Dubai is one of the most opulent places on earth, and its remarkable subway system reflects this fact, with palatial stations, high-tech trains, and first-class accommodations. Alex Ion of DeviceMAG took this look at the system's high points. —Ed.
Photo Credit: Dan Kittman/Getty Images
Each station is designed to evoke the four traditional elements. From BurJuman Station, which is designed to make its occupants feel like they're underwater, to the sand-dune curves of the "Earth" station near the Burj Khalifa, to the peaceful, translucent greens cloudlike architecture of the Rashidya station, to the warm, fiery glow of the Mall of the Emirates Station, designed to feel like you're inside a volcano. This ain't your father's transit system.
Photo Credit: Flickr/A Wandering Lens
The Dubai Metro is fully automated and will soon become the largest automated train network in the world. This extends to accident prevention –- if there's an accident near a train's location, the train will automatically come to a stop. Conductors accompany each train to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Himanshu Sarpotdar
At most, you'll have to wait three and a half minutes for a train. With stations that look like they belong to intercontinental train service, this is amazing.
Photo Credit: Nepenthes via Wikipedia
The "Gold Class" subway trains boast leather seating, armrests, and other amenities, while "Silver Class" merely looks like a normal train. Finally, there's a special "Women and Children Class," should you wish to use it.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Danny McL
WiFi Internet access will eventually be available on all trains and in all stations.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Philcampbell
Metro fees range from around $0.50 USD (AED 2.00) to $1.70 USD (AED 6.50), depending on how far you're going and how much luxury you want to buy.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Petjam
A few numbers: Over 150 companies contracted with the Dubai Metro to build it within four years, employing over 30,000 people. Three million people used the Metro within its first two months of operation in over 55,000 trips per day. There are nearly thirty train stations throughout Dubai, including two to the airport, where you can get cheap flights to Dubai from both Emirati and non-Emirati locations.
Photo Credit: AreJay via Wikipedia
You will be fined the equivalent of $25-$30 if you eat or drink on the train. RTA employees keep everything nearly spotless, and they enforce this rule. Thousands of men and women are employed to work each day to maintain the stations, the 110-km/h trains, and the experience.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Kevin (iapetus)
Construction of the Dubai Metro started on 5/5/2005 and ended on 9/9/2009. This was planned, perhaps due to superstition — but more likely in order to create hype.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Dexter Panganiban
Dubai has contracted a software company to produce a 3D simulator of the Metro. Visit here to explore and experience the Metro from your own home!
Photo Credit: Tara Atkinson/Saatchi & Saatchi (The above image was part of an advertising campaign.)