Dubai Metro

By the start of the millennium, fast population growth plus rapidly increasing numbers of tourists was putting a huge burden on Dubai’s transport infrastructure.

The Dubai Metro was the city’s answer to the problem. Construction began in 2006 with the first stations opening in 2009.

Trains are driverless and include first class, and women and children only sections. Extensive window panels offer great views of the city.

View of the interior of a futuristic Metro station in Dubai

Station interior


2 lines have been constructed:

Red Line2009Rashidiya to UAE Exchange (Jebel Ali)
Green Line2011Etisalat to Dubai Healthcare City

The Red Line runs from Rashidiya (near Dubai International Airport) to UAE Exchange (formerly Jebel Ali). All 29 stations are now open.

The Green Line runs from Etisalat Metro Station in Al Qusais to Dubai Healthcare City in Umm Hurair. All 20 stations are now operational.

Passengers can transfer between lines at either Union or BurJuman (formerly Khalid Bin Al Waleed).

Dubai Tram

The Metro is connected to the Dubai Tram system at DAMAC Metro Station (formerly Dubai Marina Metro Station) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers Metro Station, both on the Red Line.


An interactive map of the Dubai Metro system can be found here.

A link to download the pdf version of this map can be found on this page.


The Dubai Metro runs every day of the week. Operating times are:

  • Red Line – 5.30 am until midnight Saturday to Wednesday, 5.30 am until 1 am on Thursday, and 10 am until 1 am on Friday.
  • Green Line – 5.50 am until midnight Saturday to Wednesday, 5.50 am until 1 am on Thursday, and 10 am until 1 am on Friday.

Changes to the Metro start times on Fridays took effect at the beginning of October 2015. Previously the Metro had started running at 1 pm on Fridays.

Train timings are frequent so no timetable is necessary. Trains arrive every 4 minutes on average during peak hours and every 7 minutes during off-peak hours.

A journey along the entire length of the Red Line (from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali) takes 1 hour and 8 minutes. The Green Line is shorter. The trip from Etisalat to Dubai Healthcare city takes 36 minutes.


Fares are cheap compared to similar systems around the world.

Contactless tickets or cards must be purchased prior to commencing a journey. They are available at all Metro stations, bus stations, and authorised sales agents (Carrefour, Spinneys etc.)

Train Layout

Each train has five carriages. One carriage is divided into two cabins; Gold Class (first class) and Women & Children only. The Gold Class cabin features leather seats and is typically less crowded. The Women & Children section offers extra space for strollers.

The other four carriages are for Standard Class passengers.

Layout of train carriages on the Dubai Metro

Passengers on Red Line trains travelling towards Jebel Ali should note that the Gold Class cabin is at the front of the train. On trains going east towards Rashidiya the Gold Class cabin is at the rear of the train.

On Green Line trains heading towards Creek the Gold Class cabin is at the front of the train. On trains travelling to Etisalat the Gold Class cabin is at the rear.

Fines are imposed for passengers travelling in the wrong class of cabin.

Passengers in a Standard Class carriage on the Dubai Metro

Standard Class carriage


There are three large park and ride facilities on the Dubai Metro where drivers can leave their cars.

RashidiyaRed Line2700
Nakheel Harbour and TowerRed Line3000
EtisalatGreen Line2300

Parking is free for Metro users.


The Dubai Metro offers 2 dedicated stops for Dubai International Airport; Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. They are situated at the eastern end of the Red Line.

Passengers are permitted to carry 2 items of luggage on a Metro train (one large suitcase and one piece of hand baggage). The dimensions of the suitcase should not be greater than 81 cm x 58 cm x 30 cm. The hand baggage should measure less than 55 cm x 38 cm x 20 cm.

A handful of Metro stations boast Emirates Self Check-in machines where Emirates passengers can check-in for their flights up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. To obtain a boarding pass, passengers simply need to enter their Skywards frequent flyer number, e-ticket number, or booking reference code.

The stations with this facility are Mall of the Emirates, Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall, and Financial Centre.

Comments and Additional Information

  1. keith s says

    Whats all this complaining about the Metro users, I found great majority of users kind and courteous. It is the only form of transport where someone actually offered me their seat.

  2. Gray says

    How long can a driver leave their car at the park and ride parking facilities. I’m going on business trip for 7 days.

  3. Karen Bruce says

    I will be travelling with my husband next month (February) arriving at Dubai International Airport and we plan on taking the Metro to our hotel. I noticed that there is a carriage for women and children. Do I have to travel in this carriage or can I travel with my husband in the standard class carriage?

    • Editor says

      You don’t have to travel in the women’s carriage. It’s optional.

      • Karen Bruce says

        Thank you very much for answering so promptly.

  4. anu mathew says

    I need the fare details for blue card for different zones.

    • Editor says

      The new fares for blue cards (from November 2014) are 7.5 AED for 3 zone trip, 5 AED for 2 zone trip, and 3 AED for a single zone trip. Halve the cost for seniors and students.

  5. Peter says

    The Metro system in Dubai is excellent; but I think it is now mature enough to have an earlier start on Fridays. The RTA should consider a 10 am start on Fridays, rather than 1 pm as is the case presently.

  6. Ross says

    Does anyone know any of the companies building the Metro?

    • Editor says

      I presume you mean companies that built the Dubai Metro?

      The Dubai Metro was built by Dubai Rail Link (DURL), a consortium of four Japanese companies (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, and Kajima Corporation) and one Turkish company (Yapi Merkezi).

  7. dr hamdy says

    Really it is the best way to visit all Dubai. I enjoyed all the day using the Metro. It was my first time using it but it was so easy.

  8. Rifat says

    Do you have any information about Dubai Trams? When it will start at Dubai Media City?

    • Editor says

      We’ve just added a route map for the Dubai Tram system, together with the location of all tram stations. It opens to the general public on November 12 2014. It actually opens on November 11, but that is a VIP-only day.

  9. Editor says

    The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA is considering adding an additional 25 to 35 trains to the current fleet to cope with increasing numbers of passengers. There are currently 79 trains operating on the Dubai Metro; 61 on the Red Line and 18 on the Green Line.

  10. Dudley says

    My number one tip when booking your hotel in Dubai would be to make sure your hotel is near a metro station. It is the best and safest way to travel around the city. You can get to almost all of the tourist attractions and best malls on the Dubai metro.

  11. RJ says

    When I visited Dubai a few years ago the Metro wasn’t very busy. Now it seems to be busier and I frequently had to stand. I guess it is a victim of its own success. Nevertheless is it is still quick, clean, and the best way to get around the city.

    • Giorgi Safaris says

      Yes its still the best way to go around Dubai but you are most likely to travel whilst standing due to all the seats taken. It is very cheap as compared to taxi fares. As for Dubai taxis, nowadays their interiors seem worn-out and dirty and the taxi drivers are not very customer friendly (except for the women taxis). The other option is the Dubai tram or Dubai bus which are kind of slow.

  12. Baz says

    The Dubai Metro is very clean and cheap. The passes were excellent value. The stations have beautiful interiors and are very modern. It is very simple to use. It got a little busy at rush hour though you can avoid this with a little planning.

  13. Treek says

    Like others have said, it would be greatly improved if the lines were to start earlier. The Metro itself is good. It is just a shame about the people who use it. They lack common sense and manners. In Dubai all the damn Indian try to pile on to the train before waiting for passengers to get off first. Typical Indians letting the world down.

    • Editor says

      It’s much worse on the London Underground or the Kiev Metro. People behave far better on the Dubai Metro than on other systems around the world.

      • G says

        In London people know to wait for passengers to get off first before running on. In Dubai they lack this common sense!

        • Giorgi Safaris says

          That is because the metro just stops for a brief period at every station. There’s hardly enough time for people to alight and board especially during rush hours when the cabins are full. So you can’t blame them.

  14. P Parker says

    Metro is great value and fast. Timings should be earlier, starting at 5 am in the mornings as many people have to be in places for 6 am. From TECOM to Dubai International Airport takes over an hour.

  15. tony says

    Dubai Metro is a great transport system for every one in the city. It would be more helpful if the morning timing would move earlier from 6 am to 5.30 am for employees like me that start at 7 am sharp.

  16. Julian M says

    The Metro is a great way to get around the city. It’s clean and all the signs are in English. It’s closed on Friday mornings though so don’t plan on using it then.

  17. Christophe says

    The Dubai Metro is efficient, fast, and spotlessly clean. It was very easy to use and took us everywhere we wanted. There really is no need to hire a car in Dubai.

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