The Dubai Metro 9-9-9 frenzy: a success!

Dubai Metro was opened  a few weeks ago and have to say, I haven’t tried it until now. What a shame. We are still waiting for the rush of excited people to slow down a bit. The local news reported that 212,000 passengers rode the Metro in the first four days of its operation!

I have no photos of the Metro yet but I got a great collection via email so I thought I’d post it here. I don’t know who to credit for these photos so whoever you are, thank you!

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The most awaited moment: the giant clock displayed 09:09:09 on 09/09/09.

090909 clock

Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, punched in the first ticket at exactly 9 pm, 9 minutes and 9 seconds on 09/09/09. Then he boarded the first ever Dubai Metro train that Wednesday night.

Sheikh Mohammed

The Mall of the Emirates station is lit up on the night of the project launch.

Mall of the Emirates station

As the train left Mall of the Emirates station,

Dubai Metro

fireworks lit up the sky to commemorate the big event in the history of Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East. (The Dubai Metro is the first driverless train in the region, and the longest one too)

Dubai Metro fireworks

Residents braved the heat and humidity (yes it’s still quite hot even at night here) around the station in the hope of getting a glimpse of Sheikh Mohammed and the new trains.

Dubai Metro

Some of the passengers on board one of the first trips on the Dubai Metro.

Dubai Metro passengers

To promote the opening day, the government launched the Dubai Metro Golden Ticket Competition. The Golden Ticket might not have guaranteed entrance to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but it was enough to stir up excitement in many eager passengers.

A few of the 500 Golden Ticket winners, obviously ecstatic of their Metro ride.

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Some photos of what’s inside the stations:

Dubai Metro

Union Square station:

Dubai Metro

Union Square station

Khalid bin Waleed station:

Khalid bin Waleed station

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On Friday of the week of the opening, we were ready to try it out. We woke up early, as usual, even on a weekend morning and drove to Rashidiya Station. It’s the nearest station from where we live but when we got there, we were surprised to find out that:

  • the car park building was closed
  • the security personnel couldn’t speak English (he was trying to say something in Arabic which we couldn’t understand. At all)
  • Turned out that the car park building wasn’t available (so we had to park far from the station then we had to walk…it was hot)
  • the station was creepily quiet
  • WE WEREN’T ALLOWED ENTRY BY DUBAI POLICEMEN

and the greatest discovery: STATIONS WILL OPEN AND TRAINS WILL ONLY OPERATE FROM 2 PM ONWARDS ON FRIDAYS.

Do you know that sometimes, when you read something in CAPS LOCK it kind of implies as the writer is screaming? In this case, yes, it’s true.

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Anyway, we are still looking forward to our first Dubai Metro experience. That might not come until mid-October though, when we come back from our vacation in Japan.

6 thoughts on “The Dubai Metro 9-9-9 frenzy: a success!

  1. That’s a lot of hype… 😉 But the stations look pretty cool. Very space age-y.
    Sorry for your mishap… that would be super frustrating! But you didn’t have to go to work so you weren’t late, right?
    Safe travels to Japan!
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..California Day 3 =-.

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  2. That’s incredible! I’m sorry you didn’t get to ride it that day, but hopefully things will be in your favor the next time you go =]
    I remember that day actually because I was watching the local news with my mum and the world news came on and guess what was a story? Yup! The station in Dubai! I was so excited because I actually knew what it was and where it was before it even said anything 😀
    .-= Kayla´s last blog ..A Little Bit of Sparkle-FinalTouch =-.

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  3. Great article… Thanks for sharing what is happening in Dubai, I love hearing all your stories. So sorry you didn’t get your ride, I hope Pristine wasn’t too disappointed; and I hope you didn’t have to parallel park before you had to walk. 🙂

    I’m happy to let you know that you have an award on my blog:
    http://wmljshewbridge.blogspot.com/2009/09/awards-received-and-passed-on.html
    .-= Lorie Shewbridge´s last blog ..AWARDS: Received and Passed On =-.

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