Dubai/Abu Dhabi: The countdown has already begun and in five months, the first metro line in the UAE will be up and running.
Dubai Metro’s Red Line will be launched on September 9, 2009, but the metro will not be restricted to only one emirate.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport announced last week that it will launch a high-capacity metro system. By 2020, the metro, which will be partly underground, will provide a faster service between Abu Dhabi’s main commercial areas.
One line will run down Abu Dhabi Island. Another line may run northeast from the corniche area to Saadiyat Island, and on to Yas Island and eventually the airport. Metro lines will conclude inland at the planned Emirati communities of Al Falah, New Wathba and Shamkha.City Talk took to the streets and asked residents if they were looking forward to the metro, whether they would be willing to leave their cars at home, and if the inter-emirate metro would be useful to them.
Arun Gandhi, a general manger, from India, 39, said: “It certainly will make the city more beautiful but I will not use it because in my career, it is not possible to leave the car at home unless it is during the weekend. If I want to go out with my family to somewhere close by then I will use the metro, and overall it will have a long-term effect on the traffic and reduce it.”
Abdul Latif Al Marzouqui, an Emirati government employee, 30, said: “I am not going to use the metro because I need my car for work and for the kind of lifestyle that I have. Maybe if I had to go to an area that was difficult to find parking spaces, like Deira, then I would take the metro. The inter-emirate metro is a good idea but it will not be useful for me because I will not use it either as the distance is not that great. But I would consider taking it though if a metro line was built from Dubai to Fujairah.”
Usha Ranganni, a 35-year-old homemaker, from India, said: “I refuse to go to some shopping centres because of the traffic, so I cannot wait for the metro to start so I can use it. Right now, I just stay in my neighbourhood but with the metro I can go to more places. It will be very useful for my children, who are teenagers, because they can go out on their own. I will definitely leave my car at home but I do not know about July and August because it will be too hot to walk around.”
Bu Abdullah Kahlu, an Algerian barber, 27, said: “Of course I am looking forward to it because it is difficult to find taxis. And if I have to go somewhere urgently, then I do not have to worry about finding transportation because the metro will be available all the time. It will be useful to travel between emirates with a metro because it is safer than using a car.”
Yassir Mahmoud, an administrator from Palestine, 57, said: “The metro is a very good idea. I plan to use it but how much, I do not know because it depends on how good the network is. Once it is launched, I will try it out to find out how well it connects the city and to assess its services. Only then will I decide if it is worth leaving my car behind. While travelling inter-emirate I would prefer my car, regardless of how good the metro is.”
Orhan Jasmine, a Turkish workshop employee, 49, said: “No, I would not use the metro as it is not suitable for my nature of work. Our workshop is located in Musaffah and I have to travel around a lot so it will be difficult for me to use the metro. I do not think it will be very helpful to go around the city, but I might just try it out.”
Dr Saba Abbas, a dentist, from Iraq, 28, said: “I am looking forward to the metro a lot. It is great if traffic congestion in the city is reduced because of it. It will be a welcome relief. I will leave behind my car and go by the metro as is it is faster and does not lead to too much loss of time in waiting.”
Leena Aziz, an Iraqi student, 20, said: “I will use the metro to get around but I think I will mostly use it for fun. I have tried it in London and in my opinion they are very useful. Though I have a car, my family and I will leave it behind to use the metro.”
By Mariam M. Al Serkal and Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporters www.gulfnews.com
Published: April 04, 2009