When the project was first announced, dinner party chat consistently came back to the same question; given all our reliance on cars, the distances we have to cover, the heat in the summer,"Who is going to use the metro?" But those with greater vision, have been amply rewarded this week to see the metro opened to unanimous cheer.
It is clean, safe and apart from the inevitable odd teething trouble, efficient and very, very well received. The main feedback on the ExpatWoman Information Board - a renowned barometer of the good, bad and indifferent - centres more on which stations are open and which are not and a certain irritation with the lack of information in that regard... above all though, an eagerness to see the system working fully.SEE ALSO: When expat life sucks
One hugely significant factor that has made an enormous difference is the introduction of a regular and equally efficient feeder bus service.
Arabian Ranches was, up until last week, accessed by an 8km drive from MOE / Jumeirah. Now the F30 bus bound for Mall of the Emirates has several stops in AR, coming round every 15 minutes. Great news for anyone who doesn't drive and mums' taxi services everywhere suddenly got alot less busy. Young teens overnight have a new found freedom to get on a bus and go into town, link to a metro and on they go.SEE ALSO: 10 memes that sum up Dubai summer
My son and his friends tried the bus service for the first time last weekend. I called to see how they were getting on...
"We're at Dubai Mall."
"Dubai Mall? What are you doing over there ?!"
"We took the metro to financial city and got a link bus to the mall, wandered around for a bit and then went to see a film. We're back in the metro now, going for something to eat in the mall and will come back on the 9pm bus."
Wow! That may sound very normal to mothers outside Dubai but for here, its a whole new way of life. We've always said that expat kids grow up to be worldly wise but not streetwise. Well maybe this new public transport system and the freedom it affords them, will fill the gap.