The Dubai Metro is the metro of Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The term „subway“ is actually not quite correct, as only about 19 km of the current 76 km long metro network runs underground. The largest part runs above ground, large parts on pillars as elevated railways. So the name Overground would probably be better than Metro.
Currently there are only two lines. The Red Line of the Dubai Metro (length 52 km, 28 stations, opening in 2009) and the Green Line (length 24 km, 19 stations, opening in 2011). Dubai’s metro has therefore only existed since 2009. Further lines and the extension of the two existing lines are under construction or in planning. In particular, the brand new Dubai World Central Airport is to be connected.
General Info Dubai Metro
The Dubai overgroud trains has no drivers, they are modern, driverless trains. There are a lot of cameras for that. The Dubai light rail system is controlled from a central office. The cameras serve as a help for remote control, but also for safety.
The Dubai Metro is considered to be extremely safe. Crimes such as pickpocketing are very rare. In general, the UAE is an extremely safe travel destination.
The trains consist of 5 cars. 4 cars are normal cars of the 2nd class. Half of the 5th car consists of 1st class and a special women’s compartment. Only women and their children are allowed to board here. Women can also ride in the other 4 cars. The use of the women’s compartments is a can, not a must for ladies. This wagon of Dubai’s subway with 1st class and women’s portion is always the first or the last wagon of the train. Currently the Dubai Metro owns about 87 trains with 5 wagons each.
On some days the Dubai Metro counts more than half a million passengers. The platforms have so-called platform screen doors. This means that the platform is locked to the track along its entire length with doors that only open when your train has stopped.
The Dubai S-Bahn has a standard gauge and is powered by a conductor rail
There are large park-and-ride parking spaces (free) at some subway stations.
At some metro stations you can check in your luggage for flights in the next 24 hours(very convenient e.g. at Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates stations).
WIFI Dubai Metro: WIFI is available free of charge in all stations and trains in the Dubai subway. Also mobile phone networks do not have any radio holes on the whole distance according to our impression. There is also a WLAN service with better quality, but also the free WIFI is ok.
In many stations works of art are exhibited or things from the history of the country. Some stations could almost be drawn as a museum.
The Dubai Metro Lines
The red line runs mainly from north to south, parallel to the coast. At 52 kilometres, this is the much longer route. A journey from terminal station to terminal station takes a little more than 1 hour. Also the 2 stations at the big Dubai International Airport are stop of the red line of the subway Dubai (names of the stations: Terminal 1 and Terminal 3). Another very important metro station for tourists is Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall.
License Notes for this picture: Balou46, VAE-Dubai-Metro-2014, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Green Line runs mainly north of Dubai City. The journey takes about half an hour.
The two lines cross twice, at the stations Bur Juman and Union.
2 new lines will be added in the next years (Blue Line and Violet Line). They will mainly connect the new Dubai World Central International Airport and the old Dubai Central Airport. Extensions of the existing line and further routes (Yellow Line and Black Line of the Dubai subway) are also being planned. In 10 to 15 years, the Dubai Metro could be one of the top 10 metro networks in the world.
Operating hours Metro Dubai
The metro runs from 5:30 in the morning to midnight. In the night from Thursday to Friday the trains run one hour longer (until 1 am).
Important: On Friday, the Islamic holiday, the subway in Dubai does not run until 10 am.
The trains run frequently during operating hours, every few minutes (usually every 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the time of day). Therefore no timetable is necessary. Just go to the platform and take the next train.
Important tip: buy tickets for Dubai beforehand
Some tickets for Dubai should be bought in advance. Some tickets are only available in limited numbers (often sold out), other sights require a long wait without a ticket. You can also book great trips to the desert and other emirates on the Internet. We recommend the following tickets:
– Take the lift to the highest house in the world (Burj Khalifa): More information and booking
– Excursion in the desert, a must for every visitor to Dubai: More information and booking
– Great city tour Dubai (duration 4 hours): More information and booking
– Excursion to Abu Dhabi: More information and booking
Tickets and Prices Dubai Metro
The fares for the Dubai S-Bahn are not very high, much cheaper than public transport in Germany, for example.
To use the subway, you have to buy tickets in advance. Tickets (Nol Cards) are available at most stations. As a tourist it is best to buy a so-called Red Nol-Card. You can load up to 10 single tickets or 5 day tickets on this card. Before boarding, one holds the card to a device (modern, contactless) and the amount is deducted from the previously loaded Nol Card. You also hold the card to a device when you get out of the car. This way the system knows how many stations or zones you have passed through. The whole of Dubai is divided into 5 zones. With the same Nol Card you can also drive a bus and use other public transport (tram, ferries).
A single trip costs about 75 Cent to 2 Euro depending on the zone (depending on the number of zones). A day ticket for all zones and means of transport costs about 5 Euro. First class costs about twice as much, but is not absolutely necessary. Children up to 5 years or under 90 cm do not need a ticket in the Dubai Metro. Tickets (Nol Cards) are available at ticket counters and vending machines. The tickets are also valid in trams, city buses and some ferries.
There are significant discounts for senior citizens, students and other groups. The Dubai Metro also offers weekly passes, monthly passes, annual passes and much more. The system is highly subsidized by the state. The S-Bahn Dubai is operated by the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai (RTA), a state-owned company.
There are 4 different Nol Cards. The Red Nol Card is for occasional drivers and tourists. The Silver Nol Card for frequent drivers (locals), the Gold Nol Card for 1st class (called Gold class in Dubai) and the Blue Nol Card for people with discounts such as pensioners, students, disabled etc. For some time now it has also been possible to pay by mobile phone (Smartphone) in the Dubai Metro (Smart Nol). Paying in cash or something similar is not possible in the Dubai Metro, you can only travel with a Nol Card on the subway.
As far as we know, all stations and trains can be used by wheelchair users. There are also aids for the blind, for example.
More great sights in Dubai
Also for other attractions and tours in Dubai you should buy tickets in advance on the Internet. It is difficult to find the right agency on the spot, often there are long queues or the tours are sold out.
1. Water Park Wild Wadi: Directly in Dubai, not far from the best hotel in the world, the Burj al Arab. One of the best water parks in the world. There are far more than swimming pools and slides, a total of more than 30 major attractions such as rides. You have to see the Waterpark Wild Wadi! >>> More info and booking
2. Aquaventure Waterpark: Not far from Wild Wadi Waterpark on the gigantic artificial island of Palm. One of the largest water parks in the world. Many rides, other attractions, gigantic slides, beach and animals like sharks. The Aquaventure Water Park is a must to visit when travelling to Dubai. >>> More info and booking
3. City tour Dubai: From our point of view the best city tour in Dubai. With hotel pick-up, all important sights of Dubai. Daily mornings and afternoons. >>> More info and booking
4. Boat tour Dubai: A great boat tour with sights of Dubai like Palm Jumeirah, Hotel Burj Al Arab and Marina Dubai. >>> More info and booking
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Bus trip Delphi (from Athens)