Dubai Airports boss calls for metro hours to be extended

Paul Griffiths says he’s in talks with the RTA to extend Dubai Metro services for passengers who arrive early morning

Dubai Metro services may be extended to the early hours of the morning to cater for visitors arriving at Dubai International Airport, the head of Dubai Airports has revealed to Arabian Business.

CEO Paul Griffiths said the airport – which sees more than 60 million passengers each year – was working to improve its transport options, particularly the metro and taxi services.

Presently, the metro operates between 6am and midnight Saturday to Wednesday, and on Thursdays from 6am to 1am the following day, and on Fridays between 1pm and 1am the following day.

However, about half of all flights into Dubai International arrive in the middle of the night.

“We’re talking to the metro [operators, the Roads and Traffic Authority] about extending their operating hours because one of the difficulties we’ve got is in the middle of the night when a lot of people come into Dubai the metro is out of service for maintenance,” Griffiths said.

“Road and rail links need to be a bit more convenient.

“We’ve done a lot to enhance the taxi interfaces so people don’t queue for as long.

“We’re looking at the whole arrivals experience in both terminals to enhance that to make it quicker, because ... when you arrive, the excellence of an airport to me is measured by the minimum time it takes for me to get off the aeroplane and into a car and away; the shorter you can make that time and the fewer steps you go through the better the airport.”

Dubai Airports also is discussing with the RTA how to create seamless transport options to the emirate’s second airport, Al Maktoum International, which started passenger services in October last year.

Griffiths said the new airport would rely on road connections during its initial stages, while an extension of the Dubai Metro’s Red Line would be required, probably by the time Dubai hosts the World Expo in 2020.

A heavy rail station also was planned for the airport, which also would link it to Abu Dhabi.

Griffiths also revealed to Arabian Business in an extensive interview that he was assessing new security screening technology that could make the process faster and less intrusive.

“I don’t think our customers deserve to be treated the way they [are],” Griffiths said.

“The technology exists to make the passenger experience in an airport very significantly better than it currently is; the difficulty we have is getting the new technology adopted by the authorities.”

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Posted by: Sharon

I agree with all that the operating hours desperately need extending. The new Dubai area is now fully developed with lots of retail and hundreds of cafes and restaurant - JLT, JBR, Tecom, Internet city, the Green communities, etc. As the last train leaves the JLT and Marina station, outlets are forced to close by 10.30pm to let staff catch the train to go home. With the onslaught of summer, people go out later, and eat later yet we are forced to curb the outlets operating hours because the main public transport does not support retail hours. Will the authorities please HELP!
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Posted by: concerned

The majority of people who travel by metro truly need them on Friday mornings too, my suggestion is that maybe not as frequent as other days, but run a skeleton service, it will do much good for the metro faithfulls.

Posted by: 2fillsworth

The cynic in me believes the reduced hours on a Friday are a way of increasing taxi revenues. If there is no metro for half the day, people are forced to take taxis which are significantly higher in price compared to the metro, boosting the RTA's coffers.
I agree that it does not make sense to not have the metro run during the peak movement times for the airport. However, it never was very airport friendly with the ban on luggage.

Posted by: Peter Cooper

Why the loss of service on Friday mornings? Don't people like to travel on their day off? I recently dropped a friend at the station to go to the airport on a Friday morning and had to pick him up again to take him there in the car. It's not very impressive. Other global metros manage without taking a weekend break. Is the RTA not up to it?

Posted by: Ali

Maybe because it's staffed by locals Peter?

Posted by: Ahmed

100% agree with Paul.

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