Whenever I go somewhere, I would take the Metro, pair it with bus or taxi. I opt to take the train instead of car because it is more environment friendly and the small walks to and from the station to/from my house/office building makes up for the sedentary office life 8 hours a day.The situation is so much better now than in 2007 or 2008 when were were new here. I have broken down a few times in the past, up to the point of asking questions like, why did we take the plunge here? It was so long ago that I have almost forgotten about that helpless, frustrating feeling…until last night.
I needed to go to Dubai Festival City and scaled the journey in my mind: take the Metro all the way to the newly opened Creek station, the last station of the Green Line and take a feeder bus or taxi from there to DFC. It should be the best route, I thought, since DFC (Intercontinental Hotel to be exact) can be seen from the station!
The event was at 7:30 and it was already 7:00 when I got down at Creek Station. I asked the ticket personnel, “Which exit has taxis or buses?”
“There are no buses or taxis here, madam. You need to go back to Healthcare City (2 stations away)”
I couldn’t believe what I heard and got out of the station anyway to see for myself. Save for the very few street lights from a distance, it was pitch black. There was only one thing outside…NOTHINGNESS. There were no cars, no taxis or buses. No people.
Why did they even open this station??
The train personnel suggested I call RTA Taxi and book a cab. I called and the operator said my taxi could come between 20-40 minutes. I will be late. Super, super late. And I hate being late. Plus, there was one blogger friend who had been waiting for me already at the venue. I hate letting people wait for me. Hate, hate, hate.
It was all too familiar – I know some “booked” taxis don’t come even after an hour so waiting for even 20 minutes would be a gamble. I could use that time to go back to Healthcare City and catch a taxi there…even then, I will be late for more than 30 minutes already. I called RTA back saying to cancel by taxi booking.
I went back to the platform just in time for the doors to close, otherwise, it would be another 5 minutes wait. After a minute or two, I received a call!! It was the taxi driver! I apologized and said I have canceled my booking, feeling sorry for him and more so, for myself. What a series of bad luck…and I was already battling headache and blocked nose due to my colds.
I got down at Healthcare City, out into the humid, balmy night trying my luck to find a cab. It was already past 8:00 pm and Intercontinental Hotel is at least 20 minutes away.
It became pointless. I messaged my friend and apologized. I would’ve wanted to meet up with her last night. And I can’t explain enough that I usually don’t do this stuff: being late and retreating, not showing up as promised.
I felt so defeated, for the first time in so many years, I felt the helplessness and frustration against public transport. Mind you, it would have been better if I were smarter. Dubai public transport has never been better with the two train lines.
But my light bulb moment came late. I blame my flu for the slow brain function.
The best way to go to Dubai Festival City by public transport would be to take the Red Line to Emirates station (Rashidiya direction) and then down at the station, there will be taxis or the F8 bus (goes to Festival City Mall and not to the Intercon though but the hotel is accessible via the mall).
* DFC is in Zone 5 in the map above. See how Emirates (Red Line) and Creek (Green Line) stations are parallel to each other? Only, Creek station is new and there is really nothing outside of it!
Please remember that, boys and girls so you won’t be like me, staring into nothingness walking back home tired, hungry and sweaty.
I feel you…the public transport improved but still it would sometimes fail you when you’re short of time. That taxi was a surprise! I mean, he came in few minutes, just too bad that you missed it too. I guess the Dubai taxis are more reliable now compared to their service 5 years ago.