The Dubai Metro is one of the most advanced transportation systems in the world, and the first urban rail of the Arabian peninsula. It is a network with driverless trains (Thales Operating System) with air-conditioned stations and special cars reserved for women and children and passengers of the Gold Class.
Currently there are 75 kilometers of network fully automated (driverless) so it has been recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest metro in this category.
The first section of the Red Line opened on 09-09-2009. The Green Line was opened exactly two years later, on 09-09-2011. The Dubai Metro is operated under contract by Serco, owned by Serco Group plc. a British government service company based in the UK.
It currently carries about 60 million passengers per year.
Dubai Metro Lines
At present there are 2 lines, with 75 kms and 46 stations.
- Red Line: Starts at the Dubai International Airport and runs from north to south reaching Jebel Ali. It has stops in the Burj Khalifa, Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall among others. On 12/12/2012 Danube station was added. It has a length of 52.1 km (4.7 km underground) and 28 stations (23 elevated, four underground and one at street level)
- Green Line:
Runs through the major attractions of Deira and Bur Dubai and was opened in September 2011. It has 22.5 km (7.9 km from them underground) and 18 stations (10 underground and 8 elevated)
Both lines, the Red Line and the Green Line intersect twice, in Union Square and Khalid Bin Al Waleed (BurJuman Centre)
The second implementation phase includes two underground metro lines, Blue Line and Purple Line and Red Line Extensions. The Blue Line will run along Emirates Road, between the two airports in Dubai, Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali inaugurated in 2010. The Purple Line is also planned to connect both airports, but along Al Khail Road. Only Purple Line will mean 49 kms more of thracks with only 8 stations as it has been conceived as an express service.
Currently there are no immediate plans to start these two lines due to the economic recession and the need for private investors.
The Dubai Metro is considered the “world’s safest metro”, with its own police force, over 3000 CCTV on trains and stations to monitor security violations, integrated radio system between underground services and emergency services, emergency telephone in each car and station and platform screen doors.
Another of its curiosities, as there can be less in the city of luxury and ostentation is the existence of a Gold Wagon that provides a first class service with leather seats, panoramic views, carpeted floors and exclusive lighting and design. There is also a carriage reserved for women and children while is not mandatory for women to travel separately. Finally, there is wi-fi and telephone coverage throughout the metro network.
Trains run from 06.00 am to 23:00 pm, Saturday to Thursday and from 14:00 pm to midnight on Fridays. During Ramadan, train times are from 06:00 am to midnight, Saturday to Thursday and 14:00 pm to midnight on Fridays.
Trains run in 10 minutes intervals reduced to 3 – 4 minutes during peak hours.
Fares and Tickets
You can travel by buying tickets or buying Nol card.
The difference between them is that the Nol Card is more advantageous if you are a frequent traveler and travel combining different means of transport. An additional advantage of the Nol cards is that they have a daily limit of AED14.00, so will not be charged more than AED 14.00 per day, no matter how much you use the transport and also will save the queues. But for the occasional traveler is not much difference from the normal ticket cost. There are transportation prepaid cards that can be recharged with a balance of AED and use it to travel on public transport in Dubai: bus, ferry, taxi. Rates vary depending on the number of zones, but generally for cards, fares start at AED 1.8 for a short trip (less than 3 km) to AED 5.80 for a journey through all areas.
They can be purchased at the box office and ticket machines at each station.
With regard to NOL Card are 4 types:
- 1- NOL Silver: The card price is AED 20 with AED 14 credit included. The cost per trip varies between AED 1.8 and AED 8 and can be used both in the metro and the bus. It is the recommended choice whether to make great use of the metro
- 2- NOL Gold:For the first class service carriages. It works like the silver card but the cost per trip is double
- 3-NOL Blue: has no interest for the traveler, just for people who go to work on Dubai
- 4-NOL Red: Recommended for a very short stay. The price per ride varies between AED 2 and AED 6.5. It can be recharged for up to 10 routes and the initial cost of the card is AED 2. It is valid for use on the subway or on the bus, but not to combine both.
- Daily Pass: from AED 14.
- Monthly Pass from AED100, to AED270 for all the zones.
Children: Children below 5 years of age and below 90cm (Metro) will travel for free (no card required). Children above 5 will have to get a valid Nol Card / Ticket
There are two airports in Dubai. The most commonly used is the Dubai International Airport in the Al Garhoud district, 4 km (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai.
The subway is the cheapest way to travel from the airport to the different zones of Dubai but is useful only if your hotel is near a metro stop, otherwise you have to keep in mind that some areas are not comfortable for walking . The train leaves from Terminals 1 and 3 and the price goes depending of the way.
On the other hand there are also 4 public bus routes leaving the airport and stopping at different places in Dubai. The prices are just AED2. The lines are: 401 (Deira) and 402 (Bur Dubai) with a frequency of 30 minutes, and C1 (Satwa Station) and C2 (Zabeel Park) pass every 10 minutes. C1 and C2 lines operate 24 hours a day, while the 401 and 402 operate to 22:00 p.m.
Finally in the arrivals area can hire taxis and limousines, any time of the day, paying in advance. The journey time to the city is about 10 minutes.