Dubai, located on the south coast of the Persian Gulf is a densely populated city in the United Arab Emirates, is known to all for its ultramodern architecture, luxury lifestyle and nightlife. The first few architectures that come to people’s mind is Burj Khalifa and the Palm Island. Keeping in mind the densely populated city filled with numerous visitors all year long, and since it is a global transport hub in the Middle East for passengers and Cargo, Dubai engineers planned a very smooth and highly functional Transportation system. Transportation in Dubai is looked after by the Roads and Transport Authority abbreviated as RTA. Roads and Transport Authority is a government agency of Dubai which is controlled by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an agency of the government of Dubai, formed by Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the then Vice President, Prime Minister and emir of Dubai founded on 1st November of 2005. Later in 2012, Dubai’s Metro bagged the Guinness World Records to be the world’s longest, completely automated and driverless metro systems running for a span of 75 kilometres. Although Dubai is the most expensive city in the Middle East recorded in 2012 but if you want to travel all around the Emirates, Dubai metro is the cheapest option. With extensive windows to give a vivid picture of the beautiful city, this was constructed. With seating area exclusively for women and children, Dubai Metros was a hit. The driver-less metros took a total duration of 3 years to get functional. The work began at 2006 and by September 2009, the project was partially completed. It was up and running. Statistics say that Dubai metro carried about 10 million passengers for a span of 5 months that is from the launch date of 9th of September of 2009 to 9th of February of 2010 where only 11 stations were operating.
Dubai Metro routes and zones/lines
There are two lines functional for Dubai Metro network known as the Red Line and Green Line. The Red Line was opened on the 9th of September, 2009.
The Red Line starts from the pilot station, Rashidiya in the east to Jebel Ali in the west. The Red Line consists of a total of 29 stations. Out of these 29 stations, 24 of them are elevated, 4 are underground stations and 1 is at ground level. The total distance this line runs is of 52.1 kilometres where 4.7 kilometres is underground. The total time to cover this distance is about an hour considering the speed of 110 kilometres per hour and a stoppage of 20 to 30 seconds in between stations. The frequency of trains is quite high. In the rush hours of the morning, within 6 to 8 minutes, a train arrives. Same works in the evening where the time delay for a train in 5 to 6 minutes. In the morning peak hours, 27 trains are operated by the RTA and 29 in the evening by the same. In 2013 RTA Statistics Report it was found 243,000 people travelled on a daily basis which round to 88.888 million on an early basis.
The Green Line starts from the pilot station, Etisalat to Creek. The Green line consists of a total of 20 stations. Out of these 20 stations, 12 of them are elevated and 8 are underground stations. The total distance this line runs is of 22.5 kilometres where 7.9 kilometres is underground. Upon initial construction, the distance of the green line was 17.6 km. but due to the extension of this line from Dubai Healthcare City to Dubai Creek, the distance became 22.5 kilometres. The distance is covered at the speed 110 kilometres per hour and a stoppage of 20 to 30 seconds in between stations. It carries about 110,000 passengers on a daily basis. 25 trains run on this route on a daily basis.
Picture of the Metro Map & Zones
Certain Stations have been renamed as follows:
- Previously named Al Karama as ADBC (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) in September 2014
- Previously named Dubai Marina as DAMAC in September 2014
- Previously named Jebel Ali as UAE Exchange in June 2015
Dubai Metro timings
The Red Line Timings are different for different days of the week. On Thursdays, the metros start operating from 5 am to 1 am. On Fridays, the metro services are available between 10 am to 1 am. For the rest of the week that is from Saturday to Wednesday, the start time is 5 am to midnight. These times were revised on November 2017 except for the timings for Friday which were brought to change in October 2015. Trains run at an interval of 4 minutes during the rush hours and at an interval of 7 minutes otherwise.
The Green Line Timings are different for different days of the week. On Thursdays, the metros start operating from 5:30 am to 1 am. On Fridays, the metro services are available between 10 am to 1 am. For the rest of the week that is from Saturday to Wednesday, the start time is 5 am to midnight. These times were revised on November 2017 except for the timings for Friday which were brought to change in October 2015. Trains run at an interval of 4 minutes during the rush hours and at an interval of 7 minutes otherwise.
Dubai Metro Stations
Some of the Red Line Stations:
Rashidiya is the first station in the Red Line in Dubai Metro. It is one most rapid transit station of the Dubai Metro. It was opened on the 9th of September, 2009. Initially the trains ran from here to Nakheel Harbour and Tower which was a journey of 7 stations. Today it handles about 2.6 million passengers marking it as one of the busiest stations of the metro services. It was constructed as a type 3 elevation meaning it has 3 tracks rather than 2 which is mostly found in other stations. 3 tracks allow trains to store easily.
Emirates is the second station in the Red Line. It is also a rapid transit station. It is located very close to the Dubai International Airport.
Airport Terminal 3
This metro stop is for people to access the metro directly from Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport’s arrival area.
Airport Terminal 1
This metro stop is for people to access the metro directly from Terminal 1 of the Dubai International Airport’s arrival area.
GGICO abbreviated as Gulf General Investment Company as known popularly as the Garhoud Station. The station was opened on 15th May 2010.
Deira City Centre
Deira City Centre is the first station on the Red Line which will attract tourists. Interpreting the name of the Station, it is obvious that it is located on the heart of the city. In 2011, this was the second busiest station. This stop leads you to the Deira City Centre Mall which consists of a whooping 340 shops. It also has a cinema theatre, some cafes and restaurants.
Al Rigga is a residential and commercial centre. This is also a transit station.
Burjuman station like Deira City Centre has a mall with the same name. The station is quite important because it and its previous station (Union) are crossovers to the green line. For those who want to travel to the Dubai Creek area, cross to the Green Line from these two stations.
ADBC abbreviated from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is a metro station which is a short walk from the Al Karama markets. Al Karama also known as Karama is a residential area near the Dubai Creek.
Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall
This is one the most visited metro stop for tourists. Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai which is 829.8 metres high. It is the tallest structure in the world. Dubai mall is the second largest mall in the world. It consists of 1200 shops. It attracts on an average of 54 million visitors every year.
Mall of Emirates Station
It is the metro station which leads to a mall which is the second largest in the city. The main attractions here are Mall of Emirates Station, Madinat Jumeira and Dubai Police Academy.
This metro station on the Red Line is located by the Sheikh Zayed Road. The main attraction here is the Golden Tulip Hotel.
This metro station which was previously known as Dubai Marina gives the passengers the beautiful view of the city. This is the place where you can enjoy world famous cuisines by enjoying the beauty of the entire city. People ride here particularly to enjoy the scenic Dubai. Hotels like Hilton Jumeirah, Ritz Carlton and Marina Mall are the main attraction here.
Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Jumeirah Lakes Towers is a place filled with high rise buildings which is surrounded by sparking lakes. This is one of the most walkable area in entire Dubai. The Dubai Marian Mall is a key attraction here.
The station leads to a mall with the same name. The mall has 275 retailers with an addition of 50 dining outlets. This station is the last in terms of interest for those who are tourist.
UAE Exchange is the last station in the Red Line Metro. It is a rapid transit station. It was previously named as Jebel Ali station.
Some of the Green Line Stations:
Etisalat is a rapid transit station on the Green Line. The station was inaugurated on the 9th September, 2011. Al Ittihad Mall, Lulu village are some attractions from this place.
Burjuman station like Deira City Centre has a mall with the same name. The station is quite important because it and its another station (Union) are crossovers to the Red line.
Etisalat is a rapid transit station on the Green Line. The station was inaugurated on the 1st March, 2014.
Dubai Metro Fares & Cards
Dubai metro uses Nol Cards for all transportation services. Nol Card is an electronic ticketing card that came into the picture on 2009. It is a Smartcard which has prepaid amount used to pay for fares within zones. The number of daily transactions on an average is about 1.5 million. RTA has to produce about 5 million Nol cards since 2009. Nol Card was awarded as the best Prepaid Card in the Middle East in 2013. These cards can be recharged online, at Ticket Machines or by ticketing offices in debit, credit or cash. There is no charge for children up to 5 years of age. Special concession for students, differentially abled and senior citizens is available. These Nol cards are divided by 4 colours. They are Red, Silver, Golden and Blue. Each time you wish to travel, just use your card at the card readers on the fare gates and it will deduct the fare required to travel to your destination.
The Nol Silver Card
The Nol Silver Card is for frequent travellers (residents or tourists). The limit of this card 1000 AED which is valid for a span of 5 years. To register for this card, you only have to pay 25 AED which includes 19 AED as e-purse value. It is quite a low price and can be used immediately after you buy it. The minimum amount for Nol Silver Card to start a journey is 7.5 AED. It offers a span of 7, 30, 90 and 365 days of unlimited travel once you sign up for this card.
The Nol Blue Card
The Nol Blue Card is mainly used by for frequent travellers. It is highly secured and used for personal usage. The limit of this card 5000 AED which is valid for a span of 5 years. To register for this card, you only have to pay 70 AED which includes 20 AED as e-purse value. It offers a span of 7, 30, 90 and 365 days of unlimited travel once you sign up for this card. But it takes 10 working days to receive the card after applying for it. To register for this card, you need Identity Card issued by Emirates. The card will have your photograph embedded in it. The users receive SMS related to confirmation of services. Certain features like auto top up and loyalty point is an added benefit for this card holders.
The Nol Gold Card
The Nol Gold Card is for the people who want to travel lavishly in the gold seats in a metro. The limit of this card 1000 AED which is valid for a span of 5 years. The balance goes up to 5000 AED after registration. To register for this card, you only have to pay 25 AED which includes 19 AED as e-purse value. It offers a span of 7, 30, 90 and 365 days of unlimited travel once you sign up for this card.
The Personalized Nol Gold Card
The Nol Gold Card is for the people who want to travel lavishly and securely in the gold seats in a metro. The limit of this card 5000 AED which is valid for a span of 5 years. To register for this card, you only have to pay 80 AED which includes 20 AED as e-purse value. To register for this card, you need Identity Card issued by Emirates. The card will have your photograph embedded in it. The users receive SMS related to confirmation of services. It offers a span of 7, 30, 90 and 365 days of unlimited travel once you sign up for this card. But it takes 10 working days to receive the card after applying for it.
The Red Ticket
The red ticket is for the occasional traveller. It is a paper ticket which can be brought from any ticket vending mending with just 2 AED. It can give the user to use it for 10 single trips. This ticket will give you access to only one type of transportation system for example for bus or metro and so on.
The Dubai Tram
The Dubai Tram is stretched for a span of 14.5 kilometres. The speed of the tram ranges from 20 kilometre per hour to 50 kilometre per hour. The construction was divided into two phases. The First phase which opened on November 2014. Here 11 trams were operated for a distance of 10.6 kilometres covering a total of 11 stations. The cost incurred to complete phase one was 3.18 million AED. RTA is responsible for the operation of this transportation system. The timings for trams in Dubai are from 6 am to 1 am for days inclusive of Saturday to Thursday. On Fridays, trams are operation between 9 am to 1 am. The 11 trams operate at an interval of 10 minutes in an average during the rush hours. Otherwise it operates at an interval of 12 minutes. To cover the entire journey in a tram, it takes about 40 minutes. The trams have 5 coaches which carries a total of 405 passengers. For those who have gold passes, there are reservation in seating. Seating is also reserved for Women and Children. Nol cards are used for the payment to travel in trams.