Dubai epitomises a brand new city. This Emirate has experienced rapid growth in the past decade, to the extent that locals here can lose their bearings if they leave town for a few months, only to discover a new highway or two, or an entirely new high-rise under construction.
One of Dubai’s biggest additions is its automated train network which it calls its Metro. Made of two lines, the network makes it quick, cheap and easy to get across from one end of Dubai to another, and is a Godsend for tourists and locals alike. The entire network is fully automated, which means that if you’re keen, the front cabin offers an amazing view as one approaches downtown Dubai.
Dubai’s Metro is mostly elevated, though part of it runs underground. The elevated metro stations are brand new, and spotlessly clean. They’re all designed in a golden shell encasing, with overpasses across the 10 lanes of traffic across Sheikh Zayed Road granting access to trains, and providing pedestrians a means to cross the road safely.
An all-day pass on the Dubai Metro will set you back AED22 (about AUD8) which is an absolute bargain for getting around. This will give you access to the general cabin. There are Gold Class cabins which offer plus seats. I don’t know what the premium is to ride these, but the entrance to these cabins is marked out along with warning signs for the penalty for riding in these cabins without the appropriate ticket.
Dubai’s Metro also has designated cabins for women and children. These are also marked out in front of the cabin entrances. Men are not permitted into these areas, and there is a penalty if this is violated.
This might catch a tourist completely by surprise, so it’s worth noting this while trying to catch your train.
Last, but not least, there are the stations. The stations on the elevated section of the red line are all uniformly built. They have a modern design that is covered in a golden cladding that is consistent with the streetscape of Sheikh Zayed Road along which it runs.
The stations on the underground section of the Green Line are somewhat unique. I passed through two of them. Burjuman Interchange has an aquatic theme. Al Gubaiba Station is the entry point to Old Dubai and has a very traditional decor in a modern station.