Dubai schools welcome 'very important' Metro Blue Line plan

Embracing more sustainable transport is considered crucial in battle against climate change

The Dh18 billion ($5 billion) project will include 14 new stations and add 30 kilometres to the network. Photo: Dubai Media Office
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Heads of Dubai’s private schools have said the new Metro Blue Line will make schools more accessible, shorten travel time for pupils and reduce transport costs for families.

Head teachers also said older pupils will be eager to use the Metro as public transport is sustainable and better for the planet.

The newly announced Dubai Metro Blue Line means the network will connect five urban regions – Bur Dubai/Deira, Downtown/Business Bay, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Marina/JBR and Expo City Dubai.

When complete, it will be 131km long and encompass 78 stations served by 168 trains.

Schools in these areas will be able to benefit as pupils, parents and staff will have more travel options.

Sam Truman, chief operating officer at Dubai school operator Taaleem, said: “It will certainly open new commuting options for our Uptown International School and American Academy for Girls, both in Mirdif.

“We foresee a growing trend of older students choosing the Metro for their daily commute, drawn by its efficiency and the significant environmental benefits it brings."

He said embracing more sustainable transport was key in efforts to address climate change and foster a healthier environment for all.

“Operationally, the expansion of the Metro is set to broaden the reach of existing schools located near stations," he said.

"Additionally, the expansion of the Metro network presents fresh possibilities in our strategic planning. It enables us to venture into and establish educational facilities in areas that we have not yet considered."

Punit Vasu, Indian High Group of Schools' chief executive, said he had seen huge benefits because of the existing Metro network. Two of its three campuses, one in Oud Metha and another in Al Garhoud, were already served by the Metro.

With the Metro Blue Line, its third campus in Dubai Silicon Oasis will also have a Metro connection. More than 13,000 pupils are enrolled at the Indian High Group of Schools.

“I think it gives a lot of flexibility and economies of scale to parents, as well as the teaching and non-teaching staff in terms of being able to access the Metro," said Mr Vasu.

"We know a large percentage of our older pupils will want to use the Metro.

"Another advantage is the preferred rates on travel for students. With greater connectivity, they're also able to travel at discounted fares, which means greater savings for them. I think that is a very important thing for families because this will help them reduce costs."

Mr Vasu also hopes to see further development and investment with the new Metro line in place.

The expansion is part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, launched in January last year, which made easier commuting one of its top priorities to cater for a fast-growing population.

The project is scheduled to be finished in 2029, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Metro.

Zafar Raja, group chief operating officer at Gems Education, said the expansion would positively impact many of their schools including Gems Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis and Gems Royal Dubai School in Mirdif.

"We are sure this will help ease transport challenges in a very sustainable way as the city’s population continues to grow. It’s very timely news for the week of the Cop28 launch," said Mr Raja.

Pretty Khosla, principal at Apple International Community School, said: "In terms of enrolment, definitely this is going to help us because our catchment area for this particular school is Karama, Bur Dubai and Mankhool. We have children coming from Downtown, Business Bay and Marina.

"This line is going to help in terms of enrolment because parents will have more access to the school.

"From the staff's point of view, they will be pleased to have this kind of convenience. This will be very convenient for them and save travel time."

She also said using the Metro will help children take a step towards sustainable travel and encourage them to be independent.

Updated: November 28, 2023, 7:40 AM