By Alex Ion www.devicemag.com
Is this a train station or a five-star hotel? Dubai’s Metro offers sparkling, otherworldly excess to the max.
Not just a tourist attraction, Dubai is aiming to become the first city of the future. Its aesthetically pleasing, state-of-the-art Metro system offers evidence of that. Here are some facts you should know about the construction and experience of Dubai’s ultra-modern subway system. Facts that will astound and amaze you.
1. Each station is designed to feel like the four traditional elements. From the above shot of BurJuman Station, designed to feel like you’re underwater, to the sand-dune architectural curves of the “Earth” station near the Burj Khalifa, to the peaceful, translucent greens and “Air”-y cloudlike architecture all around the Rashidya station, to the warm, fiery glow of the Mall of the Emirates Station, designed to feel like you’re inside a volcano…it’s not your average city transit system!
2. The Dubai Metro is fully automated, and will soon become the largest automated train network in the world. This extends to accident prevention – if there’s an accident near a train’s location, the train will automatically stop. Conductors accompany each train to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
3. At most, you’ll have to wait three and a half minutes for a train. With stations that look like they belong to intercontinental train service, this is amazing.
4. The “Gold Class” subway trains boast leather seating, armrests, and other amenities, while “Silver Class” merely looks like a normal train. Finally, there’s a special “Women and Children Class,” should you wish to use it.
5. WiFi Internet access will be available on all trains and in all the stations. And it will actually work! Truly the business traveler’s paradise.
6. Metro fees range from around $0.50 worth in USD (AED 2.00) to $1.70 (AED 6.50), depending on how far you’re going and how much luxury you want to buy.
7. A few numbers. Over 150 companies contracted with the Dubai Metro to build it within four years, employing over 30,000 people. Three million people used the Metro within its first two months of operation in over 55,000 trips per day. There are nearly thirty train stations throughout Dubai, including two to the airport, where you can get cheap flights to Dubai from both Emirati and non-Emirati locations.
8. You will be fined the equivalent of $25-30 if you eat or drink on the train. RTA employees keep everything nearly spotless, and they enforce this. Thousands of men and women are employed to work each day to keep up the beautiful, near-perfect transit experience provided by the aesthetically pleasing stations, the 110-km/h trains, and the luxurious seats and walls.
9. Construction of the Dubai Metro started on 5/5/2005 and ended on 9/9/2009. This was planned, perhaps due to superstition but more to create hype.
10. Dubai has contracted a software company to produce a 3D simulator of the Metro. Visit here to explore and experience the Metro from your own home!