Saturday, 26 September 2009

Life ... on a Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro made it's official inaugural journey at 9.09 09/09/09. Within two days it was estimated that over 10% of the population of Dubai had made the journey on the metro. That was two weeks back and this weekend, I drove down from Abu Dhabi to take a trip on the UAE's first train - at present only the Red Line is open to commuters (we took the journey from Ibn Battuta Mall through to Rashidiya), but it is hoped that when fully on-line the metro will provide connectivity to the main areas of Dubai from the malls, to places of interest and the financial district through its network of sub-stations and air-conditioned skyways.

The metro claims a number of firsts - the first driver-less fully automated metro, the first in Dubai and of course, the first in the Gulf. It has been a long time in waiting and the novelty aspect means that it was very busy on the weekend. There were some teething issues with lines at the ticketing booths, but the ride was comfortable (when sitting!) and I was impressed with the frequency of the trains (said to be between 7 and 10 mins). There's even a written guide on travel etiquette, and plenty of staff to remind travellers should anyone forget.

I shot this video on my mobile phone. Edited using Windows Live Movie Maker (still looking for a simple Vista-compatible video editor!) and featuring a soundtrack by Rahim Shah and Nazia Iqbal singing Tor Orbal.

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