Dubai Metro, a Futuristic Commute Slicing Through the Desert
Considering the massive size of Dubai, you would think it was home to 10 million people, not the 2.2 million or so who work, live and play in this delicious fop of a city on the Arabian Gulf. Navigating around the city can be tedious because of all the never ending construction and traffic. Thankfully, the two year old plus Dubai Metro helps cut commute times while providing a space age experience. Whether you want to visit the city’s souqs, the bombastic Dubai malls or the city’s various business or style hubs, a ride on the Dubai Metro is a must. Costing about US$1.50 to $2 on average, the driverless trains are spotlessly clean and thanks to the ample conditioning, the experience is a comfortable one. The air-con on the trains and at all rail stations may cancel out any carbon emission reductions a ride on the Metro instead of an SUV may save, but try not to think about it. The 50 mile long system, with additional lines on the drawing board, is one of the most impressive public transportation networks on which I have ridden. Be warned: behave yourself on the Metro or you might land yourself into some trouble during your trip to the United Arab Emirates. Chewing gum and eating are a no-no, and falling asleep can land you an 300 dirhams (US$80) fine. In fact, you should educate yourself about the “Fares and Fines,” as the sign below, ubiquitous throughout the system, explains. Enjoy the ride: the Metro’s design and efficiency are among the reasons the Middle East is a fascinating region through which to travel. The stations, I must add, are works of art in their own right.