UAE | Traffic and Transport

Gridlock as Dubai greets 2013

Authorities close down Dubai Mall metro station hours before midnight to control the crowd

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 12:07 January 1, 2013
  • Gulf News

Traffic in Downtown Dubai
  • Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Downtown Dubai is clogged with traffic after New Year's eve fireworks from the Burj Khalifa.
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Dubai: It was a sea of people and vehicles for several kilometres around Downtown Dubai as the UAE ushered the New Year with a pyrotechnics party unparalleled in the region.

Roads leading to Downtown were closed several hours before midnight as thousands waited for fireworks to light up the Burj Khalifa. Roads surrounding the area were also closed as people partied and camped on the roadside.

Authorities closed down the Dubai Mall metro station a few hours before midnight as the crowd got uncontrollable. Commuters were allowed to get down at Business Bay, Financial Centre or Emirates Towers stations.

Following the pyrotechnics show, although the trains stopped at the Dubai Mall station, people weren't allowed to enter the station.

"Authorities asked us to take the train from the next station," said a commuter.

On Al Khail Road and the Business Bay Crossing, traffic crawled to a stop in some areas after motorists parked their vehicles on the road to get a view of fireworks from the Burj Khalifa close to midnight.

Slow moving traffic was also reported on roads in and around the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah area where the Burj Al Arab and Atlantis enthralled crowds of people with their own fireworks display.

With inputs from Florence Pia G. Yu, News Editor-Web

Comments (4)

  1. Added 16:59 January 1, 2013

    Great effort by dubai police highly appreciated & thanks to all the police officers & security personnel for sucessfully managing such a huge crowd. Kudos to Dubai Metro for running 24 hrs & making the journey a memorable one. Dedicated lane and deployment of additional RTA buses also to nearby areas would have been more helpful. Wishing each & everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013

    Mohammed Usman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:38 January 1, 2013

    The metro was not closed, BUT the entry to the metro at the Dubai Mall was closed. The experience after the fireworks getting home was awful and disorganized. We had two small children age 5. Since they closed the Dubai Mall metro entrance, we were forced to walk to the freeway to try to get a cab. The freeway was stopped. We then, now its about 1am, we walked to the next Metro station along the freeway (from the Burj to the Business Bay stop!) with two toddlers. The next station was also a mess. The police tried to control the crowd and the police were only allowing women and children to enter the station. We did get onto the train about 3am. But thousands, mainly men, were still waiting and people were walking along the freeway trying to figure out how to get home. Very poorly executed for the metro going home. We got home safely at 3:30am in the Springs. Never again. Bad for the RTA!!!!!!!!!!

    Nikkipit1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:31 January 1, 2013

    An announcement about closure of the Metro station from 1:00am onwards was made in the mall. The UAE authorities managed the area of the fireworks very well. Crowd also was patient. Enjoyed the show. Kudos Dubai.

    Syed Sirajuddin, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 13:25 January 1, 2013

    The Dubai Mall metro was not closed. We got off at that station at 11:30pm? The metro was running still and we got back at same station to return home after fireworks. What was closed was the footbridge leading to Dubai Mall. Station and metro was operating before and after. We managed to get home at 2 am, though lots of people. Crowd control was excellent and congratulations to authorities for their efforts and planning.

    UAE Expat, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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