By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: The Dubai Metro’s operating hours have been extended to accommodate an expected increase in passengers during the Eid Al Adha and National Day holidays.
Starting today, trains will operate from 6.30am to 12.30am. Earlier, the operating hours for the Metro were from 6am to 11pm.
On Friday, the first day of Eid, all Metro trains will operate from 6.30am to 12.30am instead of normal operating hours from 2pm to 12 midnight.
“We are not running any extra trains, but we have increased the operating time to provide maximum benefit to commuters, so that they use the Metro to celebrate Eid and move around … without any hassles,” a senior official at the Rail Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) told Gulf News.
He added that the operating time for the Dubai Metro would remain the same (6.30am to 12.30am) from November 26 to December 3.
All government departments and schools are closed during these dates to celebrate Eid Al Adha and the 38th UAE National Day.
Though the running time for trains has been extended, passengers are advised to check the schedule for the first and the last trains at their respective stations, as they are different for each station.
The operating times will run from 2pm to 12.30am on December 4 and will be reduced to five hours — from 6pm to 11pm — on December 5.
“This [reduction in operating times] will be only for one day due to maintenance reasons,” the official said.
The RTA’s spokesperson said that special arrangements have been made to tackle the heavy rush on the Dubai Metro during Eid holidays.
He said a large number of visitors from other emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council countries are expected to take a “joy ride” on the Dubai Metro during these days.
“We crossed an average of 90,000 passengers during Eid Al Fitr in September, but now expect an even larger number,” he added.
Motorists will not be charged for parking their cars in Dubai and Sharjah during official holidays from November 26 to December 4, a senior official said.
“Car parking will be free in the paid parking zones in Dubai except the Fish Market Zone in Deira,” the official added. He, however, warned motorists to avoid illegal parking on pavements, double parking, blocking roads or walkways as the RTA inspectors and police will issue fines to violators.
Parking will also be free for visitors to the Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre for 10 days from November 26 to December 5.
Reduced call rates
Between 9pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 to 7am on Monday, November 30, 2009, all Etisalat mobile and landline international calls will be charged at off-peak rates.
For du subscribers during Eid and on National Day, all international calls from mobile and fixed lines will be charged at an off-peak rate, while national SMS messages will be charged at 15 fils, and international SMS at 45 fils.
Customers who have subscribed to the special India calling offer can call India all day for 1.67 fils per second (Dh1 per 60 seconds)