Two days ago saw the great unveiling of the long awaited tram in Dubai. It has taken 6 years to build and I am lucky enough that I only had to endure 3 months of the traffic chaos it caused! Rather pleasingly for me Besix, a Belgian company were involved.
As with all things ‘Dubai’ it is of course a record breaker; being the first in the world to have platform screen doors at the stations and the first tramway project outside Europe powered by ground based electric supply system.
The tram opened with GREAT fanfare, there were even fireworks where I live and each station had huge stadium lights beaming light into the sky. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum even went to open the tram. It’s been his pet project for a while and he is reported to be delighted that it is finished. Almost as thrilled as those of who can finally use it!
I took it for the first time last night and it really is very smart, the stations connect directly to the metro and are sleek and easy to use. The crossing gate are also really beautiful wrought iron. I hopped on to the tram, goodness everyone on board was very excited – it was the prime spot for a selfie apparently. I take awful photos else I might have indulged in one myself! The ride was smooth and in moments I had reached my destination, having sat in air conditioned comfort.
This new tram means I can now get from my apartment to the nearest mall within five minutes and only need to walk for two minutes to get to the tram stop. That may not sound like much but believe me in the height of summer here managing to avoid the great outdoors is the only way to survive!
As with all public transport in Dubai it is incredibly affordable – 50p a ride regardless of how far you go. Boris has much to learn from my new fearless leader, Sheikh Mohammed is greatly respsected by us all, he really is a visionary. While at times when I first moved here the love people said they felt for him seemed a bit much now after a few months I have definitely drunk the cool aid. Sheikh Mohammed is a leader to admire and be proud of. I may not be an Emirati and I never will be, but I feel very patriotic about my new home.
The tram is just another way that the UAE is making life better for the people who live here – local and expats combined.