10/09/2009 08:31 AM | Gulf News
Kinks to be ironed out
Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter
A month after Dubai Metro started I take the train to the Gulf News office, off Shaikh Zayed Road, where I work.
First I have to park my car at the Ibn Batuta Mall. There’s a free so-called “feeder” F999 bus running every five minutes from the mall to Nakheel Harbour Station.
I get down at the Mall of the Emirates Station, the Metro’s first stop, only to find out that there was no bus service to my office. The train is useless for hundreds of people living in Jebel Ali and working in the Media and Internet cities as it does not stop there. We speed off and I can see the Gulf News office going past. When I get on again, I spend Dh4.10 as I am in a different zone to go to the Financial Centre (the next station). An attendant said maybe I will get a bus there.
But the buses from Financial Centre go to Dubai Mall, Gold Souq, via Trade Centre and Satwa.
I go back to Nakheel. I see a huge board advising me to reduce carbon footprint, even as hundreds of cars go by.
Alex Abraham, News Editor (International)
It was the culmination of many days of planning. Having bought my ticket on 09.09.09, it was time to embark on the historic journey along with my wife and four-year-old son. The day we chose was the second day of Eid.
We parked our car in the multi-level complex at Rashidiya, and caught the train to Mall of the Emirates. The journey was smooth, setting aside all our fears of a roller-coaster ride.
My son even managed to spot my office from the train and I eavesdropped on a conversation which revolved around how many stations were yet to open and how it would benefit just about everyone once the entire system became operational.
However, the return leg was more adventurous. After spending about four hours at the mall, when we walked towards the exit, we noticed a line snaking into the mall. We walked to the front only to find out that we would have to wait it out to gain entry onto the platform. A good sweaty hour later, we managed to get back onto the train to Rashidiya. Not too bad at all for one of the busiest days since the Metro opened in Dubai.
Enjoyable first ride
By Sanya Nayeem, Deputy Readers Editor
I never expected to enjoy my first ride on the Metro as much as I did. It was just a train ride after all over the city I’ve grown up in and know so well. What could be more mundane? But when I joined in the frenzy of excited strangers clicking photographs and found myself cheerfully (and rather rudely) waving goodbye to the endless queues of traffic below it was a pleasant surprise and incredibly cathartic!
My friend and I went the whole nine yards on a Sunday evening, from Rashidiya all the way to Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station. The 50-minute ride went by with seamless precision and the feeder bus ride from the Metro station to Ibn Battuta Mall was just as convenient.
For a mere Dh11, I was able to travel, and more importantly, enjoy, a journey I would usually dread. That’s when I decided it may have been my first time on the Metro, but it definitely wasn’t going to be my last.