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29 May 2023

Dubai Metro bans carrying alcohol; Passengers alerted: No 'Duty Free' exemption

By Majorie van Leijen

RTA reminds the public that carrying alcoholic drinks is forbidden on the Metro, even if it is purchased at one of the Duty Free shops at the Dubai Airport.

Carrying alcoholic drinks inside the public transport system is a violation of rules.

This has always been the case, but it was time that the public needed to be reminded of this, says Road and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai.

Notifications to the effect are put up at several Metro stations.

This has taken some Metro users by surprise. "What if I just made a purchase of some alcoholic items at the Duty Free shop on the airport? Would I be able to take the Metro?" asks Deepak Kapoor, a resident of Dubai.

The answer is no. "The rules are the same for everybody," says Ramadan Abdullah, Director, Rail Operations Department, RTA.

According to him some people were recently seen breaching the rule. "Because we noticed some people carrying alcoholic drinks on the Metro we wanted to remind the public about the rule and so put up the notifications."

However, fines are not very often imposed on violators, he explains. "In 95 per cent of the cases the behaviour leads to a warning because the violation was noticed by staff that are not authorised to issue fines. These staff will only issue a warning.

"But we also have people who carry out daily inspections to see if people follow the rules. These inspectors have the authority to fine people for violations of rules.”

Tourists are given a little leeway when it comes to rules. "We give tourists some discretion, because they might be unaware of the rules in the country. We will not fine them directly."

Another reminder of the public rules on the Dubai Metro was sent out by RTA on Twitter yesterday, saying: "You can carry up to 2 suitcases with you on Dubai Metro. Keep them in the dedicated luggage area which can be found in every cabin."

"This rule was established 2.5 years ago," commented Ramadan. "But we are quite lenient on this rule. If we see people carrying large items, such as a TV they have just purchased, and if it is not bothering anybody around them or compensating the safety of others, then we allow them to do so."