'Desperately waiting': Dubai residents say new metro stations will help save money

The Executive Council announced plans to expand the transport service from the current 64 stations to 96 stations by 2030


Angel Tesorero


Waad Barakat

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Published: Thu 4 Jul 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jul 2024, 8:45 PM

Residents who opted to live in less densely populated and ‘emerging’ communities are saving on rent but are spending more time and money for transport. So, when the government announced the expansion of Dubai Metro – which is the backbone of the city’s public transport system – they welcomed the positive impact it will bring in their daily lives.

Husameldin Elsayed, a Sudanese expat who lives in Dubai Silicon Oasis, told Khaleej Times: “The buses are good but it's a circuitous ride, and commute time gets longer – especially in the afternoon – when entrances to the community get crowded.”

“The planned addition of metro stations would be incredibly beneficial. It would make commuting more time-efficient and reliable as we can avoid delays caused by traffic on the road. This will not only make daily travel smoother, but will also enhance the overall quality of life,” he added.

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32 new metro stations by 2030

On Sunday, the Executive Council of Dubai announced plans to expand Dubai Metro from the current 64 stations (stretching 84 km) to 96 stations (140 km) by 2030, with plans to have 140 stations (covering 228 km) by 2040.

The expansion of Dubai Metro over the coming few years is aimed at increasing the share of public transport across the emirate to 45 per cent, reducing carbon emissions to 16 tonnes per capita, and improving efficiency and convenience of sustainable transport, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“Expanding the metro system is a great start,” noted Dr Monica Menendez, associate dean of Engineering for Graduate Affairs at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and director at Research Centre for Interacting Urban Networks. She added: “Hopefully, this will be complemented by the expansion of other types of public transportation (for instance, the bus system), as well as more active modes of transportation (e.g., expanding and improving the infrastructure for walking, biking, and other forms of micro-mobility) and the provision of more flexible concepts (such as shared vehicles and on-demand transportation) with the aid of new vehicle technologies.”

Transport-oriented development

Dr Menendez noted the transit-oriented development will definitely change the landscape of Dubai, which is often seen as a car-focused city.

Dr Monica Menendez
Dr Monica Menendez

“The goal is to create a public transportation system that offers as much flexibility (and personalisation) as possible, so we feel compelled to use that instead of our cars,” the NYUAD professor of Civil and Urban Engineering continued.

This is the same sentiment shared by Arijit Nandi, an Indian expat who lives in The Springs. He said he would readily ditch his car and use the Metro.

“The convenience of using the Metro is not just about saving time, but also being practical,” he noted, explaining: “For someone who travels a lot like me, I always prefer to take the Metro to the airport as it's more convenient to avoid traffic and parking fees.”

Arijit Nandi
Arijit Nandi

The nearest metro station from his house is Dubai Internet City. He said: “We have a car, but it takes 10 minutes to drive and 45 minutes to reach the station by bus as it goes around The Springs and The Greens. It will be a big relief if there is be a metro station in our community.”

Eagerly anticipated

For Mawada El Magboul, 32, who lives in International City, the absence of Dubai Metro adds to the challenge of mobility in their neighbourhood. She noted, "Currently, the closest metro station is located at Al Rashidiya, requiring a 15-minute taxi ride that costs around Dh35 each way, assuming there is no traffic congestion.”

Mawada El Magboul
Mawada El Magboul

“Alternatively, residents can utilise one of the three bus lines serving the Al Rashidiya station. But these buses run only every 20 minutes. If I miss the bus, I will have to wait for another 20 minutes. And sometimes, these buses are full that I have to wait for the next one,” she added, underscoring: “We are desperately awaiting a Metro station in our area. It would be a game-changer for residents.”

Blue Line by 2029

Residents like El Magboul will have to wait only for a reasonable few years for the Metro to come to their community. As early as November last year, RTA announced some details of the 30km Blue Line Dubai Metro extension that will not only cut travel time, but will also connect key neighbourhoods with the city’s growth areas.

Blue Line, which is part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, will connect Dubai International Airport (DXB) with nine key areas, including Mirdif, Al Warqa, International City 1 and 2, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Academic City, Ras Al Khor Industrial Area, Dubai Creek Harbour and Dubai Festival City.

Set for completion by 2029, Blue Line will also have for the first time trains crossing over the historic Dubai Creek along a 1,300-metre long viaduct supporting the elevated railway, connecting Al Jaddaf with Dubai Festival City and Dubai Creek Harbour.

Emerging areas

More residents living in so-called emerging (as opposed to established) communities are waiting to have metro stations in their areas. These neighbourhoods include Dubailand, Jumeirah Village Circle, Damac Hills, Emirates Hills, Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City, Arjan, Dubai Land Residence Complex, Al Barsha Housing Community, Jebel Ali Housing Community and Al Barari Housing Community, Dubai South, and more.

If there is one drawback, however, from having Metro stations in these communities, that would be the accompanying increase in rent as property values are expected to spike with the expected connectivity and mobility in the area.

“Property values can significantly increase as a result of the construction of new train or metro stations for a number of reasons, including increased footfall in the area, improved accessibility, higher property demand and better connectivity. New transport links also encourage more investment by developers and can stimulate further urban growth and redevelopment,” said Andrew Elliott, director Commercial Agency at Dubai-based real estate consultancy, Chestertons.

Andrew Elliott
Andrew Elliott

He added: “A metro station can make the surrounding area more attractive for commercial and residential properties, driving up rental rates and property values.

But on a more positive note, he continued: “Some people may even see it as an opportunity to ditch the car and invest the money in a better property, with the added convenience of public transport on the doorstep.”

Elliott also pointed out, “The focus on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions will make properties near metro stations more attractive to environment-conscious investors and residents. Enhanced public transport infrastructure will play an increasingly crucial role in supporting Dubai’s vision of becoming a global hub for business and tourism.”

(With inputs from Nasreen Abdulla)


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