Monday, September 07, 2009

Metro- Memories of Dubai

The excitement is palpable.
What began as a mega project on 04.04.04, is about to become reality. I refer, of course, to the Dubai Metro, which will begin operations on 09.09.09, with the first train, with an entourage of VIPs, being flagged off on 09.09.09 at 09 PM from Mall of the Emirates station to Rashidiya station(the last stop), with the in-between operational stations being checked out as well. Others will be able to travel on it from 06 AM, the next day.

First began the construction of the elevated tracks on massive pillars, then the rakes, the railway stations, the underground part of the metro…and, the rest, as they say, is history. Suddenly, one day, we saw a blue train with five bogies, sitting idle on the tracks. Another day, the train could be seen moving slowly. And, as the days passed, the trains speed increased progressively, till the current moment, when the trial runs are probably going on at the actual speed of the train.

There’ve been comments galore in the local papers, and, for some reason, some people insist on deriding this massive achievement, like commenting on the non-readiness of some stations, the list of fines issued in advance for people misusing the station, the roller coaster kind of ride they feel it will be, et al. I wonder what their gripe is all about?

Given the short duration to set up an entire Red Line from one end of the Emirate to the other, running through an already planned-out city, is nothing short of miraculous, to say the least.( And, that too, in times of recession when many projects are on hold). Some lanes on main roads were closed, traffic barriers erected, pedestrian traffic diverted…but, all activities continued.

On top of that, all this has been achieved with nil or hardly any reports of on-site( or traffic accidents) due to the construction activities going on in the midst of bustling streets.

Roller coaster ride? No way- what better way to promote a tourist destination than by having such an adventurous ride as an added attraction? In fact, forget tourists, I’m sure even daily travelers on the Metro will find it a nice way to begin and end their working days/ holidays.(With a clamour for window seats, of course)

For the stages of the project as it progressed, there’s an excellent report in Gulf News today, with pictures,et al that tells the whole story, which will substantiate what I’ve said above. .

I’ve been here seven plus years, and have seen buidings being torn down, new ones coming up in their place, et al. But, nothing compares to the excitement of observing a whole Metro rail network coming up from scratch-something which, I feel very few generations round the world will have the pleasure of observing in the future in their countries, since it's such a Herculean task. The first ‘history in the making’ that I witnessed here has been the coming up of the Burj Dubai tower and this is the second one. Really makes one feel humble to see what mankind can achieve, given the right direction, perspective..and money, of course.

That adds one more to my list of blessings for which I'm grateful to God!


Media Junkie said...

oh - it is a great addition to the city for sure. i guess what bugs people is how they're already claiming it a success without even opening.

and also because people love to gripe.

i probably won't use it on a regular basis, but it would be a great way to travel over weekends - no worries about cars and parking as there's one right next to my house.

AmitL said...

Hi,MJ- you're so right when you say 'great way to travel over weekends'.:)

austere said...

Sounds great. Mumbai metro could take a few lessons. Likely operational- one stretch- 2011.

Mona said...

Dubai is amazing city ... I really want to go there again :)

Ketan said...


Well written article, I'd say. The metro looks amazing. Can't believe some people are complaining! Nice pics! Take care.

Dhanya said...

I so want to see this! Next time I'm visiting Dubai, the first thing in my to-see list would be the metro! :D