x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Dubai Metro riders give Green Line thumbs up

Thousands descended on the 16 newly opened stations when the Green Line opened its doors to the public at 5.50am yesterday.

People riding the train on the Green Line's first day of opening.
People riding the train on the Green Line's first day of opening.

DUBAI // The Metro's Green Line opened its doors to the public at 5.50am yesterday, with thousands descending on the 16 newly opened stations.

Some were there to have a look at the city's latest addition to public transport, while others were actually going somewhere.

The Green Line stations and trains serve Dubai's oldest and most congested parts with the ease and efficiency to which Metro riders have become accustomed since the Red Line opened two years ago.

"Everything is clean, shiny and new," said Habib Darwish, 28, an Egyptian working on his master's degree in political science.

"I rode from Salah Al Din station to the Khalid Bin Al Waleed station, and am now going to change over to the Red Line to go to the Noor Bank station to meet friends. The trip only took about 15 minutes."

Mr Darwish praised Salah Al Din station, with its green and yellow panelled walls, red, white and blue marble flooring, and red and gold globe with coins from around the world as its centrepiece.

"I was very impressed with how beautiful the new stations are," he said. "I can see that no expense was spared to make the whole experience one that people would appreciate and keep coming back to ride.

"I wouldn't have expected any less from Dubai. If you had ever taken a ride on the Cairo Metro you would really come to appreciate this one."

At Al Ghubaiba station, Abdullah Al Shammari, 42, a Saudi naval officer, stood with his family marvelling at the design. He had just taken a look at the water taxi dock outside.

Mr Al Shammari said he had been visiting family in Sharjah when he decided to take the Metro from Al Qiyada station to Al Ghubaiba.

"We don't have a Metro in Jeddah, nor do we have public transport by way of the sea or anything like this," he said.

"I wanted to come see this for myself after I saw the opening of the new line on television. I am very impressed with the whole service. When I got off the train here I felt like I had walked into a palace or a museum. The design is stunning."

Al Ghubaiba station was inspired by heritage, made to look like an expansion of the souqs in the city.

"I was reminded of the old traditional souq we have in downtown Jeddah," Mr Al Shammari said.

Amelia Reyes, 33, a home healthcare nurse from the Philippines, took a Metro trip from Al Qusais station to Dubai Healthcare City station for work.

"Every day until today I would take the bus from Al Khawaneej to Rashidiya, then take the Metro Red Line to Mall of the Emirates to go care for my patient in The Greens," she said.

"There was some paperwork I had been meaning to take care of at the office in Healthcare City but had been avoiding because I didn't want to take the bus, then the Metro, then another bus to go to the office.

"The trip took about 25 minutes. I got back on the Metro to the Khalid bin Al Waleed station and am now transferring on to the Red Line to the Mall of the Emirates station.

"I managed to finish everything in less than an hour. The commute has become much easier and I think I will be spending less time, maybe an hour and a half less, on buses from now on.

"I am very pleased."

 

ealghalib@thenational.ae