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12 October, 2006


It's wonderful that they're finally building the metro, and it's lovely that they're handing out free water and chocolate dates to publicise it, but why?

Why is there such an urgent need for people to be "aware" of the Metro at least three years before its first phase is completed?

"Though everybody knows that the construction of the metro has started, to most people it is something abstract. They have to learn that the Dubai Metro is a vital service being built for their benefit."


It's not as though people can dump their cars and hop in the as-yet-non-existent metro to work. It's not like anyone desperately needs to know, in October 2006, every last detail of a transport system arriving in 2009. It's not as if a single sandlander is going to be unaware of a huge bloody great train running all over Dubai once it finally does arrive.

And nor is it likely that Dubaians will suddenly feel loads better about sitting in hellish perma-gridlock day-in-day-out because of the remote prospect that commuting may become slightly less painful three years down the train-track.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, I think it's definitely a good idea they're starting the publicity now. The RTA have said that they'll have to educate people in order to leave their cars and take the metro. I fully agree with them on this, I know it defies logic but people aren't suddenly going to leave their cars behind, even if they have to sit 3 hours in a traffic jam. This has already happened in some American cities which have a car culture.

This car culture will be a huge problem I think, people are naturally lazy and would prefer to sit all day in a car rather than walk 5 minutes to the station. The metro will do nothing for the traffic unless they can actually get people to use it. Once it's up I suggest having road tolls to discourage people more. :)

BTW, construction of the metro isn't going to be finished until 2020. There are now 4 lines under study and in order to have the 320km figure they've been quoting they'll need about 10 in total. Hopefully Sharjah will get up off it's ass an collaborate to build a few lines between there and Dubai, this is really needed IMO.

12 October, 2006 06:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am pissed that dubai has ripped off the names of the subway trains of chicago... all that money spent and couldnt come up with original names what a shame...even the name RTA ripped off from Chicago.. i pity ... i pity

12 October, 2006 06:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RTA stands for Roads& Transport Authority dumbass. It the same for most of the cities around world.

12 October, 2006 09:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, my car without sweaty smell vs. a metro full of smelly people who do not like to use deodorant and, sometimes, do not like to take a daily bath?....
Instead of giving away dates with chocolate there should be a campaign of personal hygiene, giving away deodorant and soap and instructions on how, why, when and where to use them.
That smelly situation encourages me to use my car matter what.

12 October, 2006 09:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok ok ok ok... The Dubai Metro.. Great move by the authorities in here.. still its too early to advertise for it... i mean i walk on the street and i see this slogan ... (SOON you will feel comfortable and be on time)... like im not being on time already... plus the word SOON.. like in a year or less... and God knows when will they finish (They Screwed up The City everywhere)...

Rumors Going around saying that The Authorities in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will collaborate... which means this Train could Take longer time to finish its construction...


12 October, 2006 11:51  
Blogger al-republican said...

Anonymous @ 12 October, 2006 09:34

May your car break down daily and may you always have to take the metro with a smelly subcontinentor sitting next to you, hehe.

12 October, 2006 12:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will there be PINK carriages for ladies only.. LOL? Seriously, will there be any separate ladies sections? Because no woman is going ot go on that Metro if there is the danger of harrassment, sexual or otherwise.
And the smell/hygiene issue is a valid one.

12 October, 2006 12:15  
Blogger SIN said...

As much as i think the Metro is a fantastic idea, I do wonder how many ppl are going to use it. Speaking to a lot of people about this, the common thread seems to be: “Thank god it's coming so others can use it and i can drive with ease."
Upon being questioned why they wouldn't use it themselves, most say that the creature comfort of their cars can't be traded for anything like being jostled on a train withh ‘commoners'.
And that's the biggest problem here with second and third generation expats here who have live dthe life of one BMW in the garage and the Porsche by the door all revved up. I don't see them suddenly switching to public transport here...

12 October, 2006 14:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've probably seen little of the world compared to many here in Dubai, but let me give my 2 cts if you do not mind:
1. Early Publicity - government strategy to create awareness. Good use: tell the public about the progress on the project, every milestone achieved could be accompanied by delicious coffee and dates. To date the government of Dubai has provided with so many facilities to its citizens and visitors (tourists / expats), probably not the same as in a first world country, but definetily better than some 3rd world countries. I thank them for that.
2. Security - big issue for many aspects (among them: human abuse and national security). The project should include surveillance, detection and emergency systems, as a minimum.
3. Hygiene - import a few skunks to screen the passengers, if the skunk ignores a person, let the person go, if the skunk is happy to see the person, hand a soap bar and a deodorant, if the skunk runs away, deny boarding to that person.

12 October, 2006 14:32  
Blogger Balushi said...

I mean what about the Germans?

hey man, I cud not even breath in the trains and buses inbetween all those blondes!

Now i dont wanna think about those ppl here in dubai!

I dont mind the smell of white girls! - but i cant handle curry, gosht masalla dosa!

In the western world the trains havent helped the traffic jams So How do the Sandal ape faced guys think the train will help here??

12 October, 2006 15:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all past solutions to reduce traffic (including the latest requirements for new DL) One cannot help but imagine that once the trains starts moving we could possilbly have anohter first ... a metro jam! Lets hope for the best.

12 October, 2006 16:05  
Blogger ArO said...

I am personally for the early advertising of the metro in Dubai. Habits die hard. By talking about it early you might expect more people to be in the "I'll give it a try once it's up" state of mind rather than the "oh it's working, great, i'll give it a try someday" state of mind, on the first weeks of operation of the metro.

Oh, and I join my preyers to those hoping for the day those stinky people find out that they DO stink and that it's not OK, even in the name of ethnical/cultural diversity.

12 October, 2006 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The early advertisement is to make gay locals like me understand there is something called a TRAIN.

We have that white towel like things on our head which block our minds so RTA is trying to help us.

p.s. we also love dates and coffee and ofcourse our local gay fellows

12 October, 2006 21:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"655,000 Iraqis died since 2003, says study
The post-invasion death toll in Iraq has been estimated at 655,000 Iraqis, according to a study in the British journal The Lancet."
Thank YOU america and britannia!!

12 October, 2006 23:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the hell does that have to do with the metro. BTW sin said what I was trying to say the best

12 October, 2006 23:53  
Blogger archer14 said...

Lets say Mr. X works at Jebel Ali. Mr. X stays somewehere in Dubai. X spends 6 dhs to reach train point A. Boards train, reaches point B at Jebel Ali. Travels from point B to C, his office at an additional expense of Dhs 6 ( in that freaking desert? Impossible, but lets cut them some slack). Lets assume the cost of the train ticket at Dhs 10, as its already half of that to just travel b/w sharjah and dubai.

Total cost in one day = 6+10+6= 26 Dhs.

Makes sense to loan a car at 25 dhs per day and share it with your colleague, isnt it?

In every other country, you have excellent non rip off taxis and buses that actually assist in making life easier than making it a premier service for both you and the other 100 people standing next to you under a hot tin roof in the summer.

13 October, 2006 00:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please help expose the idiotic driving on our roads by venting your frustrations on if will give you the chance to name (the car at least) and shame!

13 October, 2006 07:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Car cultures are understandable. What needs to happen is to completely stop subsidizing retail petrol. Add taxes to cars. Increase the cost of car registration. Add tolls to using any road that runs in parallel to the metro. In short, make it extremely expensive to own and use a car.

Now, you also need to ensure that the metro is not too cheap. Perhaps different classes (much like an airline) would work. I'm not sure what can work for them. The point is, the folks who are happy driving their cars need to feel that they haven't been demoted by using the metro.

I drive a BMW with all the options in the world.. and I would sell it the minute I am able to take the metro from my home to the office.

So, not everyone who drives a nice car wants to continue to drive their cars. I really don't care for driving (in Dubai). Most people feel the same way.

13 October, 2006 10:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its amazing. People actually think the metro will take them from "home to office"... guess its possible if one will be working for the metro. Live at the station work at the station. As for not making the metro cheap. It is a safe bet to say its going to be quite expensive. A lot of folks dreaming of dreaming while snoozing on the way to work aboard the metro will find it is the only option. Because of the additonal expenses on car. Like road toll, bridge toll, etc. BTW anyone has any idea how many people each train will transport in one trip?

13 October, 2006 11:42  
Blogger Balushi said...

I think we shud go back to Camels and Donkeys as our Transport Means!!

Really we were so Much Better-Off Then.

Actually I mean wrote that to COMMENT AND SUGGESTIONS at RTA.

Lets see what happens if they actually read suggestions box.

13 October, 2006 11:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @13 October, 2006 11:42

You actually being up a very valid point. I only assume that there would be reasonable transportation to other locations. If the Metro goes all the way to Jebel Ali.. stops over at DMC, you take a bus to the closest bus stop to your office.

I guess I never thought about how much work the RTA has to do to their bus system. It's weaker than weak.

13 October, 2006 19:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it mean to become bored with a future that does not yet exist?

14 October, 2006 06:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To fellow Atheist: the Metro should not be too cheap, lest car owners feel demoted...yes, make it so the average blue-collar worker (who can't dream of owning a car anyway), will have to fork out at least half his monthly salary to use the metro...even tho his present salary doesn't cover school fees and rent. Brilliant urban planning, of course. Better idea: why not get rid of all blue collar workers; send them back to their home countries...then sit back and try to figure out exactly how all that boring clerical/accounting work will get done.

As for your BMW, no need to sell it; you'll need it for your leisure use. I'll be glad to see you use the Metro once it's here; just like I'm glad you haven't sold the Beemer yet, despite the crammed Bus No.12 or 6 already available to take you to your workplace (many already use it, you know...what will it take to to get you into public transport...what if the Metro never comes?)

Please don't take any of this personally, quite a lot of people think the way you do...

14 October, 2006 10:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People here have come up with some very interesting comments, and some valid ones:

1)Car culture: will people sell off their cars once the metro arrives? will car ownership be penalised? will the local business families (futtaims, tayers, gargashes etc) take that lying down? what about driving schools?

2)Train to behave: given Dubai's many races, there will be culture-specific concepts of personal/body space in addition to the issue of having mixed trains or separate "pink" ones

3)Hygiene - issues relating to distinct smells, odour prevention and bringing food on-board will require some novel methods, without making it an issue of racial stereotyping.

4)Health & safety: will trains be ovens a la London's tubes, or air-conditioned? will adequate exits and emergency passageways be incorporated? what about track safety issues since they will be above major road traffic arteries and very close to residential and commercial buildings?

5)Correct pricing: will it be more economical to retain one's car, join a car pool or purchase a metro ticket? zonal ticketing has to be very carefully analysed

personally, i look forward to the metro, just to see what impact it has on the continually evolving culture of this hyper-paced city

14 October, 2006 14:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the coolie,

I don't use the bus because I have to run around all day from meeting to meeting. I arrive at the office too early for any bus to take me and leave too late for any bus to still be operational. In other words, even if I wanted to take the bus, their working hours don't fit within mine.

I also don't take the bus because I don't want to arrive at a meeting all sweaty and smelling like I've been running a marathon.

However, if you've been to any country that has a proper public transportation system (any Western European country for that matter), you would find that public transportation works.

Yes, the buses get crammed and there are a few buses that have more people than seats..

As for blue collar workers.. that is why I think a 'first class', 'economy class', etc. ticket system would work best.

At the end of the day, the RTA's goal is to make money out of the metro. If no one (regardless of income bracket) uses it, then what's the point? Dubai needs a better road and transport system if it is to continue development.. in other words, it's in everyone's interest to make it work.

On a personal note, I don't care for leisure in driving a car. The only reason I have a luxury car is to allow me to put up with the crazy traffic in 'comfort' (if that is at all possible). I would be more than happy with a VW Bora if I didn't have to spend 3 hours in traffic to travel 10km.

14 October, 2006 16:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo dude i will finance you a enzo ferrari to wait in style.just cal 0-800-CARS2WAIT4EVERNEVER - full gurantee and loan options till metro will be running. enjoy!

14 October, 2006 20:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moan Moan moan what a bunch of tossers !! no train you complian ---train you complain.go and live n the real world !

15 October, 2006 01:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you really think that people like jumeriah janes and other arroogent idiots (who drive like shit here when they shiver and shit in their pants when they see a cop in their own country)are going to take the train ! will their be a queue for people to buy their tickets or are their going to be daily fights because someone cuts into the queue because they believe that her / she is more important than everyone , even though they come from a trailer in the UK ! How are people going to show off ?

15 October, 2006 01:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you imagine how the trains will smell on friday morning with the puke and piss of all the drunkies from the night before !! oh my God. Well some expats will feel at home !!!!

15 October, 2006 01:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 15 October, 2006 01:53

Ignorant pillock. I think you'll find that its the LOCALS that think they are the important ones and jump the queue (if you can get them off the hard shoulder), the Brits will be the ones complaining about them (rightly so).

As far as the piss and puke goes, I'd put money on it being the indiginous population as they cannot handle their drink, in fact my elderly grandmother can hold her drink better than anyone from the Middle East!

15 October, 2006 10:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know about queues and who jumps what (I have had just about every nationality do this with the exception of Brits.. I must admit). Biggest offenders are subcons and arabs. Being an arab myself it bothers me the most when my own people do it.. but oh well.

as for holding your liquor. puhllease. anyone from the middle east? we were drinking from the bottle and going through a pound of cali green while the english boys and girls were passed out on the couch.

well, at least during college. i hardly drink and don't do green anymore.. so maybe it's that you never grow out of it?

15 October, 2006 14:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you are confusing us Brits with Americans, they get ripped on 2 cans of cats piss and a whiff of green!

15 October, 2006 15:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 15 October, 2006 15:13

You can't mistake that accent and England pride :) I'll take you on any time anywhere (okay, make that anywhere out of the UAE)!

15 October, 2006 17:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u mean in the bedroom. welcome anytime

15 October, 2006 19:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah.. not sure what that means, but okay.

15 October, 2006 22:05  
Blogger Solo said...

Whoa there! free dates and water?! I hope they don't blow the budget. Got me sold. I do notice in Dubai that there are always large ques for any crap they are giving away for free in the shopping malls. You only need to go to our friendly local French hypermarket to see that the sample kiosk giving away masala flavored milk samples. It looks like the bombay check-in at the airport. hey, it might work for the metro. Yep, I am future tired of it already. the metro will be livin in retro-ville when it tis done. don't get me wrong, it is a big job and with the slave labour in dubai getting more expensive, it is getting pretty hard on the leather sandled "fathers of dubai". As for transport, I am looking forward to my "James Bond-esk" jet pack that will no doubt be in common use before the metro is done.

15 October, 2006 22:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are giving away boxes with a bottle of water and a chocodate.

By the way all those who are worried about having to travel with smelly subcons can rest easy. There will be a VIP car and one for only women and children on the train(hence no "pink" trains thankgod).

16 October, 2006 02:15  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

whats with all the finger pointing (in the direction of the sub cons) when it comes to B.O.?

a sweaty meat-eating, beer-drinking paleface is as bad company as an odiferous asian, and quite distinct to the old olfactor

16 October, 2006 20:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At the end of the day, the RTA's goal is to make money out of the metro"

Very true...In fact if one takes couple of steps back and take a long objective look at the big picture of this beautiful place. Solutions suggested for the problems that have sprung up are aimed at "making hay while the sun shines" and usually do little to solve the problem. What you say is very true but then should not the users/commuters also have a equal and unrestricted opportunities to make money as well? Rather than be at the mercies of others? As for smelly labourers one left to wonder how many deosprays or perfumes they can affort on the wages they draw (most of the times they barely have water for the basic hygiene). It is not by choice that they smell. But then there are others who prefer expensive perfumes or mouth spray to a refreshing shower or proper oral hygiene. Let's look on the brighter side and keep hoping .. think there is ways a better way!

16 October, 2006 20:39  
Blogger secretdubai said...

whats with all the finger pointing

Three reasons that I can see (not trying to justify it, just to explain):

1. The majority population here is subcon. Therefore if, for example, 1 per cent of every nationality smells, out of every 100 smelly people in Dubai, 10 would be locals, 20 would be western/other Arab expats, and 70 would be Asian. In Dubai you are statistically more likely to be sharing a lift with someone of Asian descent than someone of Arab or European descent. Therefore people develop a kind of stereotype that, if they actually sat down and did some maths, is probably unjustified.

2. Certain nationalities are far more likely than others do be doing long hours in manual labour. Any poor bastard driving a taxi for 20 hours a day to make ends meet isn't going to be fresh at the end of their shift. Ditto working on a construction site, or in some small, badly air-conditioned trading office.

3. Regardless of how often people wash, the products they use have an effect. It's probably healthier to use less detergents and shampoos and anti-perspirants, but these do tend to kill smells best. I don't know if it's still the case, but anti-perspirant didn't use to be part of French habit (they used plain deodorant instead - fair enough, pore-blocking isn't a very natural/healthy process). And the result was that body odour rises more quickly than in someone who has used anti-perspirant.

Another example would be attar (Arabic perfume) these are very strong, and mask nearly all body smell. Local men also change their dishdashes throughout the day. As a result I have never smelt any body odour on any local person, they smell of nothing, or they smell of perfume. Whereas alcohol-based Western perfumes/aftershaves don't seem to work so well, as you can often smell BO through them. But again, that's also because in a sweaty nightclub you're far more likely to be encountering sweaty Europeans than Emiratis, so the same statistical stereotype as in (1) occurs.

16 October, 2006 23:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD ..
On BO, I lived in Latin America for a while, with a local family in a rural community, they would wake up early in the morning to take a bath, eat breakfast and leave to work on the field (picking up coffee or harvesting sugar cane, etc). They did sweat and a lot, and even though they did not have access to many options on personal hygiene products as people in other countries ...and yet, they did not smeel as bad as some other majorities in other countries. They were simply clean: took a bucket bath (yeah, using a bucket and cold water) every morning, washed well with cheap soap, if deodorant was not available then a lime and baking soda was used under the armpits and presto! ...

At the end, I think it is all on culture and habits ...

17 October, 2006 16:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of assuming the 1% of all groups as odourous. If one were to go by the actual number of smelly individuals of various group.The results could be surprisingly different. As one would find that even if the a particular group may make up the largest number of smellers. And if one were to work out the percentage to their total numbers. They could actually be lower that of other groups having smaller number of smellers but propotionately very tiny overall number as well. No offence just a thought...

17 October, 2006 18:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would folding bicycles help? They (the authorities) could get in some rockstar/sportsperson/moviestar to showcase the "cool" effect.

15 June, 2008 17:46  

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