Dubai's Metro life: 'Gold' class luxury travel... Myth or Reality?
Travelling by Metro takes away the stress of not driving, not searching for a parking space, and no sudden traffic jams.
It is a stress-free mode of traveling, or, is it?
During peak hours finding a place to sit can be difficult, and chances are that you find yourself pressed against some other commuter’s back for the entire trip.
So, there is the Gold Class.
In every train, one compartment has been made available for those who want to sit in comfort, to enjoy the extra leg space, arm and head rest, and a relatively empty cabin.
It comes at a price; a Gold Nol card must be purchased and when checking in, the charge is double the price of a regular Metro ride.
Although the gold card may be used in bus and waterbus for the regular trip, only in Dubai Metro it provides access to the comfort zone.
Every day, hundreds of people find it worth checking in to the privileged class. According to some commuters, the number of Gold class travelers has increased over the years.
Emirates 24|7 asked Metro passengers on the go why their seat is worth ‘gold’.
"It is very crowded in the other compartments. Sometimes I need to do business, and I want to have that freedom. In the Gold class I have that opportunity," said Rami Kakaban, a 35-year-old Palestinian who travels daily from Deira City Centre to Mall of the Emirates.
With his comments Rami refers to the opportunity to have a seat, in the first place. "If I am able to sit, it is definitely worth it," he says.
Finding an empty seat is also the objective of Manuj Chiripal, an Indian 24-year-old commuting daily between Fahidi and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT).
However, in order to travel economically he only travels in the Gold class during peak hours.
"I have two Nol cards, one Silver card and one Gold card. When I embark in JLT, I always find a place to sit so I use the silver card. But on the way back I may swipe my gold card."
"It is not only about the seat. There is also a better crowd in the gold class," comments Rajat Aggarwal (30) from India. "You do not have to worry about standing close to somebody with a bad body odour."
Having experienced four years of first class traveling, he says that the compartment is not the same anymore.
"It was quieter in the early days, only a few people would enter the Gold class compartment. Now, it can become quite crowded in this compartment too," he comments.
"If it is not for a place to sit, why would I pay extra for my trip?" wonders Bashar Abdullah, a Syrian 25-year-ol who travels by Metro.
"The other day I took the Metro, and I decided that I would check in with a Gold card. I always thought it would be a great experience, but I did not find a place to sit, which changed my perspective on the Gold class.
"Because it is only one compartment, the chance of getting that seat during your trip is also small. I think I might have found a place to sit in the other compartment if I had tried," he said.
"Manuj agrees that not finding a seat is paramount when it comes to paying the extra charge. However, he does not always find a seat.
"During peak hours I do not always find a place to sit, and the number of people entering the Gold class seems to increase. I believe there are some people who do not actually pay the extra charge. They may have a Gold card, but actually swiped the Silver card," he comments.
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