Dubai is abuzz with a new kind of speculation: what does the introduction of urban rail mean for everyday life and urban identity in the so-called superlative city? VIPs were invited to walk the red carpet to the Metro’s inaugural ride last night, followed by rides for several hundred contest winners. At 6AM today, the Metro opened to the public.
Dubai’s inhabitants are now beginning to explore this new form of circulation and connecting tissue. The Metro’s windows are providing them with a new view of the city. Its maps and station names are offering new ways of knowing the city. The Metro’s stations and trains have extended new spaces of routine and encounter.
The Metro’s impact on how Dubai is imagined and inhabited will be negotiated in the long term, but in the meantime, it will continue to provoke big questions about the relationship between the built environment and urban society in the emirate.
Stay tuned for our coverage of our city and our metro in the coming weeks.
Report: Tabitha Decker.
Photographs: Katrin Greiling.