It’s official, Monkey is a trainspotter! Every time we drive past the Marina on Sheikh Zayed Road I hear his voice calling out from the back seat announcing the passing of each Tram train “excuse me mummy, there’s a white train” and “another white train“. We wish the Palm Monorail good morning every time we pass it and he even has a favourite Metro train (the ArtMetro one decorated in abstract multicoloured art by Emirati Etist Abdulqader Al Rais). He loves trains. He’s even got Missy calling out “All Aboard” and blowing whistles! While on holiday recently we spent a small fortune in the hotel arcade as Monkey and Missy insisted on multiple daily trips round and round the tracks on the ride-on train. So, when I was compiling my Summer Bucket List, it was a complete no brainer to include trains in there.
One day last week I needed a quick outing to fill up the slot after breakfast and before Missy’s 10am nap, so first up was Dubai Tram, the newest of the train experiences available to us. With stations opening at 6.30am, Dubai Tram is a good outing option for those with early risers, just be sure to check what time the first train goes from your chosen station to avoid excessive waiting around.
Monkey was very excited about finally getting to go on a real train and dressed for the occaission in his train engineer outfit (a custom order made by inthesandpit for his train themed 3rd birthday party). Without a real plan of action, I drove us down to Mina Seyahi station and we cheekily parked in the Tamani hotel as it is familiar to us (although there is some street parking available in the area). The choice of starting station actually worked out perfectly for us as from there we could do a loop of the Marina and come back to where we started without getting off the train. This also counted as a one way journey so the outing was a complete bargain at only 3aed per adult (kids went free)! Our journey took just under half an hour which was about right for the munchkins but if you want to extend your trip you can connect to the Dubai Metro at DAMAC Properties station or Jumeirah Lake Towers Station and have a ride on there too (addition fare will apply).
As you would expect from Dubai, the Tram station and train were both immaculately clean and fully air-conditioned. There was a security guard at the station and a ticket officer onboard checking Nol cards. We happened to board the train in the designated Women and Children only carriage which was empty when we boarded but filled up with women passengers as we progressed through the Marina. I was actually surprised at how many people seemed to be using the Tram as their regular mode of transport; while it wasn’t busy or overcrowded, there was a steady stream of passengers getting on and off the train. The RTA produces a Handy Guide for using the Dubai Tram which we picked up at the station. It contains useful information to help you plan your journey and is a nice little souvenir for kids into keeping that kind of stuff. According to the guide the Tram runs every 6 minutes and has a total trip time of 38 minutes.
Monkey’s highlights of our trip included riding on the Tram train while watching the Metro train pass by on the other side of the road, getting a different perspective on the cars and trucks driving along Sheikh Zayed Road and spotting boats in the marina as the Tram passed over two bridges – he’s convinced the abras he spotted moored in the marina are pirate ships! I’m sure he would have loved to see the train driver in action as well through the glass wall separating the driver’s cabin from the carriage but we were unfortunately on the other side of the train, maybe next time. He clearly enjoyed himself though as he declared a number of times that he was “so excited” and at the end of the journey made a list of the friends he would be bringing with him next time! Missy also enjoyed getting a new perspective on the city while looking out of the windows but spent a little too much time wanting to walk up and down a moving Tram for my liking! The munchkins were then inspired to spend the rest of the day at home enjoying all kinds of train based fun, from playing with their wooden train track to getting out the instruments for a singalong of train themed songs and reading books featuring trains.
Have you ridden on the Dubai Tram yet? What do you think? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!