Lifestyle

The Dubai Metro: A lifeline of the city

The Dubai Metro: A lifeline of the city

What you need to know:

  • As the Dubai metro completes its 10th birthday, a reader shares his experience of riding in the train for the first time. 

“I really wanted to be on the Dubai Metro on the first day, and I did it!” Gulfnews.com reader 52-year-old Prashant Bhurke told us.

On September 9, 2009, many excited Dubai residents, held their breath in anticipation, as they waited for the first train on the Dubai Metro Red line to begin its journey.

Bhurke, then a new resident of the metropolitan city, was one of the first to use the rail system. “Watching the Metro go by, and getting a chance to watch the city through it, was a fabulous experience.”

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Bhruke with the ticket he bought to mark the day the Dubai Metro started. Image Credit: Supplied

The excitement of the first Metro ride

The Dubai Metro is a modern-day transit network that runs through Dubai, but to Bhurke, it means more than just a mode of transportation - it is a lifeline.

“I took my first ride from the Burjuman station to Mall of the Emirates station. Even though Metro started in the morning, my six friends and I planned for the ride in the evening. We went to the station at 6pm and as expected, the station was packed.”

Did it live up to expectations? According to Bhurke it exceeded them.

“I shouldn’t be comparing but I can’t help but compare the Dubai Metro to trains I have seen around the world. The design of the Metro, the subway, and the construction of the rail over through the city is amazing. I have not had such an experience elsewhere. Everybody was awestruck and excited. I will cherish that experience.”

“I shouldn’t be comparing but I can’t help but compare the Dubai Metro to trains I have seen around the world. The design of the Metro, the subway, and the construction of the rail over through the city is amazing. I have not had such an experience elsewhere. Everybody was awestruck and excited. I will cherish that experience.”

- Prashant Bhruke, Dubai

Bhurke was so enamoured by the experience he wanted to remember that moment in time. The Dubai resident bought a parking ticket with the date “09-09-2009” to remember the occasion, and the beginning of Dubai Metro’s legacy.

“I still have the ticket. I have kept it safe, it is not even faded. I wanted to remember the moment history was made.”

Parking ticket
The parking ticket was taken by Bhurke to mark the historic day. Image Credit: Supplied

Building a connection with the Metro

Bhurke has been in Dubai for the past 11 years and has watched the construction of many major projects in the city, his favourite one being the Metro.

“I came to Dubai in 2008, and I’ve witnessed the construction of the Metro and the Burj Khalifa. Over the years, while I’ve grown living here, the city has grown around me too. I have been on the Toronto metro and the New York subway system, but the Dubai Metro will always be special, because I was witness to the construction of the Red Line, all over Dubai.

“I remember seeing the concrete blocks, and saw the Burjuman Metro station being built before my eyes. It is difficult to imagine Dubai without it.”

Being a civil engineer, the construction of the Dubai Metro “intrigued” Bhurke.

So, when the Dubai government announced that the Dubai Metro Red Line would be functional on September 9, 2009, Burkhe knew he had to be a part of the monumental event.

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Shaikh Mohammad takes a ride on the Dubai Metro during its inauguration in 2009. Image Credit: File

“Impossible to imagine Dubai without the Metro”

While Bhurke admits that he uses his car as a mode of transportation predominately, every now and then he travels by the train to “see Dubai”.

“For me the Dubai Metro was a marvel. So I rode it to see Dubai from the ‘Metro view’. The journey I like the most, then and now, is the train journey alongside Sheikh Zayed Road from Burjuman station and to Ibn Batuta Mall station.

“In Toronto and the New York subway it’s just a monotonous ride, but this ride is like a mini roller-coaster here. Just standing in front in the first compartment still gives me an amazing feeling.”

Bhurke’s love for the Metro was shared by his then 11-year-old son, who would insist that the pair sat in the compartment with the view of the front of the train.

“Because of him I picked up that habit and enjoy the same. Sitting in the fron makes you feel like the king of the world.” His son is now based in Canada.

Why is the Metro special? According to the 52-year-old, it connects people to each other and the city.

“This is the beauty of the Dubai Metro. Unlike subways in other cities this Metro is not a boring ride. It not only helps people commute for work but also offers a pleasure ride for tourists and children.”

He makes it a point to show all his relatives who visit him the state-of-the-art stations and trains.

Dubai Metro commuters
Dubai Metro commuters Image Credit: File photo

A need to expand

“The Metro helped Dubai grow. The Metro is always full, especially on Fridays.”

Bhurke believes that the Metro will have to grow more, with the current demand. “They have to cover more areas. The government just has to, they don’t have a choice anymore. I want them to grow.”