DUBAI – The bustle of the lively streets in Karama, crowded with little eateries and bargain shopping stores — may become that much more busier with the Dubai Metro providing easy access.
One of Dubai’s older suburbs, Karama is densely populated, mainly by Pakistani, Indian and Filipino expatriates. But its character has made it a favourite for any long term resident of the emirate and many a tourist seeking a cheap bag or watch.
The Karama station is situated on Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Street, the first stop rising out of the BurJuman station towards Dubai, and near the intersection with Khalid bin Al Walid Street.
A row of shops and offices front onto the street and managers of a local supermarket were already calculating the increase in customers to their store.
“Normally we get about 2,000 customers per week — maybe it will be 4,000,” said Jai Krishnan, a manager at the store. “We’re renovating and putting in new shelves and expanding our range of products.”
Krishnan said the store had needed to entice customers with gifts to stay loyal and persist with the store despite difficulties accessing it with recent road works associated with the metro.
“With the metro there’ll be good through traffic,” he said.
Remon Fouad, an Egyptian, has worked in Dubai for two years.
His office sits in the shadow of the station and he said he was keen to see the difference it would make to the traffic in the area.
“Right now it is difficult for people to stop and to walk through the area but with the metro it will be easy,” he said.
He said, “If I go to Qusais it might take me two hours sometimes but by Metro maybe it will take me 15 minutes.”
For Paolo Anthony Reyes, pushing his three-year-old son Pablo in a plastic car, using the metro will depend on how easy it is for a family to access.
“It depends on the fare too. I might use it to take the family out otherwise we would use a bus or a cab.”
Srinivasan Sudarshanan said he might use it to commute to work.
“I work in Jebel Ali and live in Karama,” Sudarshanan said.
“The fare seems okay but it has to be convenient. Then I might use it to go to the mall with my family.”
Whether its residents on the move, or shopkeepers bringing in more customers, the streets of Karama are set to become more lively from September 9.