Meris Lutz in a LA Times article (10 September 2009) entitled, ‘Dubai Unveils $7.6 Billion Mass-Transit Rail System’, is highlighting the luxuriousness of the transport system with its VIP cars:
“The system will include VIP cars with fares equivalent to $3.55, more than seven times the lowest-cost ticket.”
Lutz reports that authorities are highlighting the grandeur of the rail system over its convenience in an effort to lure people from their precious cars.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on this being a luxurious public transport system which will distinguish Dubai from New York or London,” said Tabitha Decker, a Yale University researcher and a visiting scholar at the Dubai School of Government who is writing her dissertation on the development of the metro.
The article uncovers the truth that the system is opening 80% over budget and it raises the query that many are pondering—‘Will people use the new transport system?’
Adam Schreck in a Washington Post (9 September 2009) article entitled, ‘New Dubai Driverless Metro Makes Room for VIPs’ emphasizes the historic nature of the opening of the first metro system on the Arabian Peninsula.
He recognizes that the opening on the catchy date (09/09/09) was a ploy to attract the world’s attention, ‘whether the sleek system is fully ready to go or not.’
Schreck also highlights the VIP or Gold Class for high-paying customers who don’t want to mix with the great unwashed.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum features prominently in all the international articles and for DC readers they discover the Sheikh’s desire that this metro might become a vital piece of infrastructure to revitalize the city in a similar way that airlines and airports have done in the past:
“It’s the start of something,” he told reporters on the eve of the project’s launch. ‘It is like when the first plane flew for Emirates (airline) and the first container ship arrived in port.”
This article expresses scepticism as to whether wealthy residents will give up their beloved Hummers and Toyota Land Cruisers to ride the public transport system.
Richard Spencer in a Telegraph article entitled, ‘Dubai to Get Gulf’s First Metro System’ similarly highlights the unique class features of the metro—first class, standard class and a carriage for women and children.
Spencer believes that the metro is being billed as a beacon of economic hope and is soon to be followed by another recovery booster—the opening of the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building.
Meris Lutz, ‘Dubai Unveils $7.6 Billion Mass-Transit Rail System’, LA Times, 9 September 2009.
Adam Schreck, ‘New Dubai Driverless Metro Makes Room for VIPs’, Washington Post, 9 September 2009.
Richard Spencer, ‘Dubai to Get Gulf’s First Metro System’, Telegraph, 8 September 2009.
On Related Sites
Ride the New Metro with Sheikh Mohammed, ETE, 8 September 2009.
Fujairah Night Souk Opens with a Whimper, Fujairah in Focus, 9 September 2009.
America’s Cup in the UAE News Roundup, America’s Cup in the UAE, 9 September 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
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Image: Metro on its maiden voyage.
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