A decade on, Dubai Metro on a roll - GulfToday

A decade on, Dubai Metro on a roll

Dubai Metro

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

It was on 9-9-9 that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched the Dubai Metro.

A decade down the line, the driverless wonder on wheels has captured the hearts of millions of Dubai travellers and amazed the world with its punctuality, neatness and comfort.

Sheikh Mohammed, whose brainchild Dubai Metro is, envisaged the sophisticated facility to shape as the backbone of the transport system that connects various vital areas in the emirate and provide easy and safe mobility for passengers.

Launching the world’s longest driverless Metro project is no easy task and the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA) deserves kudos for earnestly taking up the challenge and making a success of one of its most important initiatives.

The launch of the massive mass transportation system was well aligned with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to strengthen the foundations of a green economy and achieve sustainable development through the adoption of efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

As Sheikh Mohammed himself pointed out, Dubai Metro is a high quality addition to the transport infrastructure in Dubai, and a model for forward-looking projects that feature advanced technology.

The project is the first of its kind in the Arab world and among the most advanced in the world.

His Highness has shared interesting insights on how in the beginning some were unenthusiastic about the idea of creating Dubai Metro. Fortunately, as he highlighted, “We chose to implement the Metro project because we realised the value it would add to society by providing safe and sustainable transportation.”

The first decade of the Metro’s operations has seen exceptional successes including its full compliance with top global safety standards and high levels of operational efficiency reflected in on-time journeys.

The fact that over 1.5 billion riders have used Dubai Metro since the launch of the service (as of end of August 2019) underscores the success of the operations.

On Wednesday, 09.09.2009 at 09:09:09 pm, Sheikh Mohammed opened the Red Line of Dubai Metro, spanning 52 km and comprising of 29 stations (4 underground, 24 elevated, and 1 at-grade).

Two years later, on 09.09.2011, His Highness inaugurated the Green Line of Dubai Metro, extending 23 km and comprising 18 stations (6 underground and 12 elevated).

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, has rightly stated that the Metro has enhanced the global profile of Dubai as a splendid metropolis, business hub and a luxury lifestyle destination.

Figures speak volumes about the triumphant story. The number of Metro riders rose from about 39 million riders in 2010 to 69 million riders in the following year. With the launch of the Green Line of Dubai Metro in Sept 2011, Metro riders rocketed to 109 million riders in 2012.

The ridership continued to hit new heights in 2015 reaching 179 million riders. By the end of 2018, it broke the two-hundred-million barrier clocking 204 million riders. Currently, Dubai Metro serves about 650,000 commuters daily; a record that significantly surpasses the number forecasted in studies commissioned at the design phase of the project.

Performance indicators reveal very high operational standards. On-time departures of the Metro service maintained a rate of 99.7 per cent.

The Metro is undoubtedly a gorgeous addition to Dubai’s iconic landmarks. The driverless wonder is on a roll and for all the right reasons.