All aboard the Dubai Metro

Time Out predicted the coming of Dubai Metro – but will it live up to expectations?

Red line, Metro features

Don’t be too surprised if you find yourself eating a blue strawberry by the end of the year. I know how strange that sounds, but I think I have seen the future. And it definitely included blue strawberries. Perhaps I should explain. I recently returned from a trip to visit my parents in England. While I was there I found some of my old school books and a story I wrote as a boy.

The name of the tale is What Will Life Be Like In 25 Years? – I can’t claim it was a classic, but I do think I had some pretty powerful powers of premonition. I’ll give you the edited highlights. My six-year-old self thought that the entire world would be run by computers and everybody would have magic walkie-talkies that could play video games. Sound familiar? There’s more.

I also ‘predicted’ that people would live in mile high towers by the sea and travel to work in high-tech monorails. This week, with the opening of Dubai Metro, the last phase of that prediction came true. (I also predicted that every house would have a family of gnome slaves growing blue strawberries in kitchen cupboards, but considering my other successes I am not too disappointed about getting that one wrong).

I can’t wait to ride the Dubai Metro. It is easily the most exciting thing to have happened to Dubai in years. Now I’m older and, technically, wiser I can see that a rail network isn’t as futuristic as I used to think. In fact, I can’t be the only person who is surprised by how un-futuristic our metro is. I mean, this is Dubai, for goodness sake. Home of rotating towers, gold and dragon-shaped malls. As highly as I regard Dubai Metro, it is not dragon-shaped, made of gold or rotating in any way.

But that does not diminish it in my eyes. Dubai is on the cusp of a transport revolution. By the time you read this the Dubai Metro will probably be open. In fact, for all I know you might be sitting in one of the carriages reading this. If so, there is a good chance somebody is reading this over your shoulder right now too.

If you’re reading this in the bath, the back seat of a taxi or on your computer at work don’t worry: there almost certainly isn’t anybody standing behind you right now. Probably. Better check.

If you are on the train put the magazine down for five minutes and talk to another passenger. You’re going to be seeing a lot more of each other from now on. Just don’t talk about blue strawberries. They will think you’re crazy.

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