Dubai Metro serves 1.5bn passengers in 10 years

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reveals that some members of the Executive Council thought the Metro would not be accepted

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

About 1.5 billion passengers have used Dubai Metro since it opened 10 years ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Sunday.

Speaking a day before the anniversary of the official opening, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said the Metro was once only "a dream".

"I was 10 years old when I visited London in 1959 with my father who insisted to see a train's cockpit. 50 years later, Dubai Metro came true in 2009. Nothing is impossible if you can dream it."

He described the service as one of the emirate's most important projects.

He said he looked forward to “a new phase of innovation and excellence to make living in Dubai easier and to continue to improve quality”.

Sheikh Mohammed said that despite the reservations of some, the Metro had become a vital part of much of the population's daily commute.

“Back then, I consulted members of the Executive Council in Dubai about if they supported the idea.

"Some rejected it, saying it would not be culturally accepted for people to use a metro, but I insisted on immediate implementation," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed inaugurated Dubai Metro on September 9, 2009, at 9.09pm. It was introduced to tackle worsening traffic congestion caused by the city's rapidly growing population.

The red line opened first, with 10 stations. Two years later, the green line was launched, taking the number of stations to 49.

Dubai Metro will be a critical mode of transport for visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai next year, and seven new stations are being built on an extension to serve the site.

“The punctuality of Dubai Metro’s 2.5 million trips is 99.7 per cent. This is an indicator of civilisation from which the rest of our institutions in the UAE as well as the Arab world can learn,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

He said he was proud of the Roads and Transport Authority, which manages the emirate's public transport, and its chairman and staff. He said more than Dh100 billion had been invested in roads and transport in Dubai over the past decade.

“Our new vision for the future of mobility in Dubai is based on three principles. First, the use of technology; second, the preservation of the environment; and third, the establishment of long-term investment partnerships,” he said.

“Today, we are doing our best to move from the second globally to the first in the quality of roads and transport.”

Today, an average of 1.6 million journeys a day are made on public transport in the emirate. Metro and bus tickets cost from Dh3.