If you have Dubai as one of the must-visit places on your travel list, add one more task to your list along with mall-gawking and sand-duning : Must take a ride on the Dubai Metro.
The Dubai Metro has secured a spot on the countryâ€™s list of ambitious achievements â€“ and rightfully so. It is probably the longest fully automated metro system in the world (75 km). Sleek, silent, and swanky, the Dubai Metro currently has only two open lines of the total five planned. The first line was officially inaugurated by the ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, on September 9, 2009 at, get this, 09:09:09 PM.
I had a brief stay in Dubai this year. The place pretty much felt like Vegas on steroids, I have to admit. The outrageous malls and the other-worldly skyscrapers were definitely on my list of places to see. But I had not really banked on a public transportation system to impress me on a vacation. There was a quiet little metro station right across from where I lived. One morning, we decided to check it out.
Having travelled way too many times on the New York subway cars and the Delhi Metro, I was pretty numb to show much enthusiasm about “yet another metro ride”. But as soon as I stepped into the Dubai Metro station, I was stupefied. Shiny metal and glistening tilesâ€”it was like I just got a pair of brand new glasses. Excellent signage to help commuters from different backgrounds, the almost-antiseptic scent of the whole station, secure platforms: everything wowed me. I did what any respectable tourist would doâ€”yank out my camera and go on a digital rampage. No uniformed personnel came and stopped me. Take that, Delhi Metro. When the train pulled in to the platform, and when we got inside the brilliant blue car, I did not see any drunken men sitting in puddles of their own piss. Take that, New York.
Take a look at some of the photographs I took that day:
This is Burj Khalifa station. It is quite busy on a weekday because of the regular office commuters.
This photo depicts the interiors of the Oudh Metha station. You could eat your falafels off the floor, but I am not too sure if it is legal out there.
Suicidal passengers will find it hard to fall on to the tracks, here at the Dubai Metro. Those platform edge doors only open when your ride is here.
We got off at the Khalid bin Al Waleed station. I suspect they were initially planning to make this stop into a night club or a casino.
The elevated platforms donâ€™t look all that bad, either.
A parting shot of the Dubai Metro. I got off at a mall, of course.