By Maey El Shoush www.thenational.ae
DUBAI // Commuters on Dubai Metro’s Green Line were surprised to find themselves travelling with the ruler of the emirate on Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took the metro on Monday evening en route to an official engagement in Deira.
A picture of the Sheikh, supplied to The National by Dubai Media Office, was widely circulated on Facebook and Twitter today, prompting the Sheikh to take to his Twitter account.
“I used Dubai Metro yesterday while conducting an official visit,” he wrote. “I encourage all to utilize Dubai advanced transportation.” His post was retweeted by more than 100 people in the first 20 minutes.
“I’m loving Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid’s photo using the Metro to avoid Gitex Traffic!” wrote one Twitter user, who speculated that the Ruler was either on his way to the electronics exhibition at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Other sources said it is more likely he was on his way to the Al Futtaim family home in Deira to offer his condolences to the family on the death of their son, Uthman Abdullah Al Futtaim.
A source at Dubai Metro confirmed that the picture was taken on Monday, and said that it was all people could talk about since. “Everyone knows about it,” he said.
This was not, however, Sheikh Mohammed’s first trip on the Dubai Metro. Most recently, he rode on the Green Line on 9 September, 2011 at its inauguration – exactly two years after doing the same thing when he opened the Red Line.
And in October last year, the Ruler launched the trial run of the Green Line, which runs for 22.5km between Dubai Healthcare City and the Etisalat Station in Al Qusais with a total of 20 stops.
According to an official statement from the Ruler’s office, travelling with residents is the sheikh’s way of encouraging more people to use the “latest addition to the city’s advanced transport network”.