www.dubaimetro.eu This has lots of facts about the new system and a great up to date map showing which stations are open but nothing practical like fares and timetables. A bit more searching uncovered the Roads and Transports Authority - bingo everything you need to know about the different levels of travel card Silver, Gold and Red and a journey planner too.
If you've travelled in London then Silver is familiar, like the Oyster card you top it up, get slightly reduced fares and it works on the buses as well as the Metro. Gold simply gives you access to better Metro seating for slightly higher cost. Red is recommended for tourists but having read the small print it only works on the Metro and has full price fares so Silver would be my card of choice, especially if you intend to visit Dubai more than once as its valid for 5 years.
The driverless train was clean (no food or drink are allowed, fine about £20) and very new. Until it reached the Emirates Mall station there were few passengers. By the time we reached central Dubai 15 or 20 minutes later it was standing room only. A man in a white dishdahsa checked my ticket by placing it on a handheld which beeped briefly and he handed it back with a smile.
Somewhere the train dived underground presumably heading down to tunnel under the creek. And when I emerged into the sunshine at street level I was right by the Burjuman shopping mall. Lunch called and my latest discovery "Dome" was beckoning just inside. Homemade veggie lasagne with salad, french bread & a Sprite cost 33.50 dirhams (under six pounds). My goal was the Bastakia, a historical distrct of Dubai, but which direction? The Metro's own map showed detailed streets up to 400 m or so around the station with little dots marking points in interest like leisure facilities, major buildings etc but no identifying names for these. My maps didn't have the Metro on it but did show the district. After asking both the shopping centre information and the tourist info desks (maps 3 - 5) the answer from both was unanimous; "Get a taxi". Outside no taxi's in sight but the Big Bus Tour Co gave me their map (no. 6)!.
Starting to head back to my hotel a couple of hours later clutching my bottle of pink grapefruit hi-juice squash like an addict (I haven't had any since July), I discovered (acquiring map 7 in the process) the number 13 bus. This can be boarded unerneath the mall and circumnavigates the whole complex giving wonderful views of the Burj Khalifa as it tours the surrounding building sites, ending up at the Metro station. And I paid the fare using my new silver card! Another few stops on the Metro and a minimum fare taxi ride brought me to the hotel door, this last leg was the bit where I found it's impossible to be a pedestrian in Dubai, forced by an multi-lane underpass to hail a taxi for a two minute ride.
I have definitely cracked travelling here. Its not on foot but I will need some time to work out which of the maps of the city I picked up along the way I should use when I get off the train!