All You Need to Know about Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro is recognised as the largest fully automated metro network in the world. The metro, with a route length of 75 km, is a popular mode of transportation for many residents and tourists of the city. The project was initiated in 2009 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Since then, the Dubai Metro carries 500,000 people on a daily basis, making travelling extremely convenient and cost-effective in the Emirate.
This is a complete guide to Dubai Metro, covering everything from lines and routes to timings and fares.
Dubai Metro Lines
This modern automatic transport network has two lines: red line and green line. Had it not been for these adequately planned and executed transportation lines, getting around Dubai would have been tough for tourists and residents without a personal commute. You can use the Dubai Metro Map to figure out the location of the station near you. Download the app to know all about the Dubai Metro:
Dubai Metro Red Line: The Red Line route goes from Centre Point Metro Station (previously known as Al Rashidiya) to the Expo 2020 Metro Station and vice versa. In total, the red line has 35 stations including the Branch Line. These stations are operational across the year, and in case of any change RTA announced it like RTA has announced new service timings for Eid Ul Adha in Dubai.
Please note that those travelling to the UAE Exchange Station need to change trains at the Jebel Ali Metro Station. Moreover, those willing to visit Ibn Battuta Mall also need to get off the Jebel Ali Station and take the train departing for UAE Exchange.
The Red Line runs along the following stations:
- Airport Terminal 3
- Airport Terminal 1
- Deira City Centre
- Al Rigga
- Max (previously known as Al Jafiliya)
- World Trade Center
- Emirates Towers
- Financial Centre
- Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall
- Business Bay
- Al Safa
- Mall of the Emirates
- Dubai Internet City
- Al Khail
- Sobha Realty
- Jabal Ali
- Ibn Battuta
- UAE Exchange
- The Gardens
- Discovery Gardens
- Al Furjan
- Jumeirah Golf Estates
- Dubai Investment Park
- EXPO 2020
Then, there is a new Route 2020 extension of the Red Line with six stations:
- The Gardens
- Discovery Gardens
- Al Furjan
- Jumeirah Golf Estates
- Dubai Investment Park
- Expo 2020
These stations were developed to make commuting easier for people residing in residential areas near Route 2020.
Dubai Metro Green Line: The Green Line route starts from Etisalat station in Al Qusais Area and travels up to Dubai Creek in Al Jaddaf and vice verca. In total, the green line has 20 stations. The green line runs along the following stations:
- Al Qusais
- Dubai Airport Free Zone
- Al Nahda
- Al Qiyadah
- Abu Hail
- Abu Baker Al Siddique
- Salah Al Din
- Baniyas Square
- Gold Souq
- Al Ras
- Al Gubaiba
- Sharaf DG
- Oud Metha
- Dubai Healthcare City
- Al Jadaf
Transfer Stations: If passengers want to switch lines, Dubai Metro Red Lines includes two transfer stations to the Green Line: Union and Burjuman. And, two interchange stations to the Dubai Tram: Sohba Reality and DMCC.
In 2019, the number of passengers using Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines reached 202.98 million. Moreover, the interchange stations of Burjuman and Union, also served a massive chunk of the population using public transport. Burjuman was used by 12.76 million metro commuters, while Union served around 10.6 million metro commuters in 2019.
Route 2020 Project: In addition to the Red and Green Line, in 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, officially inaugurated the Route 2020 Project. In January 2021, the route became operational.
The project is a 15 km extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line includes seven stations. The Dubai Metro 2020 route extension includes five elevated and two underground stations.
The Red Line travels directly to the Expo 2020 with stops at Al Furjan, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investments Park. The route starts from Centrepoint and terminates at the Expo 2020 site.
The UAE government invested in this project to make sure visitors have a comfortable and easy access to the Expo 2020.
Dubai Metro Payment Method
Dubai Metro is a very convenient mode of transport. All you have to do is get your contactless RTA NOL card. These smart cards are also functional on other modes of transportation, including buses, taxis, water buses and trams.
You can buy and top-up balance to your electronic cards from the vending machines installed on all the stations or from the ticket booth at each Dubai Metro Station. You can also buy them from bus stations and supermarkets including Spinneys, Waitrose and Carrefour.
There are four kinds of NOL Cards: Red, Blue, Silver and Gold.
Red Ticket or Red NOL Card: This card is ideal for non-frequent users or travellers. It is valid for 90 days from the date of its purchase and can be used for a total of 10 single journeys or 5 daily passes. The price for the Red NOL Card is AED 2.
Silver Ticket or Silver NOL Card: This card is suitable for frequent Dubai Metro users, it is valid for 5 years from the date of purchase. The price of this card is AED 25 inclusive of which AED 19 is the e-purse balance. You can top-up your e-purse balance with up to AED 1000 at the time of registering your card.
Golden Ticket or Golden NOL Card: If you are a comfort traveller, the NOL Gold card is ideal. The card has the same features as a silver card but gives you access to using their privileged gold cabin that is spacious with luxurious leather seats and a panoramic view for a premium fare.
The price of this card is also AED 25, of which AED 19 is added to the e-purse value, and it is valid for 5 years from the date of purchase. The top-up limit for Gold Card is AED 5000. Only Gold ticket holders can travel in the gold compartment.
Blue Ticket or Blue NOL Cards: These are personalised cards suitable for students, senior citizens and people of determination. In case the card gets lost or stolen, your balance will still be secure. Moreover, toddlers under the age of 5 and people of determination can travel free of cost with this specialised, personal NOL card. The card is valid for 5 years from the date of issue. Please keep in mind that you can only buy a blue card if you are a resident.
You will have to swap these cards at the vending machines of the metro stations when entering and exiting.
The regular price of this card is AED 70 of which AED 20 credit is added to the e-purse and the price for gold card is AED 80 with AED 20 credit.
Note: RTA penalises anyone trying to misuse the NOL card with AED 200. If anyone tries to use a counterfeit card, they will face a fine of AED 500.
How are NOL Fares calculated
Dubai is divided into 7 zones of public transport. The Dubai Metro runs through five zones including Zone 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The number of zones one travels through determines the journey’s total cost. Zone 4 and 7 are for other modes of public transport including buses.
The fares are calculated according to the number of zones the card user passes.
Dubai Metro Monthly Pass
Commuters can also make use of the Dubai Metro Monthly Pass. This pass allows traveling multiple times for the entire month. Following is the fare breakdown for the 30-day pass for Silver and Gold card users.
- Silver Nol Card: AED 140 for 1 zone, AED 230 for 2 zones and AED 350 for all zones
- Gold Nol Card: AED 280 for 1 zone, AED 460 for 2 zones and AED 700 for all zones
Silver and Gold card users can also sign up for:
- All-year Dubai Metro pass (this is valid for 365 days)
Charges for 90-day Dubai Metro pass are:
- Silver Nol Card: AED 330 for 1 zone, AED 550 for 2 zones and AED 830 for all zones
- Gold Nol Card: AED 660 for 1 zone, AED 1,100 for 2 zones and AED 1,660 for all zones
Charges for 365-days Dubai Metro pass are:
- Silver Nol Card: AED 1,060 for 1 zone, AED 1,770 for 2 zones and AED 2,670 for all zones
- Gold Nol Card: AED 2,120 for 1 zone, AED 3,540 for 2 zones and AED 5,340 for all zones
Dubai Metro Cabins
Dubai Metro has three cabins: regular, gold and women and children cabin.
- The standard or regular cabin can be accessed with any Nol Card and it is for all metro users.
- The gold cabin right in front of the is exclusive to Gold Nol Card users.
- The women and children compartment also known as the ladies and children cabin is exclusive to women and children. It is accessible to women with any Nol Card. The cabin has extra space for prams and pushchairs. These compartments are marked with pink signs, making it easier for women with children to identify them. However, women with children are not obligated to travel in this compartment.
Each station has a dedicated space for wheelchairs, prams and pushchairs.
Dubai Metro Timings
Dubai Metro operates every day. The timing of Dubai Metro stations is as follows:
- Monday to Thursday: 5:00 am to midnight
- Friday: 5:00 am to 1:00 am (of the next day)
- Saturday: 5:00 am to midnight
- Sunday: 5:00 am to midnight
Keep in mind that the time for the first and last train of each station varies. Dubai Metro timings can also change on public holidays including National Day and Eid.
Dubai Metro Facilities Onboard
In addition to a comfortable and safe journey, you also get the following facilities when travelling via Dubai Metro:
- Free Wi-fi access
- CCTVs to monitor everything
- Emergency call box
- The integrated radio link between the metro and the emergency services
- Dedicated Metro police to enforce all the rules and regulations
Dubai Metro Rules and Regulations
The Dubai Metro makes sure all passengers follow these rules
- Pushing is not allowed
- You have to respect the personal space of everyone on board
- Keep moving along the platform
- Always make way for other people
- Move down into cabins after entering the metro
- Before you get on the train, allow those who were there before you to get off
- Each passenger is allowed 2 suitcases (1 large suitcase with 81cm x 58cm x 30cm dimensions and 1 small suitcase with 55cm x 38cm x 20cm dimensions)
Dubai Metro Accessibility
Convenience is of utmost importance for the Dubai Metro service, therefore it is made sure that the service is easily accessible for everyone.
- Tactile Guidance Path: Dubai metro stations make use of a contrasting tactile guidance path for the visually impaired.
- Platform Alerts: To make sure everyone knows when a train leaves and arrives, platform alerts including audible beeps and corresponding flashing lights each time the tram doors open and close have been installed.
- Wheelchair Access: There is are exclusive spaces reserved for wheelchair users.
- Lift Access: All metro station levels have access to lifts.
- Informative Displays: To keep everyone informed about their destination, Information is displayed on screens across trains and stations.
Some Important Facts about Dubai Metro
- Eating and drinking are prohibited in Dubai Metro cabins.
- Sleeping or taking a nap is also not allowed in the metro and can lead to a fine of DHS 300. Here is a complete list on Dubai Metro fines.
- There is free Wi-Fi throughout your journey.
- Dubai Metro has the shortest waiting time when compared to any other metro in the world.
- The waiting time does not exceed a maximum of 3.5 minutes.
- Dubai Metro runs on 750 volts of electricity.
- The RTA makes sure no water is wasted while washing the luxurious Dubai Metro transport system; therefore, almost 80% of water is recycled when washing them.
- Each metro station has a theme of water, earth, air and fire suiting the UAE’s weather condition.
- This is an economical and convenient form of public transport.
- Dubai Metro completed 11 years of service on 9th September 2020.
That is all you need to know about the Dubai Metro. If you have any other queries, go through these Dubai Metro FAQs. Though travelling in public transport in the UAE is safe and convenient several people prefer driving personal vehicles. If you wish to drive on your own in Dubai, you can find a variety of second-hand vehicles for sale here.
Stay tuned for more on public transport in the UAE.