By the start of the millennium, fast population growth plus rapidly increasing numbers of tourists was putting a huge burden on Dubai’s transport infrastructure.
The Dubai Metro was the city’s answer to the problem. Construction began in 2006 with the first stations opening in 2009.
Trains are driverless and include first class, and women and children only sections. Extensive window panels offer great views of the city.
2 lines have been constructed:
|Red Line||2009||Rashidiya to UAE Exchange (Jebel Ali)|
|Green Line||2011||Etisalat to Dubai Healthcare City|
The Red Line runs from Rashidiya (near Dubai International Airport) to UAE Exchange (formerly Jebel Ali). All 29 stations are now open.
The Green Line runs from Etisalat Metro Station in Al Qusais to Dubai Healthcare City in Umm Hurair. All 20 stations are now operational.
Passengers can transfer between lines at either Union or BurJuman (formerly Khalid Bin Al Waleed).
The Metro is connected to the Dubai Tram system at DAMAC Metro Station (formerly Dubai Marina Metro Station) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers Metro Station, both on the Red Line.
The Dubai Metro runs every day of the week. Operating times are:
- Red Line – 5.30 am until midnight Saturday to Wednesday, 5.30 am until 1 am on Thursday, and 10 am until 1 am on Friday.
- Green Line – 5.50 am until midnight Saturday to Wednesday, 5.50 am until 1 am on Thursday, and 10 am until 1 am on Friday.
Changes to the Metro start times on Fridays took effect at the beginning of October 2015. Previously the Metro had started running at 1 pm on Fridays.
Train timings are frequent so no timetable is necessary. Trains arrive every 4 minutes on average during peak hours and every 7 minutes during off-peak hours.
A journey along the entire length of the Red Line (from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali) takes 1 hour and 8 minutes. The Green Line is shorter. The trip from Etisalat to Dubai Healthcare city takes 36 minutes.
Fares are cheap compared to similar systems around the world.
Contactless tickets or cards must be purchased prior to commencing a journey. They are available at all Metro stations, bus stations, and authorised sales agents (Carrefour, Spinneys etc.)
Each train has five carriages. One carriage is divided into two cabins; Gold Class (first class) and Women & Children only. The Gold Class cabin features leather seats and is typically less crowded. The Women & Children section offers extra space for strollers.
The other four carriages are for Standard Class passengers.
Passengers on Red Line trains travelling towards Jebel Ali should note that the Gold Class cabin is at the front of the train. On trains going east towards Rashidiya the Gold Class cabin is at the rear of the train.
On Green Line trains heading towards Creek the Gold Class cabin is at the front of the train. On trains travelling to Etisalat the Gold Class cabin is at the rear.
Fines are imposed for passengers travelling in the wrong class of cabin.
There are three large park and ride facilities on the Dubai Metro where drivers can leave their cars.
|Nakheel Harbour and Tower||Red Line||3000|
Parking is free for Metro users.
The Dubai Metro offers 2 dedicated stops for Dubai International Airport; Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. They are situated at the eastern end of the Red Line.
Passengers are permitted to carry 2 items of luggage on a Metro train (one large suitcase and one piece of hand baggage). The dimensions of the suitcase should not be greater than 81 cm x 58 cm x 30 cm. The hand baggage should measure less than 55 cm x 38 cm x 20 cm.
A handful of Metro stations boast Emirates Self Check-in machines where Emirates passengers can check-in for their flights up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. To obtain a boarding pass, passengers simply need to enter their Skywards frequent flyer number, e-ticket number, or booking reference code.
The stations with this facility are Mall of the Emirates, Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall, and Financial Centre.