DUBAI // Trains on the Dubai Metro stopped running between key stations at peak rush hour today, causing chaos as passengers were unable to find alternative transport.
The service outage, in both directions between Jafiliya and Nakheel stations, was caused by an "emergency technical glitch", the Roads and Transport Authority said in a statement.
The disruption affected major white collar areas like Media City and DIFC, as well as leisure hotspots like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
However, it did not affect the whole line as trains were still running from Jafiliya to Rashidiya, and Nakheel to Ibn Battuta.
Trevor Peters, a Briton who had been waiting at the Nakheel station for close to an hour, said there was a lack of alternative transport.
"There are never enough taxis, so I rely on the metro to get home," he said. "This is just silly, they should plan for an alternative."
The RTA said that it "deployed a number of public buses" to ferry passengers between the affected stations, but many stranded at the station seemed unaware of that possibility.
Dozens lined up outside the Nakheel station in an attempt to flag a taxi down. One commuter, Sohail Farooq, from Pakistan, said that he had been waiting for an hour and a half. "This is a big inconvenience," he said.
In the statement, the RTA said the service disruption had lasted an hour. But staff at the Nakheel metro station said it had begun around 5pm and lasted until at least 7pm.
The RTA apologised to passengers and said the situation was "beyond its control".
Vishwas Shashidhar, from India, walked 30 minutes to get a metro from the Nakheel station, and was relieved to hear that the crisis he was up until then ignorant about had already been resolved.
"I had no idea the service had stopped," he said. "They should communicate with people better and maybe make an announcement on the radio or something."