Dubai: Jhigz, Rhea and Nermin were among the tens of thousands of visitors who saw Expo 2020 Dubai for the first time over the weekend. Like everyone, they said they were thrilled by what they saw at “the world’s greatest show’.
But their unforgettable experience at the Expo actually did not start at the venue – they said the journey of discovery began with a ride on Dubai Metro.
Filipino expats Jhigz and Rhea said: “There were no hassles; no traffic. We had good comfortable seats during the 45-minute commute from our place in Bur Dubai to Expo 2020 station. We just walked for a couple of minutes from the station and we already reached the Expo main gate.”
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) had earlier recommended “that the best way to get to the Expo 2020 Dubai site is by public transport, given the enhancement of Dubai Metro”. The public transport authority has rolled out 50 new trains with novel designs and roomy interiors for a more convenient ride.
Nermin, a Jordanian expat, heeded this advice. She told Gulf News that she ditched her car in favour of taking the Metro on Friday. “It paid off. I did not bother to look for a parking slot and I just went straight to enjoy the Expo,” she said.
For those who have cars, the RTA advised: “To make your visit to Expo 2020 Dubai easy and convenient, park your vehicle at Jabal Ali Metro Station parking and take an 18-minute Metro trip to the event site.”
Even senior Dubai government officials who attended the Opening Ceremony of Expo 2020 were seen taking the Metro on Thursday night.
From DXB to Expo
Tourists and visitors who will see Dubai for the first time can actually go straight to the Expo site from Dubai International Airport (DXB). “Public Transport is ready and comfortable from anywhere to Expo 2020,” RTA noted.
All seven stations on Route 2020 (Jebel Ali, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Investment Park and Expo 2020) have long been opened. Dubai Metro is the backbone of Dubai’s mass transit system and Route 2020, which extends 15km from Jebel Ali Metro Station on the Red Line to Expo 2020 Station, provides safe and smooth transport for visitors to the Expo as well as other Dubai districts.
Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, previously said: “From the time of the announcement that Dubai would host Expo 2020, RTA focused on implementing the directives of [His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to construct an integrated infrastructure of roads and transport networks to provide a unique, smooth and fast mobility service to visitors of Expo 2020 from the UAE and abroad. The aim was to make the visit to Expo a memorable and enjoyable experience for all during an exceptional edition of Expo.”
Consistent with the grandeur of the Expo, each Route 2020 station also has a distinct interior design, taking the elements of nature — including earth, air, fire and water.
The most iconic station is Expo 2020. Its theme is ‘Future’ and every inch of its 18,800-square-metre area represents Dubai’s vision of the future,while the exterior structure has a winged design that reflects Dubai’s take-off to the future of innovation.
“The Expo 2020 station itself is full of ‘Instagrammable’ areas,” said Jhigz and Rhea.
Smart and safe gates
Dubai Metro is always known for being safe. To provided better services, all Route 2020 also have smart fare gates. Unlike traditional barriers that only have sensors to open and close at fixed intervals, the smart gates at Route 2020 have 3D cameras as an added safety feature. These 3D cameras mounted on top scan the passengers from top to bottom and determine if the person would need more time to pass the gate.
This means if someone is carrying a stroller – especially for families who will visit the Expo –the camera will send a signal to the gate to keep it open for a longer time to let the person pass safely.
“But perhaps the most important reason why taking the Metro is the best way to reach the Expo, is to be consistent with the message of sustainability,” Jhigz, Rhea and Nermin all agreed.
“By using public transport we contribute in reducing carbon emissions and that means we keep our environment green and sustainable – it’s as simple as that,” they added.
Red and Green Lines of Dubai Metro will offer passenger services from Saturday to Wednesday from 5am to 1.15am the following day. On Thursdays, Metro service will run from 5am to 2.15am and on Fridays from 8am to 1.15am the next day. The service frequency will be 2.38 minutes during peak times.
Dubai Tram, meanwhile, will provide services from Saturday to Thursday from 6am to 1am (the following day), and from 8am to 1am on Fridays.