The Dubai Metro is the most widely used means of public transport in the city. It is fully automated, operates without a pilot and consists of two lines called the Red Line and the Green Line, but more lines are planned and will be built in the years to come.
The structure is very modern, work began on 21 March 2006 with an initial cost estimate of $4.2 billion (which then actually rose to a whopping $7.8 billion) and was inaugurated on 9 September 2009 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; it is to date the second largest urban train line in the Arab world after the Cairo Metro.
The Dubai Metro also appears in the Guinness Book of Records: the prestigious record book has listed it as the ‘world’s longest fully-automated metro system’, thanks to the total length of the entire route of 90 kilometres.
Each Dubai metro train is divided into three compartments: one reserved for gold Nol Card holders (the equivalent of first class), one reserved for women and one for all other travellers. Of course, women and holders of the golden Nol Card can also travel in the ‘normal’ compartments, while those who are not entitled to do so cannot enter the other compartments: there are rather hefty fines for those who violate this rule of behaviour.
If, during your stay in Dubai, you will be using the metro to get around, take a look at the map of the lines in order to better plan your journey; to view it, download it in PDF format and possibly print it, click on the button below.Transportation map in PDF
The Dubai Metro’s Red Line is by far the most used by tourists, as it runs mostly along Sheikh Zayed Road and stops at some of the city’s most important destinations. In particular, it starts at Rashidiya in the Deira area and ends at the UAE Exchange stop in Jebel Ali, at the southern end of Dubai.
It is 52 km long and has 29 stations, 24 of which are elevated. The entire journey between the two terminals takes about an hour, travelling at a speed of 110 kilometres per hour with about 30 seconds of stops at each station. The red metro line runs every five minutes during rush hour.
Each station has a name, but this can change over time, as some of them are named after various companies that have decided to sponsor themselves in this way. However, the stations are numbered, and this numbering remains constant although it is rather strange: Rashidiya is the first station and is marked by the number 11, from there on the number increases at each stop but 27, 28 and 30 do not exist, the numbering then restarts from stop 31 until the last stop, UAE Exchange, marked by the number 42.
The red line touches important stops such as the international airport terminals, the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina and Ibn Battuta Mall, from where the bus to Al Maktoum Airport departs.
The Green Line of the Dubai Metro is heavily used by commuters and the city’s working class, who mainly live in the Deira area and the northern part of the city bordering Sharjah. The metro runs mainly in this area, and consists of 20 stations generally parallel to the Creek. The total length of the Green Line is 22.5 kilometres and runs from stop number 11 Etisalat to station number 30 Creek.
The Green Line was opened on 9 September 2011, exactly two years after the opening of the Red Line.
The Green Line and Red Line intersect at Bur Juman, stop number 19 on the Red Line and number 26 on the Green Line, and Union, stop number 18 on the Red Line and number 20 on the Green Line, two stops located between opposite sides of the Creek, the first at Bur Dubai and the second at Deira.
One of the most important planned extensions of the Dubai Metro is the Purple Line, which was supposed to connect Al Maktoum Airport with Dubai International Airport along Al Khail Road via eight stations.
However, the Dubai Airport Authority stated that the project would be unfeasible as it would pass through sparsely populated places.
Other lines to be built in the next 10-15 years will be the blue line that runs along Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, the pink line that runs from east to west and will be completed by 2030, and the gold line that will connect the Arabian Ranches, Deira and Dubai Marina, and will be ready by 2025.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.