By Ibrahim Haj Hamad www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI — One metro station outside The Greens is set to open on schedule to accommodate passengers commuting from Abu Dhabi heading to Dubai, but passengers say it all comes down to convenience.
The Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station will be the first metro station between Jumeirah Lake Towers and Ibn Battuta Mall for passengers commuting from Abu Dhabi heading towards the heart of Dubai, until other stations are operational at a later date, confirmed RTA officials at a press conference held on Sunday.
“The Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station includes the second multi-storey car park on the Red Line on the West side of the city, which can accommodate up to 3000 vehicles,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Abu Dhabi resident, Rahma Ali, Procurement Manager said, if she was driving to Rashidiya to visit family members then she would park at the Nakheel Harbour Station and take the metro.
“When I’m in London I often take the metro, so I’m already used to the public transport,” she said.
When it comes to travelling across the emirates, salik or the extra car maintenance fees is not a bother, said Ali.
“My primary concern is convenience. I want to reach where I’m going faster and more comfortably,” she said.
Another person who lives in Abu Dhabi and commutes often to Dubai — Shaima Al Tamimi, a research analyst — said she would park at the Nakheel Harbour Station only if traffic is jammed upon entering Dubai.
“I do most of my shopping in Emirates and Dubai Mall, so if I drove all the way to Jumeirah Lake Towers from Abu Dhabi, I might as well just keep going,” she said.
Al Tamimi said that she didn’t think traffic was too heavy in Dubai at the moment and, unless it became busy, she would not substitute her vehicle for public transport.
Mariam Ahmed, a general practitioner who lives in Abu Dhabi and commutes often to Dubai, said she is more likely to travel in the comfort of her own car.
“I don’t think I’m going to park my car at the Nakheel Harbour station and use the metro from there,” Ahmed said.
She doesn’t mind paying the salik gate fees or the extra charges to maintain her vehicle, she said.
“I don’t mind having to run down my own car – that’s what I bought it for,” she said.
Leasing executive, Yasmine Ferdjani said it would depend on the type of trip she makes while she’s in Dubai.
“I don’t want to go shopping in Mall of the Emirates and then have to carry so many bags back to where I’ve parked my car,” she said.
Ferdjani said she would prefer to use the metro for her leisure time amongst friends than having to conduct any demanding activities.
“Taking the metro on the weekend and go sightseeing in Dubai will be a lot of fun,” Ferdjani said.