RTA Dubai Metro Dubai Line
One of the most anticipated upgrades in the future is the Dubai Metro's Blue Line, which is expected to serve 320,000 passengers by 2040. Image Credit: DMO

Dubai: If you are a public transport user in Dubai, there are many exciting updates that have already made your daily commute easier. But if you are someone who prefers driving your car, instead of taking the Metro, tram or bus, there are some major upgrades to the emirate’s public transport plan that are sure to make you question whether you should grab your car key or your nol card.

Here is a roundup of all the upgrades that have already been implemented by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and how the future plans are going to make it even easier to become a public transport user.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

1. New bus station, improved bus speeds

The new Stadium Bus Stationis located in the Al Qusais area, besides the Stadium Metro Station

Earlier this month, RTA announced major improvements to the public bus network in Dubai, by changing bus routes and opening a new bus station in Al Qusais, near the Stadium bus station.

The bus schedule on key routes was also upgraded, by reducing stops and fast tracking the journey for commuters.

2. ‘Bus on Demand’ service expanded to Business Bay

The Bus On-Demand service was introduced in 2020 by RTA as a ride-pooling service.

In April, RTA also expanded the ‘Bus on Demand’ service to include the Business Bay area. The service is a helpful ‘last-mile’ solution in transport – a ride-pooling option that allows residents to move around specific community areas in Dubai. Drivers of the minibuses can communicate with you through the ‘Bus on Demand’ app and identify the nearest pick-up and drop-off points within the areas covered in the network. So, all you need to do is open the app, select your location on the map and place a request for a pickup. Select the location where you would like to be dropped off within the area, and a minibus will be on its way. This can be a very convenient option for public transport users, who may not have a bus stop near their office or home.

While RTA plans to expand the service to other areas later this year, the service is currently available in the following places:

• Al Barsha
• Al Nahda
• Dubai Silicon Oasis
• Business Bay

3. Upgrades to the Metro Red Line route


While RTA has announced temporary delays on the Metro Red Line route following the recent Al Hadeer Storm, normal operations are expected to resume later this month.

Travelling on the Red Line has been made a lot easier for commuters, with passengers no longer required to change trains at the Jebel Ali Metro station, which was an interchange station on the Red Line.

So, whether you are travelling to the Expo 2020 Metro station or the UAE Exchange Station, you do not need to change trains. All you need to do is ensure you catch the train designated for your final station. To know more about the updated route, click here.

4. Cycling made easier

The cycling track in Al Khawaneej and Mushrif is part of a master plan for the expansion of cycling tracks to connect key districts of the emirate. The plan envisages extending the total length of the cycling track network from the current 544km to 1,000km by 2030.

This year, the RTA has also extended the cycling network in the emirate, by opening two new tracks in Al Khawaneej and Mushrif, increasing the total length of cycle tracks in the two districts 39 km.

While all these updates have already made public transport easier across the emirate, RTA has more plans expected to be implemented soon.

Coming soon: Three major upgrades

1. Six areas to get new bus, taxi lanes

On April 28, RTA also announced a plan to construct 13.1km of dedicated bus and taxi lanes, which will significantly cut travel times.

Buses on some routes will be up to 59 per cent quicker, and by encouraging public transport use, this project aims to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. The dedicated lanes are expected to be completed between 2025 and 2027. Here are the details of the streets that will get dedicated lanes, and improvements that you can expect:

• Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Street (Bur Dubai) – bus arrival time to improve by 52 per cent
• 2nd of December Street (between Al Jafiliya and Al Satwa) – bus arrival time to improve by 56 per cent
• Al Satwa Street (Al Satwa) – travel time to be reduced by 54 per cent, bus arrival time to improve by 48 per cent
• Al Nahda Street (Al Qusais) – travel time to be reduced by 38 per cent
• Omar bin Al Khattab Street (Deira) – travel time to be reduced by 50 per cent, bus arrival time to improve by 42 per cent
• Naif Street (Deira) – travel time to be reduced by 59 per cent

Once the construction of these lanes is completed, it will bring the total dedicated bus lane network to over 20 kilometres. Earlier dedicated lanes resulted in a 24 per cent reduction in bus travel times on some routes – approximately five minutes per bus. With the new plan, RTA expects public transport ridership to go up by up to 30 per cent on some routes.

Also read

Where are the current bus and taxi lanes?

RTA has previously opened dedicated bus lanes extending 7km on the following routes:

• Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, from the intersection with Al Mina Street to just before its junction with Zaabeel Street, in both directions
• Naif Street (1km)
• Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Street (1.2km from Satwa Roundabout to Sheikh Rashid Road)
• Al Ghubaiba Road (500m from the intersection with Al Mina Street to Street No.12)

2. The Metro Blue Line

One of the most anticipated updates to public transport in Dubai is the Metro Blue Line, which will expand the Metro network and connect key areas like Dubai International Airport, Academic City, and Dubai Silicon Oasis in under 30 minutes.

Construction on the Blue Line is expected to start this year and the project is scheduled for completion in 2029, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Metro.

The Blue Line will offer a direct connection between Dubai International Airport and these nine key areas:

1. Mirdif
2. Al Warqa
3. International City 1
4. International City 2
5. Dubai Silicon Oasis
6. Academic City
7. Ras Al Khor Industrial Area
8. Dubai Creek Harbour
9. Dubai Festival City

Also read

3. Future traffic flow plan – how you can participate

On May 8, the Dubai Executive Council approved the ‘Smooth Traffic Flow Plan’ at the Arabian Travel Market, which aims to expand the implementation of flexible working hours and remote work policies within the public and private sectors to ease traffic congestion across Dubai.

As per the announcement, a Community Participation Policy was also approved, with the aim of improving the quality of services by aligning them more closely with community needs and expectations.

On May 6, RTA asked residents to participate in an online survey, which is “a study to understand the current situation in the private sector in relation to flexible work hours and remote working”, to widen the implementation of these practices, given their impact in reducing traffic congestion, especially during the rush hours.

If you, too, would like to be a part of this survey, you can fill out the form on this webpage: https://app.knowledgetrak.com/fill-survey/5579/jbtc4_kdos#/language-selector

You will need to provide some basic details about the current remote work policies in your office and the changes you would like implemented to flexible work hours.