Dubai Metro completion: The 19 stops that are not opening today should all be operating by February next year. Then, in June 2010, the Green Line – stretching from Jadaf on the Creek to Al Qusais – is set to be complete. The Red Line is also going to be extended, taking it to the Jebel Ali/Abu Dhabi border. Next up, in 2012, the Purple Line will begin to ferry people between Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport, Jebel Ali (proposed to open June 2010), along Al Khail Road. There are plans for a Blue Line, also to serve the two airports, but along Emirates Road, and even a Yellow Line, but it’s unknown where this will run. Every stop on every line will be served by either buses, park and ride, abras or water taxis, and all with air-conditioned waiting areas. The whole caboodle should be in business by 2015.
Palm Monorail: Yes, we know this is already up-and-running, but it’s set to link with the Dubai Metro, via the Dubai Internet City stop. Not only will this bring with it around 4,000 parking spaces, but also the opportunity to drop by the wonder that is Atlantis to have a splash in Aquaventure, say hello to the fishes at the aquarium, or dine at one of its restaurants. Whether they will still charge travellers the extra, rather steep, Dhs25 return ticket to use the monorail remains to be seen.|
Buses: New feeder buses and routes will continue to be introduced as the metro develops. Plus, the RTA plans to increase the amount of buses running in Dubai from the current number of 800 to 2,100 by the end of next year.
Traffic: ‘Plans are in place to encourage people to use the metro and buses,’ says Abdulmohsin Ibrahim Younes, the RTA’s CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance. We’re hoping for in-carriage movies and neck massages rather than a hike in petrol or Salik.
Bicycle lanes: It is planned to have 1,300km of bicycle tracks by 2020, with a ‘major part of the bike network to be in place over the next three years’, according to Younes. Plus, he says the RTA is considering a free public bicycle service in the near future – like in Paris and Barcelona. Ooh la la.
Tram: The Al Sufouh Tram Line is scheduled to open in 2015. It will run between Dubai Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates, also feeding into the Palm Monorail, and the Dubai Metro’s Red Line.
Water taxis: High-speed powerboats, which can acco- mmodate seven people, will whiz commuters across the creek and water transport routes, set to include ‘flooded’ areas of Downtown Burj Dubai. We’ll be pretending we’re in Miami Vice, and we’re not ashamed to say it.
The metro stops, as you can probably tell from their sci-fi pod-like exteriors, will be sleek and modern in design. Of course, any opportunity to make some money and Dubai will grab it with both hands; hence you will find shops (the Mall of the Emirates stop will even have stores lining the travellator taking you directly into the mall – so you could be broke before you even get there), cafés, coffee machines, banks and ATMs.
There are some sensible bits and pieces, too, including CCTV cameras (3,000 in total over the network), first-aid trained station staff, emergency call boxes and a tactile guidance path for the visually impaired.