Dubai City Tour via The Metro: The Red Line | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Feb 14, 2013

Dubai City Tour via The Metro: The Red Line

I consider myself an Overseas Filipino Worker on weekdays and a tourist on weekends. Touring is fun and VERY easy in Dubai; a guided tour is not much needed. Dubai has an efficient public transportation system, one can see the sights using the public bus and the Dubai Metro. Every weekend, my husband and I head to the nearest Metro Station and we hop on, hop off the train and see the sights. I call the Dubai Metro as my Tour Train! 

The Dubai Metro is a driverless train. The network has two lines, the red and the green. The Guinness World Records has declared it as the longest fully automated metro network. Impressive, isn't it? Metro stations are  located at prime spots, thus it makes going from one place to another very convenient for residents and tourists.

Dubai city tour by metro

If you want to see Dubai on your own, make a Do-It-Youself tour via The Metro. It's cheap and easy, all you need is a Nol card! There are 4 types, the red one is for occasional travelers and for tourists; it can be loaded with up to 10 single trips.

The Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro

For residents, I would suggest the silver card as the fare is cheap and it can be used for buses as well. But if you want to ride the Metro comfortably, get the gold one; fares are much higher but you'll be seated in a gold class cabin. The blue card is personalized; the owner can secure the card balance if ever it is lost or stolen. Still not sure on which Nol card to purchase? You can compare the cards and fares here.  

In this post, I have listed the tourist spots and restaurants, along with some suggestions and tips, at every Metro Station on The Red Line. Listed from Rashidiya to UAE Exchange (formerly Jebel Ali). 

Hop off the train at Rashidiya Metro Station if you want to experience indoor sky diving at iFLY Dubai. Head to Mirdif City Centre via feeder bus F10 (feeder bus ride is free) or you can hail a taxi cab (fare at around 10-15 AED). Click here to read about iFLY Dubai, the first indoor sky diving simulator in the UAE.

Walk to the first exit on your right and ride the feeder bus F08 or bus #4 at the bus stop near the station. The bus will take you to Dubai Festival City, a shopping mall with an Ikea store, a hypermarket and a yacht club. Have a romantic dinner at a restaurant near the Marina Promenade or cruise on a floating restaurant. 

Airport Terminal 3
This station is connected to the Airport Terminal 3, which is exclusive for Emirates Airlines flights. If you are visiting Dubai with a backpack or a very small luggage, the Metro is the cheapest mode of transportation to the city (fare is less than 6 AED).

Airport Terminal 1
This station is connected to the Airport Terminal 1, an arrival and departure area for International flights other than Emirates Airlines.

GGICO Metro Station is a short walk to several hotels like Millennium Hotel, Le Meridian Fairway and Al Bustan Rotana. In case of health emergency, Welcare Hospital and Al Garhoud Private Hospital are near the area.

Deira City Centre
This metro station is named after the shopping mall beside it. Deira City Centre has all the basics a mall must have; a supermarket, retail shops, cafes and restaurants. If you are a tea drinker, I highly recommend the bubble tea shop at the Metro Station Exit 4. Grab a milk tea and a taiyaki cake at ShareTea

Al Rigga
Most buildings in Al Rigga are residential and commercial. You can also find very affordable 3 or 4 star hotels in this area. 

Union is one of the two stations where red line and green line intersect. Adjacent to it is Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai's oldest shopping mall. The Dubai Creek is just a short walk from this station; see the "Heart of Dubai" and ride the abra or wooden boat for only 1 AED. There's also an authentic Chinese Hot Pot restaurant near the creek; dine at Xiao Wei Yang to taste the best hot pot in town. If you want to visit other Emirates, there are buses going to Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah at Union Square Bus Station.  

Formerly Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station, the name was changed to BurJuman last December 2012.  Like Union, this station also serves as an interchange for train passengers. BurJuman is a home of high-end retail shops and fancy restaurants. The dining ambiance on the 3rd level is simply romantic; check my previous posts on The Noodle House and Red Shrimp.   

ADCB (Formerly Karama)
In this station, take the bus or ride a taxi to Karama Souk. The souk is famous for fake designer bags, clothes and shoes. If you want to bring home some tacky souvenirs, this is also the place to go to. Here, you'll find Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa miniatures,  key chains and all types of trinkets at a very cheap price.

Al Jafiliya
Need to unwind? Hop off Al Jafiliya Metro Station and spend a relaxing day at Zabeel Park (entrance at 5 AED). Need to burn some calories? Zabeel Park has rubber lanes for jogging.  

World Trade Centre
The World Trade Centre is a venue for conferences, exhibits and concerts. The Metro is a convenient mode of transportation for convention delegates from all parts of the globe.

Emirates Towers
This station is named after Emirates Towers, one of the iconic structures in the city. The Emirates towers have a hotel, a business center and fine-dining restaurants. Here, you'll also get to see the high rise buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road. 

Financial Centre
This Metro Station is near DIFC or Dubai International Financial Centre. There are hotels and restaurants near the station. If you're craving for beef ribs, head to Applebee's; if you need a wake-up drink, order a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons. You can also have a romantic dinner at Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, the world's tallest hotel last year; now 2nd to JW Marriot Marquis Dubai. Click on the highlighted restaurants to read about my dining experiences.

Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall
Now this is the station every one must know! For those who are clueless, hop off the train in this metro station to see the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa. Shop, dine, see the famous Dubai Fountain and the world's largest aquarium at Dubai Mall.  

Business Bay
There are commercial and residential buildings near the station, but nothing much for a tourist to see. My advice: stay on the train!

Noor Bank (Formerly Noor Islamic Bank)
All you can see here are office buildings and car showrooms, so this is another station to skip; unless you want to purchase a brand new SUV.

FGB (First Gulf Bank)
Just beside the station is the Gold and Diamond Park, a more sophisticated counterpart of the famous Dubai Gold Souk. There are also luxury car showrooms in the area. Here, you can ride a taxi to Times Square Centre (fare at 10-15AED) and chill at the coolest cafe in town, Chillout Ice Lounge. Click here to read more about Chillout.

Mall of the Emirates
Hop off this Metro Station if you want to play with the snow or learn how to Ski. Visit Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates. The entrance fee includes almost everything you need; from ski suit, snow boots, helmet and skis. They don't provide hand gloves though, you can bring your own or you can buy at the shop. 

Sharaf DG
This station is named after a large chain of electronic stores in UAE. There are several accommodations in this area; from affordable hotel apartments to pricey 4-star hotels.

Dubai Internet City
This is the nearest station to Palm Jumeirah. Take a cab to the Palm Monorail Gateway Station and get a train ticket  to Atlantis. On the monorail, enjoy your journey from the base to the fronds, up to the crescent of the artificial Palm-shaped  island. At Atlantis, see marine animals at the Lost Chambers, fine-dine at one of the hotel's restaurants or spend a day at Aquaventure Waterpark.

Emirates Golf Club is just beside Nakheel Metro Station. Other than that, there's nothing touristy nearby.

DAMAC (Formerly Dubai Marina)
This station is near Dubai's coastline. At Dubai Marina, you can get some tan at the white sand beach, shop at Dubai Marina Mall, go on a yacht cruise at Dubai Marina Yacht Club and dine at al fresco restaurants located at Marina Walk. Refer to my previous post for directions, click here

Jumeirah Lake Towers
You can hop off the train in this station if you want to go the beach and JBR-The Walk. It takes 10-15 minute walk or a 5-minute taxi ride to get to the area.

Nakheel Harbour and Tower
There are no tourist spots in nearby, only factories and empty desert land. So, just sit back, relax and enjoy your journey to the next stop.

Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta is a shopping mall with six different themes, namely Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China. The mall is very unique and each section is intricately designed. This is the last tourist spot you can reach by Metro.

This station is still closed.

Like Nakheel Harbour station, there are no tourist attractions in this area as well. Most buildings are offices and warehouses.

UAE Exchange (Formerly Jebel Ali)
UAE Exchange is the end station of the Red Line. Only Jebel Ali Freezone Employees are allowed to exit the station. Jebel Ali Golf Resort is just 15 kilometers away from the station. You have to take a cab from Ibn Battuta if you want to spend  a day at the resort.

A day is never enough to see the sights of this amazing city, so plan a week long vacation to enjoy Dubai's splendor! :) Happy Urban Adventure!

For tourist spots along the Green Line, click here!

Love this? You can find more Dubai Travel TIPS here:

Spending 3 full days in Dubai? Here is a sample itinerary: The Ultimate  3 Days Dubai DIY Tour

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