A Second look at Dubai Metro

30 Sep

When I moved to Dubai for work last year, the first modern city feature I searched for was the train system. Finding none yet and seeing the construction along Sheikh Zayed, I blurted, “What a letdown for a city claiming how rich and modern it was!” No, this wasn’t the negativity acquired from hanging around with your off-the-mill Dubai Bashers though. Knowing the Dubai Road and Traffic system from my regular “Russian Roulette” (read: Dubai Taxi) rides and at least 20 driving Sessions, I really had high hopes and waited for the Metro to open to guarantee that I will never need to drive in this place. Lady Luck gave me a good smile, I did not need to drive for the past year.

Fast forward September 2009, finally, the Dubai Metro opens. I was disappointed that they have decided to postpone opening the stations nearest my office and home as it has kept me loyal to Russian Roulette. Still, I was looking forward to trying it out and see if it can be a part of my daily living, as I was an avid commuter of the MRT in Manila.

I ran into several whiners complaining so I’ve made a little list about it (and my thought bubble each time I heard it):

1. Too slow – “Are you insane? Shouldn’t you be amazed they’ve got it running?!”
2. Too crowded – “So we can now heckle previous surveys coming out that this Metro was a dumb idea and who would use it!”
3. Too smelly – Hahaha, can’t help you on that one, but you have a choice to move your butt or just take it.

Overall my ride was quite pleasant and without issues, so let me share my tips to fellow Pinoy who want to enjoy the ride:

1. Peak hours being 6:30-8:30am, 12:30-2pm and 5:30-9pm
2. Take your first Metro ride as a tourist (non-peak hours ideally), with an open mind, flexible timetables and tons of patience.
3. The Gold Class will be in the first coach South (Rashidiya) to North (Nakheel Harbor and Tower)
4. The Women & children class will be on the second coach
5. I timed the ride back from Rashidiya to Nakheel as a little over an hour – which is not bad at all!
6. Hungry? There are convenience stores at the stations but you are prohibited from bringing your food outside the store.
7. Want to smoke? Do it some place else, it is prohibited in the Metro.
8. Off to the airport? They can only accommodate hand luggage, anything more, you’d need Russian Roulette
9. Feeder buses are great too – you should try them out.

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