By Sean Davidson
With the launch of the region’s first Metro, Dubai joined an elite list of global cities whose daily lives are defined by their commute.
Ferrying millions to their offices and back, the rail systems of London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore form a lifeline for local businesses and the economy.
Real estate prices in New York, London and Tokyo are weighed directly to a home or office’s proximity to stations.
Most businesses research commuter patterns, flows, peak hours and demographics for location strategies. And as numbers for the first week of Dubai Metro’s operation are released, trends begin to emerge.
From Thursday, September 10 – the first day it was open to the public – to Wednesday, September 16, the Metro had 350,000 passengers, marking a daily average of just more than 50,000.
Breaking down Wednesday’s figures of 42,972 passengers, the Roads and Transport Authority said Mall of the Emirates topped the list of stations in terms of passengers, with 7,911 people, followed by Khalid bin Al Waleed Station (6,529 passengers), Al Ittihad Station (4,848), City Centre Station (4,550), Rashidiya (4,422), Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station (4,229), Financial Centre Station (3,840), Rigga (3,040), Terminal 3 Station (1,827), and Jaffiliya (1,776).
Businesses and real estate agencies will observe the numbers closely and await the remaining stations to open before earmarking areas that are primed to thrive in the residential and commercial segments.
For the moment Al Barsha which houses Mall of the Emirates and Bur Dubai which boasts of BurJuman and Khalid bin Al Waleed station are leading the way.