UAE Press: Dubai Metro's success goes beyond passenger numbers

UAE Press: Dubai Metro's success goes beyond passenger numbers

ABU DHABI, 25th April, 2023 (WAM) -- A local newspaper has commended the significant milestone of Dubai Metro, which has transported over 2 billion passengers since its launch in 2009.

In an editorial on Tuesday, The National said, “This milestone figure was released by Dubai Media Office on Sunday as crowds of people enjoying the long Eid Al Fitr weekend thronged the almost 90km-long network that runs parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road, forming the spine of the city. The Arabian Peninsula’s first mass transit system has become integral to Dubai's life and has served its people admirably.”

The numbers speak for themselves. The Metro has maintained a punctuality rate of 99.7 percent amid a growing population, the UAE’s post-Covid economic boom and a major line expansion for Expo 2020 Dubai.

As conferences, summits and events returned to the Gulf’s leading commercial and tourism centre, the Metro contributed to the more than 621 million journeys made on Dubai public transport in 2022 — an increase of 35 percent on the previous year.

The Metro’s indispensability for millions of people is not in doubt. Its 129 trains and 53 stations contribute to a transport mix that allows those many Dubai residents without a car — and plenty who do — to access different parts of the growing city for work and leisure. It is a critical part of a complex and interlinked web of trams, trains, buses, marine transport and even bicycles that leaves few parts of Dubai unserved.

“It is perhaps the Metro’s centrality to getting around Dubai that makes the 2-billion milestone particularly significant,” the paper said.

“Although the average daily number of Metro passengers was more than 616,000 last year, according to the Roads and Transport Authority, out of Dubai’s 119 bus lines, 35 links to Metro stations. This allows passengers — residents and visitors alike — to use the city’s NoI electronic ticketing system to effortlessly switch from one mode of transport to another,” it added.

The Metro links Dubai International Airport with the rest of the city and connects bus passengers arriving from other emirates at stations like Ibn Battuta and Al Ghubaiba. It also links up with Dubai Tram, the 14.5km network that serves Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Media City, among other destinations.

That this system has remained so advanced while staying affordable is an achievement. A study released by e-commerce company Picodi last March found that the NoI silver card monthly pass for all Dubai travel zones costs AED350 ($95), only 2.3 percent of the average net wage in the UAE. A Noi silver card single ticket for more than two zones — AED7.5 — is significantly cheaper than comparable journeys in other developed cities such as Paris, Toronto and New York.

The daily continued, “Transport is free for senior citizens, children under five and People of Determination, which also speaks to how accessible Dubai is. And unlike subway systems in some other major cities, crime on the Metro is largely unheard of — contributing to the UAE's enduring attraction as a place to visit and live in.”

As Dubai continues to grow and prosper, its residents can be proud of their Metro — an engineering feat that not only gets people from A to B, but also reduces the number of cars on the road, thereby helping the city to meet its ambitious environmental targets.

“How long it will take to reach 3 or 4 billion passenger journeys is anyone’s guess. But with Dubai Metro becoming as much a part of the landscape as Burj Khalifa or the Frame, its reputation as a key part of the city is secure,” concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily.