Dubai: Land of Air-Conditioned Bus Stops

Posted by - February 21, 2013 | Category: Peculiarities

If you’re one of the poor unfortunate souls in Dubai who doesn’t drive a Land Rover and rely instead on public transportation to get around, you’re in luck – you won’t have to stick to the sidewalk in the midday heat after all — Dubai has a series of air-conditioned bus stops to help you keep your cool.Air conditioned bus stop -- Dubai, UAEA world first, the RTA (Road Transit Authority) of Dubai started plans for the air-conditioned bus stops in 2006 and the first ones rolled out in 2007. According to the RTA’s website, there are 2700 bus stops in Dubai, 636 of which are air-conditioned. Not one to be outdone, Abu Dhabi, unveiled their own string of air-conditioned bus stops in 2009. Which of course left Dubai thinking, “How can we top that?”Air conditioned bus shelter -- Dubai, United Arab Emirates air-conditioned bus stopsWell they’re trying. Dubai has plans to unleash free Wi-Fi in the shelters later this year. It won’t be for freeloaders though – the plan is to link internet accessibility to holders of the prepaid transit card (called NOL), so only paying customers get the advantage of Wi-Fi.Air conditioned bus stop interior -- Dubai, UAEinterior of air conditioned bus stop, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

What’ll they think of next? Air-conditioned beaches?

Ummm, actually…yes.

The much-ballyhooed (and oft-delayed) Palazzo Versace scheduled to open later this year will be the first hotel in the world with an air-conditioned beach. A series of coolant-filled pipes snaking below the sand will keep it’s heat-averse guests pleasantly refrigerated. A contingent of giant A/C machines blowing on command will compliment the nouveau flooring.

That’s a heckuva lot more grand than mere air-conditioned bus stops, and in keeping with Dubai’s one-upmanship of itself, a whole lot more crazy too.

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25 comments - add one
  1. I remember these bus stops well! Seems like a waste of power, but so refreshing to find one.
    We actually were waiting in a bus stop for an hour during Ramadan, until a nice man stopped and told us there were no buses running. He gave us a lift in exchange for us helping him with his English. Nice man.

  2. That is so cool (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Really, I’d love to visit Dubai. I hadn’t heard to the AC at bus stops before or the planned wi-fi. Great ideas. I also want to go skiing.

  3. The Emirates are planning for the future, a future without oil, they are building the best hotels, theme parks, exclusive islands, and adding all these little comforters. But they have to because there is nothing of interest or outstanding beauty otherwise.

  4. While I cannot say I wouldn’t take advantage of an air conditioned wi-fi charged bus stop, I do think this is a bit over the top! Money could most certainly be funneled somewhere more useful.

  5. It’s a shame that things like an air conditioned beach is actually legal. Just the amount of resources that you are wasting is incredible. If a place is too hot for your taste go somewhere cooler, don’t make everything AC’ed!!!