This means of transport is a blessing for Dubai. The city is quite sprawling, particularly on it's north-south axis, and without such a mass transit facility, getting around was a real struggle, especially during peak hours.
The metro is very efficient. The red line starts from Rashiiya (east of the airport), then it connects both of the airport terminals, passes through Deira (north of Dubai Creek), next there are two underground interchanges on either side of the Creek (Union, and Khalid bin Al Waleed) for connections to the currently under construction green line.
The red line then heads south through Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa), the financial district, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta, all the way to Jebel Ali.
Stations and carriages are air-conditioned. Ticket desk officials are very helpful, and there are many leaflets expalining how the network is set-up, time-tables, and zonal charging structure.
You buy Nol cards and add credit on it, swiping it every time you enter and exit a station.
There are separate carriages for Gold Class, Women, and then the regular Silver Class.
The station design is unique & quite cool. They are quite distinctive when viewed from outside, and can be identified against the heavily developed highway & buildings if you look carefully.
A large part of the metro runs parallel to the Shaikh Zayed highway bearing north to south.
Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is to launch a travel pass for tourists in a bid to boost the number of visitors using public transport in the emirate.
The Dubai Travel Pass (Terhaal) will be marketed to tourists during their trips, to encourage them to use the metro and buses to get around.
The Dubai Travel Pass includes two Nol Cards (for Dubai Metro), each with a credit of AED 14 (US$3.81), booklets about the integrated public transport systems, maps, information of interest to visitors, places to visit and how to get to those places using public transport, as well as other general information such as telephone numbers of emergency service, police, embassies and ambulance.
The pack also includes value-added offers for use in Dubai on the trip.
The Dubai Travel Pass will be distributed across DNATA outlets, Duty Free shops of the Dubai airports, hotel and malls. The cards will also eventually be sold on Emirates aircrafts.
: I will keep you updated as and when more information becomes available.
Dubai Metro already existing for at least 1 year now (09-09-09). This is a great form of transport if you want to see around, a simple sight-seeing, mall tours, restaurant tours, etc.
It comes every 6 - 8 minutes and 4 minutes interval during rush hours. Convinient, safe, economical, great service.
so, hop in and enjoy the ride.
Finally! A cheer of joy from us road-raged, stressed & tired Dubai residents: after years of nightmarish traffic gridlock and seemingly endless construction the Dubai Metro (driverless mono rail) is here! This is the Gulf's first mass transport system and was openend to the public on Sept. 10th 2009 after 4 years of construction. For now, only 10 stations along the "red line" are open, with the remaining stations (delayed due to the global financial crisis) set to be completed sometime in 2010.
Dubai's major traffic issues are, and always have been:
> Rush hour seems to merge into a consistent back & forth of commuters coming from Jebel Ali or Sharjah.
> Public transport is nowhere near sufficient. Busses are old, outdated and overcrowded. They too are delayed by the heavy traffic.
> There are thousands of taxis in Dubai, but the heavy traffic has made the drivers quite uncooperative.
Facts about Dubai Metro:
--Once in full operation, the Dubai Metro System is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers on an average day, and 355 million passengers per year.
--The Dubai Metro System has top-of-the-class, air-conditioned modern trains. Each train is approximately 75m long, consisting of 5 cars.
--The trains offer a standard class, affordable to all, a women and children only section as well as an exclusive 1st Class.
Passengers can purchase one-way single fare tickets or more adviseable are the NOL Cards, which are valid for a certain number of trips in one or more "Zones" and can be re-charged when needed.
Visit the below Wojhati website to plan your trip, or click on this link for all information on the Dubai Metro (constantly updates): http://www.arabianbusiness.com/specialreports/dubai-metro.
I have used the metro a few times now and in general it's quite convenient. I have a NOL Card which you can either purchase for single trips, or re-charge and use whenever you travel with the metro.
Please note that eating and drinking is not allowed aboard the trains or on the platform itself.
-->UPDATE 2010: The RTA (Roads & Transport Authority) have started a website for planning your journey on the Metro: http://www.rta.ae/dubai_metro/english/home.html
If you want to go shopping, take the metro. Be your destination be Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre - save money by taking the metro. Just remember that the first car is for female passengers and/with small kids. Men should take the other wagons/cars. Dress appropriately even when you are taking the public transportation - no plunging necklines, shorts or sleeveless.
The new metro is very comfortable and clean. At the moment only the red line is open. The red line was open between Rashidiya Station and Ibn Battuta Station with only a few stops not operational yet (Jebel Ali, Jebel Ali Industrial, Energy, Jumeriah Lake Towers, Nakheel, Sharaf DG, First Gulf Bank and Business Bay were not opened by 9th July 2010) The whole route took a bit over an hour. It was very useful for visiting certain sights:- Emirates Towers, Burj Khalife, Dubai Mall with its aquarium, ice-skating rink, Mall of the Emirates with ski Dubai, Ibn Battuta Mall.
Of course the metro is fully air-conditioned so a welcome respite from the heat.
Not yet. It is still work in progress. When you visit the city you'll run into lots of metro related work. Hopefully it will be ready in september 2009, a second line in 2010. lines 3, 4 and 5 are also in the planing. You can get more info from the web site below.
On July 22 the fares were announced. the ride will cost you any where from 2.5 to 6.5 DH. It cane cheaper if you buy a subscribtion. Things will be more clear once it is up and running
One of the most messiest airport I have ever been to. Yes, it's glitzy as befitting a country with money to burn but aside from that, it's really quite jaw dropping, in a not so kind way.
Terminal 1 is home to all the International Airlines, including Emirates.
Arrival meant a L...O...N...G walk towards customs and baggage claim. There were confusions among passengers with regard to visas and many a times, custom officers had to turn back passengers who were not clear on arriving procedures. Passengers from certain countries (I shan't name them) were cutting queues at will, irking other passengers and the custom officers were turning a blind eye to these antics. Officers wore very stern expressions; almost military like. I know we aren't allowed to abuse airport personnel these days but really, a smile wouldn't hurt!
In Departure, check in counters are behind baggage checks stations so imagine the queue clogging each entry point as everyone submits their baggage, big & small, for X-ray checks. The security is not doing enough to keep non-passengers out. Stern stares and heated shouting seemed to be about the only ways security was employing to keep non-passengers out as hordes of families and friends seemed determine to accompany passengers in.
Checking-in is another round of waiting though less painful. Then it was another round of security checks before you enter the DFS and gate areas. And you thought that would be the end of the nightmare. Wrong. I have never seen so many people literally littering the pathways, sleeping, chatting and smoking away. It felt like a refugee camp rather than an International Airport. I was half expecting to see folks cooking their meals right there and the UN coming in with relief packages.
Cafeterias and eateries were tucked into inconvenient corners. Money changers were actually more centralised than them.
If DXB's aim is to pack as many passengers into a terminal, then I must applaud that they are doing a great job.
Flew 4 sectors with them, all Economy. Tried the airline as plenty of folks had sung their praises. SIN-DBX (Boeing 773), DBX-CMN (Airbus 332), CMN-DBX (Airbus 332) and DBX-SIN (Boeing 773). The airline certainly optimises the space on the planes, going for a 3-4-3 configuration on the 773 and a 2-4-2 on the A332. Packed to the brim with minimal seating space and leg room. Comfort for the passengers seems to be the last thing considered.
Only had the chance to try the latest inflight entertainment system "ICE" on the last leg. Despite the bigger PTVs, the shows are not up to date compared to Emirates competitors.
Food in Economy was average, hardly meeting the great stuff compliments I have heard.
Service among FAs was uneven, despite having an impressive crew that can speak more than 7 languages on the last flight. Hardly see any FAs during the flight; most of them preferring to hide at the back chit-chatting. When asked for a blanket as my seat was missing one on 1 of the flights, the FA returned with one and a nonchalant stare plus "OK?". What happened to manners?
Certainly did not leave up to its glittering image.
One familiar site that we saw in Dubai were some red open-topped double-decker buses, just like the ones in London. These are part of the Big Bus Company's Dubai city tours, one of those hop-on-hop-off type of tours, where your ticket is valid for 24 hours and you can travel around the city hopping off at any of the 23 stops that take your fancy.
There are two routes - the red route, which stays more in the centre of town, and the blue route, which travels down to the beaches. The website has a map that shows you the route and all of the stops. Included in the ticket price is entry to places like the Dubai Museum, and also enables you to participate in a souq walking tour, and a tour on the Creek (there are details of this on the website too).
We had planned to use the Big Bus Company during our visit to Dubai, but ran out of time. I wanted to include this tip though, as I thought it may be helpful to those researching a trip to Dubai.
My favourite mode of transport that we used in Dubai was an Abra. An Abra is a small, traditional motorboat made from wood, that transports people from one side of Dubai Creek to the other. Kind of like a shared taxi, the abras don't operate to any sort of timetable, they depart when all the seats are full. They seat around 20 passengers, and they seemed to only take a few minutes to full up.
At the time of our visit there were 3 abra stations on each side of the Creek, with abras from each station following a specific (individual) route. When you arrive at the station checked the sign to see which part of the dock for departures or arrivals, and head straight onto one of the boats in the departures area. You pay the fare direct to the driver - and at only 1 dirham (around 14 pence) it was a bargain.
Getting out on the water gives you a good feel for day-to-day life in old Dubai, and offers great views along the Creek. You can also hire abras for private trips up and down the Creek.
On the Deira side, the two main abra stations are up towards the Spice and Gold Souqs, with boats travelling across to Bur Dubai, stopping near to the Bur Dubai souq and the Dubai Museum.
If you are visiting something on the Bur Dubai side of the Creek, you may need to go back to Deira, for example to catch your bus back home. If your attraction is close to the ocean, far from any Abra station, there's no need to go back. Close to the subterranean Al-Sindagha street tunnel, there is also one for pedestrians. It starts some meters to the north from the different museums (Maritime Museum, Al-Maktoum House), with the other end being close to the bus station. Once on the Deira side, keep left to find the passageway under the traffic island to the Gold Souk Bus station.
After the announcement that Dubai will build an inner-city monorail system, plans are now also underway to build a railway that will connect Dubai with the other emirates. It will be more than 700 km-long and will link Dubai with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah in the east with Ruwais and Ghowaifat in the west.
The move follows Dubai's effort to establish the region's first urban light rail system & comes at a time when the feasibility of a GCC-wide rail network is being studied by governments of the 6-nation block that is planning to integrate the economies by 2010. It looks like in particular, the Emirate of Ajman will also soon commence construction on its own Metro system, which will link-up with that of Dubai in the future.
This should make travelling between the emirates much faster, easier and also safer! Some of these desert-highways are so straight and monotonous that many drivers have fallen asleep, or cause accident due to high-speed driving.
Read interesting articles & updates here:
Forget about crossing Dubai creek using car. Try the traditional way by water using Abra, a small boat with capacity of about 20 passengers.
You can find the stations in both side of the creek, Bur Dubai (the West side) and Deira (the East side). In Bur Dubai side, you can find the station behind Bur Dubai souk/market, between Al Ghubaiba bus station and Dubai museum (aka Al Fahidi Fort). While in Deira side, you can find the stations near Deira souk/market and in front of Twin Towers. New Abra stations in some other spots along the creek are currently being developed.
As of September 2005, the fare for one trip per person is one Dirham.
Just a note that Emirates are a brilliant airline. If you have time at the airport, use the swimming pool/sauna/jacuzzi to freshen up, its only $5.
We used the tacky, as touristy as hell, BIG BUS tour company, which was actually a very good way of getting around and seeing the sights if youre there for only for a few days. its a 24hour ticket so you can use for 2 days, and it goes to all the important sights. it costs 220dh and has commentary which can give you useful facts.
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