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10 December 2023

Dubai Metro Nol card tricks: How some commuters travel in class at half the price

By Majorie van Leijen

Clever Metro users sit in the gold card department, while they swipe their silver Nol card.

The golden Nol card provides you access to a distinguished Metro section, which is more spacious, more comfortable and less crowded.

What if this could all be enjoyed while entering the Metro with the cheaper silver Nol card?

Nothing comes free. In order to enjoy the benefits of the gold card department, the gold card holder pays double the fee of the silver card holder.

But clever Metro users have figured out a way to circumvent paying the extra fee, while enjoying the extra comfort. While they swipe their silver card to get in, they confidently enter the gold card department.

"You need to have both cards to do this," says BC, a resident of Dubai. "When anybody asks you to show your gold card you will be able to do so. But that does not mean that you actually swiped that card.

I did not actually plan to do this, and I do not do it all the time," BC continues. But I have the gold card in case it is really crowded in the common areas. Then I prefer to sit in the gold card department.

"I always swiped the gold card. But once I accidently swiped the silver card and I realised that I could enter the gold card department anyway."

eras, a Syrian resident of Dubai acknowledges that it is very easy. "I do it every time I use the Metro," he says.

"Most of the time, I am not even asked to show my card. But if I am asked to do so, I confidently show my gold card. They just need to see it, there is no system that allows to see whether you swiped the card or not."

However, the practice has a downside, too. The ease with which the Metro user can enter the gold card department has led to an increase in gold card department commuters. And this means that seats are not always available.

"Often I enter the gold card department, but I cannot find a seat. And having a place to sit is the reason for me to opt for this department.

"Why would I pay double the price for my trip if I cannot enjoy the benefits?" Feras argues. This only encourages me to use this trick."

At the moment of publication a comment from the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) could not be obtained by this website.