Dubai to operate 12,000 taxis to meet World Cup fan zone demand

Serving airports and five main fan zones key focus

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Dubai will have 12,000 taxis on the road and operate close to 1,400 metro trips per day to meet a surge in demand for public transport services during the Fifa World Cup.

The Roads and Transport Authority has set out its plans to serve huge numbers of football fans attending fan zones dotted across the emirate and those flying to Qatar to see the action up close.

The authority said it would take real time traffic conditions into account as Dubai prepares for a sharp increase in visitors throughout the month-long event.

A large number of supporters are expected to set up base in Dubai, with accommodation at a premium in the World Cup host nation.

The RTA will add an extra 700 Hala taxis via the Careem app to its existing fleet of 11,310 to ease the movement of people attending fan zones and those flying from Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai's second hub known as DWC.

FlyDubai and Qatar Airways will operate up to 120 daily shuttle flights in and out of DWC between November 20 and December 19, carrying football fans to Doha for the game and back to Dubai, Dubai Airports said in a statement on Tuesday.

Where are Dubai's World Cup fan zones?

Fan zones across Dubai are likely to be a big draw for fans. Dubai Harbour, the Coca-Cola Arena and DIFC are preparing to host huge fan events.

The RTA said its traffic management plan will cover the official Fifa fan zone at Dubai Harbour, as well as others at Barasti, Dubai Media City, and Zero Gravity.

Media City

Popular Irish bar and restaurant chain McGettigan's will operate one of the largest fan zones at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, set to open for Qatar's opener against Ecuador on Sunday, November 20.

The fan zone will be split in two — a winter-themed festive family area with capacity for 1,000 people, and a football area capable of serving 5,000 fans, with 300 staff on standby.

There will be 10 bars, 20 food trucks and restaurants and big screens to show all 64 live matches.

Dubai Harbour

The traffic management plan for the fan zone at Dubai Harbour — set to welcome more than 10,000 fans each day — has been developed by the RTA in partnership with Dubai Police and event organisers.

It will involve buses, taxis and water transport being used to transfer spectators from Bluewaters Island to Dubai Harbour.

Mobile teams monitoring fan zones will manage traffic on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street to streamline vehicle movement and ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

The RTA will also help to transport supporters to other fan zones in the city, such as those at entertainment venues Barasti and Zero Gravity.

Buses laid on

The RTA will use 60 buses on specific routes to transfer people from Al Maktoum International Airport.

The new DWC1 route departs from the airport's arrivals area, passes through Dubai Metro Expo Station, and continues to Ibn Battuta Bus Station every 30 minutes, seven days a week. This route will only be operational until December 20.

The second route is F55, a metro feeder link service that will shuttle between the airport and Dubai Metro Expo Station. It will run from 5am to midnight every 30 minutes.

The third route is N55, a night service from 10pm until 5am the next day, to connect the airport and Dubai Expo Metro Station.

Take to the waters

The transport authority will operate two Dubai ferries and one water taxi during the World Cup, and service timings will be in line with match schedules.

The services will ferry travellers on a line linking Bluewaters Island with Dubai Harbour, with a one-way fare of Dh25 for economy class and Dh35 for the gold class.

Updated: November 16, 2022, 10:04 AM
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