Dubai Metro carries 2 billion riders, equal to population of US, India and Pakistan

Since its launch in 2009, the public transport system has witnessed nine landmark moments during its journey to reach the milestone


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 7:01 PM

Dubai Metro has transformed the emirate’s mass transport system in over 13 years, reaching the two billion ridership milestone.

The first one billion milestones were reached after eight years while the second billion was achieved in just six years, reflecting the popularity of the metro as an efficient mode of transport for riders. If compared, the metro carried people close to the combined population of the USA, India and Pakistan.

As a result of increasing popularity, the metro has seen the addition of new stations and features to cope with the increase in ridership.

Here are key nine milestones that the Metro achieved during its journey to reach the milestone:

— The government announced the launch of the metro at the start of this millennium and bids were started in 2004-05 with a number of a global consortium bidding for the mega project.

— Work on the construction of the first driverless metro in the region started in March 2006 and it was completed on time as 10 stations were opened on the Red Line. Work on the project continued even during the 2008 financial crisis.

— On the memorable day of 09.09.09, the driverless metro began rolling while the city came to a standstill in awe watching the launch of the metro. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the metro.

— Green Line launch was launched in September 2011 with 18 stations and stretched over 23 kilometres.

— Records: It is one of the world’s most advanced and longest driverless rail systems.

— Metro riders reached the one billion mark in 2017, carrying 1.028 billion upon the completion of the eighth anniversary. Around 689m riders were lifted by the Red Line and 339m riders were served by the Green Line.

— The Dubai Metro's naming rights project was a world-first revenue model for public transport infrastructure and the first programme of its kind to help improve transport services with partnership funding raised through a naming rights initiative.

— Route 2020: As part of Expo 2020 development, Metro’s Red Line was extended and named Route 2020 in 2015. It was completed ahead of the Expo. The track begins from Jebel Ali Station and connects The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Dubai Investment Park and Expo 2020.

— Nol card, which was primarily introduced for metro users, has been expanded to allow cardholders to use it for shopping at a variety of outlets. The Nol Pay app has also been introduced for smooth and seamless payment for the public.


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