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The Dubai Metro Lines and Fares

10 September 2015

The Dubai Metro is world’s longest fully automated metro network spanning 75kilometers. The Dubai Metro entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest fully automated driverless metro network in the world.

The record has been created taking into account the total length of Metro’s Green and Red Lines. Both these lines are completely operational now, with more lines planned. The total length of the Green and Red Lines add up to 74.694km of which, 52kms are on the Red Line and 22.694km are on the Green Line. The Metro has total of 47 stations, with 29 stations being on the Red Line and 18 stations on the Green Line.

The Red Line and Green Lines intersect twice, first at the Union Station, the biggest underground metro station in the world spanning 25,000 square meters and second at the Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station, the most stunning metro stations in the world.

The Dubai Metro has five car trains, and each train has a capacity to accommodate 643 passengers. All trains are air-conditioned with platform edge doors. The five cars in each train are divided into three classes – Gold (VIP) class, Women and Children (1 car), Silver class (3 cars). The Gold class has 18 seats and is furnished with luxurious interiors. There are trained wardens to accompany passengers to help with emergencies. All train cars have reserved wheelchair spaces for people with special needs.

There is a station every 1.5km on an average. Each station has bus connections, taxi pickup and places to lock bicycles. All stations have escalators and lifts. The stations have various themes such as the Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. The metro stations feature a creative architectural pattern, and are fitted with latest safety techniques. Each station has parking lots for private vehicles and public buses.

The Dubai Metro is operated by Serco under contract to the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority. All trains are operated by an integrated electronic system enabling improved control and setting up of trip timings in a highly accurate format.


There are special cabins for women and children. The private cabins for Gold class ticket holders have wide leather seats offering panoramic views. There are special accessibility facilities for passengers with special needs with ticket counters being within easy reach for wheel chair users, apart from dedicated toilets for people with special needs. There is complete mobile phone coverage across the entire network, apart from Wi-Fi access. The Metro is passenger friendly, with clear way-finding signage installed for passengers, and information is displayed on screens in trains and stations. Food is available at all stations, but no alcohol will be served within the station. Eating and drinking is not allowed inside the trains.

As for the medical facilities, more than 700 staff members are trained in providing first aid and medical assistance. They have been trained as first emergency response team.

There are designated areas for pick-up and drop-off areas for passengers at each station. There are special taxi ranks at each station, and taxis are available at all stations.

Passenger Safety

The Metro ensures safety of people with dedicated Metro Police force, and more than 3000 CCTVs are installed in trains and stations to monitor security infringements on trains. Also, an Emergency Call Box is located in each train and station, and through integrated radio system between Metro and emergency services.

In case of any emergency when travelling in the Metro, you can call customer care at 8009090 or 999. Metro has a detailed evacuation plan necessary in case of an emergency. There is an evacuation point every 700m, and stairs have been built to evacuate passengers from elevated tracks, and arrangements have been made to help passengers exit from tunnels too.

In case you have lost an item or property, contact the Dubai Metro staff, or contact the customer care centre on 8009090.

Metro Stations

The Dubai Metro comprises of at-grade (G), elevated Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 (T1, T2 and T3), underground stations (U) and underground transfer station types (UT). The Type 1 is the regular at-grade concourse station, Type 2 is a regular elevated concourse station and Type 3 is an elevated special track station with an extra track to hold a non-operational train. The underground stations accommodate Red and Green lines for easy transfers.

Four themes are used in the interiors of all stations – earth, water, fire and air. Earth stations will have tan-brown colour effects, water depicts blue-white colour effects, fire is give orange-red colour effects and air has green colour effects. The roof shape is inspired by pearl diving heritage of the UAE. For details about stations covered in the Red line and Green line, visit www.dubaimetro.eu.

dubai metro map

NoL Smart Card or Ticket

To travel on the Metro, you will have to purchase a NoL Card or a NoL Ticket. NoL is an ancient Persian word, which implies tariff or fare. The NoL Card is a unified automated fare collection card (UAFC) by the RTA, introduced as part of its new unified fare collection system for all modes of transports, including the metro, buses and water transport and for RTA’s Paid Parking. The NoL smart cards are available in different types to suit the needs of one and all. You can choose the right card based on your needs.

NoL Smart Card or Ticket

To travel on the Metro, you will have to purchase a NoL Card or a NoL Ticket. NoL is an ancient Persian word, which implies tariff or fare. The NoL Card is a unified automated fare collection card (UAFC) by the RTA, introduced as part of its new unified fare collection system for all modes of transports, including the metro, buses and water transport and for RTA's Paid Parking. The NoL smart cards are available in different types to suit the needs of one and all. You can choose the right card based on your needs.

Difference between NoL Cards and Tickets

One of the main difference is that cards have an e-purse, enabling you to pay as you go. You just have to load the epurse with money and use it, and it will automatically calculate the cost of your trip and deduct it from your epurse. The cards can be used on all modes of transport and hold a five-year validity. Cards have a daily cap of Dh.14.00 and hence, you will not be charged more than Dh.14.00, irrespective of how much of travel you make in a day. But, this is not applicable for NoL Red Ticket.

Tickets do not have an epurse, and hence need to be pre-loaded with correct trip type, and when you use your ticket, a trip will be deducted. Tickets come loaded with 10 trips and allow only single mode of transport at a time, and have 90-day validity. The fares are cheaper when using a card, than when using a ticket. Therefore, ideally, tickets are meant for visitors or occasional travellers, while cards are ideal for frequent travellers. Tickets can be purchased from ticket offices or ticket vending machines at each station.

Types of NoL Cards

An NOL Card can be purchased for Dh.20 and can be topped up to maximum of Dh.500. There are four categories of NoL cards – Gold, Silver, Blue and Red. The NoL cards are ideal if you are a frequent traveller or wish to travel across various modes of transport using a single card. Tickets are ideal for visitors and occasional travellers.

NoL Silver Card

NoL Silver Card is meant for frequent travellers and costs Dh.20. Can hold up to Dh.500 worth credit and comes with five year validity. It includes an e-purse with value of Dh.14, which enables automatic fare deduction. This card can be used immediately and topped up at any ticket office, online or ticket vending machine.

NoL Gold Card

This permits the privilege to use Gold class cabins in the Dubai Metro. But, when used on transports without the Gold class cabins, the user will be charged the standard fare. The card holds up to Dh.500 worth of credit and has five year validity. The e-purse deducts fare automatically. The card can be used immediately and topped up at any ticket office or ticket vending machine.

NoL Blue Card

This is a secure personal card meant for frequent travellers. It is designed for use by regular users and for those entitled for concessionary travel. This personalised card carries the user’s photo, discounts for students, senior citizens and people with special needs. People with disabilities can travel for free, while 50% discount is given for students. There are other features too such as loyalty points program, auto top-up facility etc. The card can be registered online. The NOL Blue Card costs Dh.70 and includes an initial e-purse value of Dh.20. It holds credit worth up to Dh.500 and comes with five year validity.

NoL Red Ticket

This is ideal for occasional or casual users of public transport. There is no e-purse account available and has to be pre-paid with correct journey type based on the zones to be travelled. It is a paper ticket which can be purchased for Dh.2. On purchasing a NoL Red ticket, it should be used within 90 days from the date of purchase of the ticket. However, in all other types of tickets (NoL Silver Card, NoL Gold Card and NoL Blue Card), the validity is for five years, and you only need to top up your account. The Red ticket is rechargeable for use up to maximum of 10 journeys or five daily pass. The same ticket can be used for both metro and bus without need to get another new ticket. A permit for using both metro and buses on a single day is also available, on payment of Dh.14 for the permit and Dh.2 for the ticket. This ticket is ideal for tourists and visitors to Dubai.

In case you happen to lose your ticket, you may have to pay fine. The ticket station agent will examine the ticket and if found damaged deliberately you will have to pay fine. If you are in paid area, but if ticket is faulty, then you can go to ticket office to get your ticket replaced.

NoL Fares

The fares for the Dubai Metro ranges from minimum of Dh.1.8 to maximum of Dh.6.5 for a single journey, depending on distance covered. Fares vary depending on the number of zones passed. Generally for cards, it may be Dh.1.8 for a short trip of less than 3km, Dh.5.80 for an all zone trip, and a maximum cap of Dh.14.00. But, if using NoL Red Ticket, the prices may be higher.

Discounted fares: Children up to five years of age and up to 90cm tall can travel free-of-charge. 50% discounts and 30-day passes may be soon introduced for students and senior citizens, while people with special needs may be allowed to travel free of charge. RTA also plans to introduce loyalty points program, allowing redemption of points for variety of benefits.

Commuters are given various ticket options to travel in the Metro. For a single journey, tickets range from Dh.2 to Dh.6.5, daily passes for Dh.14, while monthly passes are also available, depending on journey plans.

All tickets need to be purchased prior to travel and are available at the ticket offices, dedicated outlets and ticket vending machines. It is mandatory to purchase tickets before travel. There is only a single fare to complete the journey irrespective of whether you use the Metro and bus or either of them. A passenger can take a free trip on the bus, if he gets into the bus within 30 minutes from alighting the Metro or vice-versa. However, this is not permitted in NoL Red Ticket card, and with such a card you cannot change modes of travel using same ticket. Then, it can be used for Bus only or for Metro only.

If your ticket is lost or if you have damaged it, you may have to pay a fine. For violation of rules when travelling on metro, the fine charged is Dh.100.

Here's the detailed pricing list for various zones (as of latest revision in November 2014). The zones are classified into Tier 0 (T0) – less than or equal to 3km; Tier 1 (T1) – starts & ends in the same zone; Tier 2 (T2) – starts in one zone and ends in neighbouring zone; Tier 3 (T3) – exceeds two zones.

Type of ticket/travel distance

Nol card

All zones

< 3km

T1 zone

T2 zones

T3 zones

Standard adult ticket price






Red Ticket (Gold Class)






Pre-paid standard adult fare






Cost of regular class trip for Nol Blue






Students (registered with Blue Nol card)






Senior citizens (registered)






Gold Class pre-paid


3.60 6.00 10.00 15.00

Passes are available and they can be charged to cards. There are one day, seven days, thirty days, ninety days and one year passes available.

A 1 day pass for a Red Ticket is priced at Dh.20 (Dh.40 for Gold Class)
7 day Zone 3 pass – Dh.110 (Dh.220 for Gold Class)
30 days Zone 3 pass – Dh.350 (Dh.700 for Gold Class).

To use NoL Card

The NoL Card readers are located at the gates of the Metro / entrances of the bus/ water bus. You only need to touch your card on the NoL card reader. Wait for the beep and the green light which indicates successful check-in / check-out. Now you can pass through the gate or entrance. When checking out on completion of the journey, the system calculates your fare for the trip just taken and deducts the amount from your e-purse.

An NoL card can be used on all modes of travel. But with NoL Red Ticket, you cannot change modes of travel using the same ticket, so it can be used for bus or metro only.

Balance in your NoL Card will be shown when you check-out on Metro and buses. It can also be viewed from any ticket vending machine, ticket office, and authorised sales agents. It can also be checked online by visiting www.nol.ae.

NoL Top-up

It is easy to purchase or top-up a card, or add trips to your NoL ticket. You just need to go to ticket vending machines located in various bus stops and metro stations throughout Dubai, ticket offices, or RTA authorised sales agent. But, Red Ticket can be topped up at any ticket office machine or vending machine only.

Ticket vending machines in Dubai

Jebel Ali, Mall of Emirates, Ibn Battuta, Emirates Towers, GGICO, Burjuman, Sharaf DG, Nakheel Harbour & Tower, Nakheel, World Trade Centre, Noor Islamic Bank, Union, Jumeirah Lakes Tower, Airport Terminal 1, Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Al Rigga, Al Jafiliya, Airport Terminal 3, First Gulf Bank, Emirates, Financial Centre, Dubai Internet City, Deira City Centre, Al Karama, Business Bay and Rashidiya, Airport terminal 1, Airport terminal 2, Airport terminal 3, Al Gubaiba Bus Station, Gold Souq Bus Station, Jebel Ali Bus Station and Sabkha Bus Station are some of the locations with ticket vending machines installed.

For all details on NoL, visit www.nol.ae

Metro station & peak timings

Dubai Metro Timings

Saturday to Wednesday – 6am to midnight
Thursday – 6am to 1am
Friday 1pm to 1am
During Ramadan – 6am to midnight (Sat to Thur) and 2pm to midnight (Fridays).

Peak Timings

6am to 8am and 6pm to 9pm

Metro Parking

There are three large park and ride facilities on Dubai Metro, wherein drivers are allowed to leave their cars.

The Rashidiya (Red Line) with 2700 spaces, Nakheel Harbour and Tower (Red Line) offering 3000 spaces and Etisalat (Green Line) offering 2300 spaces.

The Parking is free of cost for Metro users.

Smart NoL Service

The latest in NoL services is the ‘Smart NoL’ service, which enables you to use your handset as NoL card to pay for your public transport fare. The handset can be used to check-in and check-out of the metro, bus, water bus and metro parking, apart from checking your NoL balance and last transaction from your NFC (Near Field Communication)-enabled phone. The service helps you in carrying a slimmer wallet and also helps you check your NOL balance on your handset. The service is available on several handsets and OS bundles. You can contact your mobile operator for details on NFC SIM, and get your existing SIM swapped for an NFC-enabled SIM. You can also contact the RTA at 8009090 for more information on this service.

NoL e-services

The NoL e-services are online services that are exclusively available for registered users in the NoL e-services section. With these services, you can apply for a NoL Blue card, track your card application, top up your card, apply to personalize your card and also for other NoL e-services. For more details, email to ask@rta.ae or for queries, call the RTA centre at 8009090.

Dubai Bus System

The bus system is equally reliable, although the routes change, as the new metro stops get operational. Every metro station has feeder bus lines and route maps. About 41 feeder routes meet the Metro’s Red Line. The feeder bus routes will run every five to ten minutes. The There are 7 bus stations with customer service staff.

The buses have good facilities such as tropical air conditioning, route announcements, automated fare collection system using cards, low floors, wide entrances, special rating areas for easy access of people with special needs, engines that limit amount of pollutants in the exhaust.

All metro stations are also bus stations, and there are more than 68 bus stations across the system.

You can plan your journey after collecting necessary details at http://wojhati.rta.ae or visit www.dubai-bus.com for more details.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries

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