dubai in 1980 and took up an accounting job at a five star hotel where he worked until 2002 when a routine background check of employees revealed his age and he was asked to put in his papers.
“I was 80 then with no family and nowhere to go so I dug into my lifetime’s savings and bought a one-bedroom apartment in the city to secure a life-long residency in the safe environs of Dubai.
“I have been living as a loner for the most part of life as I never got married. I have a younger sister in the UK who I visit every summer but I banished all thoughts of relocating there after I was mugged in London in broad day light some years ago. I can’t imagine that happening in Dubai so I would rather stay here,” Mr Mehta said.
All of his friends are long dead and the only support he has here is from members of law firm Al Midfa and Associates whom he contacted in 2004 to help draft a will.