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04 March 2024

Dubai Metro station among world's most beautiful

Khalid Bin Waleed Station station depicts the history of the city. (Supplied)

By Shuchita Kapur

Most underground stations are often associated with ugly graffiti, stains on the walls, dirty dustbins, creaking benches to sit on and a lot of litter to be seen around.

There are some very plush and beautiful underground stations around the world that not only score a perfect 10/10 in cleanliness but are a piece of architecture and some are even under state protection.

Website SkyScanner.net has rated the most beautiful underground stations around the world and one from Dubai has made it to the list.

Bur Juman  underground station (earlier known as Khalid Bin Waleed Station) has been rated as the fifth most beautiful in the world, depicting the history of the city but at the same time is full of the glitz and glamour that one associates with Dubai.

Here is the complete list:

#1. Munich, Germany - U-Bahn

This one from Germany comes first on the list. Münchner Freiheit station has been designed by German designer Ingo Maurer and is one of the most attractive in the world. It is decorated with 11 four metre highlighted pillars that illuminate the platforms.


#2. Stockholm, Sweden – Tunnelbana

There is no one station that can be singled out as the most beautiful one here. The Stockholm metro system has been called ‘the world's longest art gallery’, with more than 90 of the network's 100 stations decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 different artists. With everything from mosaics to Roman columns, these stations are one big endless underground installation.

#3 Moscow, Russia – Moscow Metro

The famously opulent Moscow Metro, with its mosaics, statues and gilded stuccos, opened in 1935. Just as the Stockholm story, most stations in Moscow are equally beautiful. In fact the Moscow Metro has been one of the country’s most extravagant architectural projects, with stations constructed as luxurious “palaces for the people”. With their reflective marble walls, high ceilings and grandiose chandeliers, many Moscow Metro stations are extremely beautiful to look at.

Majakovskaya is considered one of the most beautiful stations. Mayakovskaya along with Kropotkinskaya and Novoslobodskaya among others are considered the most interesting architectural monuments of 1930s to 50s. Some of them have been officially put under the state protection.

#4 Taipei, Taiwan – MRT

(Image via Shutterstock)

Kaohsiung Narciso Junket station is a dome of brightly coloured glass that breaks the dullness of the average morning commute for Taipei's workers and makes it as the fourth most beautiful station in the world.

#5 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Khalid Bin Waleed Station from Dubai is fifth on the list and it would be wrong to call it a mere station. It’s a museum of Dubai’s history, to describe it more aptly. The theme for this station is water with lots of pictures illustrating Dubai’s history in fishing and pearl diving. The gorgeous jelly-fish chandeliers are absolutely breath-taking.

#6 Bilbao, Spain

This concrete, steel and glass design by the English architect Norman Foster is one of several modern constructions throughout the city. He won the design competition for the metro stations and was responsible for eight of the stations on line one, all equally amazing. The stations are "lined with prefabricated concrete cladding and completed with prefabricated metallic elements, which are virtually maintenance-free. Outside the station, the curved glass shelters have come to be recognized as symbols of the new underground. These curved glass structures, because of their unique way of signalling the Metro line at street level, can be compared to the Art Nouveau Metro entrances in Paris.

#7 Shanghai, China

The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is one of Shanghai's top five tourist attractions and it's also one of its strangest. Called as bizarre, trippy with audio-visual effects, the train takes you 'into the core of the Earth' under the Huangpu river. The ride is like a story about going from space into the core of the Earth and out again, designed to hide the ugliness of the river.

#8 Naples, Italy – Art Stations

MetroNapoli’s art stations make up a decentralized museum that is spread throughout the city. The project makes art integral to the cityscape, and more importantly, accessible to the everyday commuter. This is because of an ongoing public art project that has transformed 13 metro stations into works of art, with the most recent on Via Toledo being named as one of the most beautiful ones.

#9 Vienna, Austria – U-Bahn

Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station is a former station of the Viennese Stadtbahn. The buildings above ground on Karlsplatz are a well-known example of Jugendstil architecture. It was designed by Otto Wagner, while many other stops along the U-Bahn are impressive, for example, the three million pieces of Murano that make up the murals by Anton Lehmden. And on lines U1, U2 and U3 you can admire works of art and installations by famous architects and artists, such as Ernst Candies, through to Peter Kogler and Gottfried Kumpf.

#10 Almaty, Kazakhstan

The first metro line in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, was inaugurated in 2011. Marbles, mosaics and decorations combine with steel and glass to give it a modern feel. The metro system is also renowned for its technology that ensures trains are on time.