Watch: When Sheikh Mohammed rode the Dubai Metro for the first time on 09.09.09 at 09.09pm

The transport system has served 1.9 billion passengers since its inaugural

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 5:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 10:42 PM

The Dubai Metro got the perfect birthday gift in the form of a video shared by the UAE Vice-President. The Metro, which has become the backbone of public transport in Dubai, marked its 13th anniversary on Friday.

It was on 09.09.2009 at precisely 09.09.09pm that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, flagged off the Dubai Metro for the first time.

And 13 years later, he took to Instagram to post an inspirational video about how the UAE never gives up on its dreams. The video features footage of a beaming Sheikh Mohammed tapping the Dubai Metro card for the first time in 2009 and taking a ride in it. It also has clips of the most recent ride he took on the Metro: During the inauguration of Route 2020 in July 2020.

In the video, Sheikh Mohammed talks about how the UAE prides itself in "maintaining the highest standards".

"We cannot afford to fall back. This is how we live our life in the UAE. It's not just about ticking boxes, this commitment is part of our DNA. We work here on achieving our goals," he says in the video.

The RTA marked the day by saying that the Dubai Metro has been the "most convenient and easiest way to reach all our destinations in Dubai in complete comfort for 13 consecutive years".

Riding on success

As per figures released in August this year, the Dubai Metro accounted for about 36 per cent of the total public transport ridership in the first six months of 2022.

Ridership on both the Red and Green Lines reached 109.1 million riders in the first half of 2022.

The Metro has served 1.9 billion passengers since its inaugural on 9/9/2009 until July 2022.

Many residents have switched to using public transport for their daily commutes. The public transport mode has helped eliminate about one billion journeys on private vehicles from its launch date till the end of 2020. Earlier this year, Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said the total cumulative benefits of the Metro amounted to Dh115 billion during this period and that it had reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2.6 million tonnes.

Why users love it

For Dubai residents, the Metro is the lifeline of the city.

An expat, Jamil Gerges, earlier told Khaleej Times that he has been riding the Metro since he was a teen. "I used the Dubai Metro to go from Deira City Centre to the American University in Dubai. It was a benefit, in fact, a blessing, to be honest. And it was amazing because the cost was so low," said Jamil.

Another expat, Sunil K, said he started using the Metro instead of his car for his commutes to office after Route 2020 opened. "My office is in Barsha Heights, and once Route 2020 opened, I started taking the Metro from Al Furjan Metro Station to get off at Dubai Internet City. It is very convenient for me and it is a good exercise as it is a 10-minute walk from my home to the Metro station. Also, I don't have to spend on fuel, so there are twin benefits," he had said.

Several students use the Metro to go to school as they get 50 per cent off fares. "It takes Dh7.50 for a one-way commute, but we have taken a monthly pass which comes at a discounted price. It is safe and rewarding for us," eleventh grader Krishna Raj said.



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