Dubai Metro: 12 years since network changed public transport forever

Launched in 2009, the public transport system has carried 1.7 billion passengers to date

For 12 years, Dubai Metro has ferried passengers across the city, from old Dubai to new.

When the first metro train rolled out of Nakheel Harbour and Tower station, bound for Rashidiya, on September 9, 2009, few knew what to make of the new addition to the city skyline.

Today, it has become an established part of the Dubai landscape and a lifeline for residents getting to and from work, home and play.

With its Red and Green lines, it is one of the most advanced and modern rail systems in the world, and since its inception has undergone impressive expansion. Despite that, a ticket starts at just Dh3 ($.08) ensuring it remains affordable to all.

Recently, the public transport network added 15 kilometres of new track to its existing Red line, giving commuters direct access to the Expo 2020 Dubai site, which opens on October 1.

To celebrate its birthday, here are 12 facts about Dubai Metro.

A date to remember

DUBAI. 9th September 2009. DUBAI METRO OPENING. Matter Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of the RTA speaking at a press conf held at the Rashidiya Dubai Metro Station last night(weds) Stephen Lock  /  The National *** Local Caption ***  SL-arriving-007.jpg

On September 9, 2009, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, launched the official operation of the Red Line, starting with 10 stations.

Billions on board

For its 10th anniversary, the roads and transport authority announced that Dubai Metro had transported a staggering 1.5 billion people in its first decade. Since then, the number has continued to climb. To date, 1.7 billion riders have made their way to work, malls and other areas across the city.

Keeping you safe

More than 3,000 CCTV cameras are dotted throughout the hundreds of carriages and stations that cater to Dubai Metro to monitor any security infringements on the trains.

Baggage policy

Much like an airline, Dubai Metro has a limit on the number of suitcases you can carry on board. This is to ensure carriages are roomy and comfortable for other passengers. Two suitcases are permitted per rider, one large and one small. For the large bag, dimensions should not exceed 81cm x 58cm x 30cm, while the small one should not exceed 55cm x 38cm x 20cm.

Dubai Metro police

In line with its policy to keep passengers safe, Dubai Metro has its own dedicated police force on duty at stations and trains each day.

It’s the name of the game

Over the years, residents in the city have been privy to Dubai Metro stations changing names.

In 2009, RTA launched the metro naming rights initiative, giving companies the right to sponsor a station and rename it.

Last month, two metro stations in Dubai were renamed after shops in a deal with the retail chain Landmark Group. The Al Jafiliya and Al Rashidiya stations on the Red line became Max Fashion and Centrepoint.

When two became three

Mohammed bin Rashid launches the official operation of the 2020 metro route. With a length of 15 km, and a total of seven stations, at a cost of 11 billion dirhams, it will be opened to the public next September. Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid twitter account

Dubai’s metro system consists of three lines – Green, Red and Route 2020.

The Green line covers 22.5 kilometres and has 20 stations between Al Twar and Dubai Creek.

The Red Line starts at Rashidiya station, now called Centrepoint, and ends at UAE Exchange. It has 29 stations – 24 elevated, four underground and one at ground level. People heading towards the UAE Exchange station must currently switch trains at the Jebel Ali interchange.

Route 2020, the newest track, joins the Red Line at Jebel Ali station. Passengers can now travel from Al Rashidiya station all the way to the Expo 2020 site without changing trains.

Trains a plenty

In total, 129 trains serve 89km of track on the Red, Green and Route 2020 lines, keeping the city moving and more cars off the roads.

No driver? No worries

United Arab Emmirates - Dubai - Sep. 15 - 2009 : Passenger take pictures with cell phones during a trip at the Dubai Metro. ( Jaime Puebla / The National ) Multimedia - AD 2009 *** Local Caption ***  JP Dubai Metro 01b.jpg

Keeping with the city’s forward-thinking mantra, the Dubai Metro is driverless and fully automated. It is one of the world's largest automated, driverless metro systems and cuts through the centre of Dubai, flying past the city's many impressive skyscrapers and landmarks.

No eating and drinking on board

DUBAI.2nd September 2009. The Dubai Metro passes past Dubai Marina yesterday (weds) a week before its opening on 9th September.  Stephen Lock  /  The National . *** Local Caption ***  SL-metro-002.jpg

Visitors that come to the city often comment on how pristine the Dubai Metro trains are. One of the core rules that keep the carriages clean and tidy is that there is no eating or drinking allowed on board. If caught, an offender can be fined on the spot, although a verbal warning is often the first port of call.

Where is the largest station?

The Jumeirah Golf Estates station, which opened recently, is the biggest in the Dubai Metro network and stretches 226 metres.

How many trains will service Expo 2020 Dubai?

Fifty trains will serve passengers across the seven stations that lead to the site of the mega event, including one interchange with the Red Line, one flagship station at the Expo 2020 Dubai site as well as three elevated and two underground stations.

Take a look at the latest metro station to open before Expo 2020 Dubai

Updated: September 9th 2021, 11:28 AM
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