Dubai: Dubai Metro has once again proven as the most convenient way to commute and reach major events in Dubai as thousands of visitors to the ongoing Gitex Global 2022 have demonstrated since the technology show opened on Monday.
The 42nd edition of Gitex Global, dubbed as the world’s largest technology show which will run until Friday, has brought together 5,000 technology companies from more than 90 countries at Dubai World Trade Centre. By the end of it, the event is also expected to have attracted more than 100,000 visitors from over 100 countries.
Indian expat Manu Panicker, who works as a business development executive, told Gulf News on Wednesday that this year’s edition has been the biggest so far, “even exceeding the pre-pandemic Gitex events”.
“As I’ve done in the past, I ditched my car again this year and took the Metro to visit Gitex,” he said, adding: “Using Dubai Metro is definitely more convenient and I don’t have to worry looking for parking.”
No traffic woes
The situation at World Trade Centre station, as expected, is crowded, especially in the morning before the opening of Gitex and in the afternoon, when thousands of visitors, exhibitors and staff call it a day.
“It’s crowded but manageable,” said Abir, 21, a Tunisian expat who recently graduated with a degree in computer engineering.
Dubai Metro security and auxiliary staff are on hand to manage the flow of people coming in and out of the station. Commuters are also generally disciplined to follow the directions while trains come and go at three-minute intervals.
“Because I take the Metro, I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic,” added Abir, who has been using the public transport system since her university days.
Santhosh Thangarasu, a business development executive at an electronic design cybersecurity company, said taking the Metro has also helped him manage his time. He said: “If I drive, I don’t know if I’ll get stuck on the road, but with Metro I can always anticipate my commute time.”
“I live near the Sharjah-Dubai border. From my home, I take F24 (feeder bus) that brings me to Stadium station on the green line, then I will change the train at the Union station and pass three more stations before reaching Trade Centre. In all, my commute time is about one hour from home to the Gitex venue,” he added.
Journalists and photographers who cover Gitex also use the Metro.
Filipina expat Lailah Ongay, a freelance photographer, who has been covering the technology show over the past five years, said: “Even with all my heavy equipment, I still find it more convenient using the Metro than by car.”
Like every year, Roads and Transport Authority has advised the public to use Dubai Metro when they visit Gitex. In another reminder on Tuesday, RTA tweeted: “To visitors of #GITEX2022 at the #DubaiWorldTradeCentre, use the #DubaiMetro to the World Trade Centre Station to reach the exhibition easily.”
They had also advised on Sunday that those who come by car could park their vehicles at Zaabeel Extension in Dubai Mall, and from there RTA public buses would transport them to Al Kifaf multi-storey parking to take the metro at Max Metro Station, en route the exhibition venue.
RTA also alerted the public about possible delays on Al Mustaqbal and 2nd Zabeel Road between October 10 to 14 because of Gitex. “Please leave early and take alternative routes to your destinations, such as Sheikh Zayed Road, DIFC and Al Sukouk Street,” RTA added.
Dubai Metro (both Red and Green lines) is open Monday to Thursday from 5am until 12 midnight. Friday, from 5am to 1am the next day; Saturday, 5am until 12 midnight; and Sunday, from 8am until 12 midnight.