As the Dubai Metro turned 10 on Monday, Emirati kid Mayed Nasir Abdul Aziz Kashwani - aptly nicknamed Metro boy by his parents - also celebrated his 10th birthday. Mayed was born on September 9, 2009, at 3:00pm - six hours before His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tapped the first Nol card to officially roll out the region's first and the world's longest driverless Metro rail transport system.
"It was indeed a momentous day for the UAE and a big celebration for our family," Mayed's mother, Amani Ali, said. "I was so happy to have my second child and first baby boy born on the same day as the Metro was officially launched. That's why I nicknamed him Metro boy."
Like the launch of the Metro, Amani said everything went smoothly when she delivered Mayed at Al Zahra Hospital Sharjah. "I actually came to the hospital that day for my regular check-up but my water broke and the doctors sent me to the delivery room. I laboured only for one hour; Mayed came gently to the world," Amani, who currently works as HR manager at a Sharjah government office, said.
Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) contacted her a few days after Mayed was born and offered her a free ride on the Metro for one year.
Mayed, who is now a grade 5 student, took his first Metro ride when he was five. "He grew up to be an independent, inquisitive and resourceful boy. He is top of his class and his favourite subjects are mathematics and science. He is good with gadgets but he is also very active and competitive - he loves to play football," Amani said. "I have a sense of pride in my son who shares the same birthday with the Dubai Metro and I also think he has got the same traits! He is a fast learner, disciplined, diligent, resourceful and always punctual - like the public transport that is 99.7 per cent on time."
Everyone in the family affectionately calls Mayed Metro Boy. Mayed wants to serve the country by becoming a diplomat.
Birthday prizes and surprises
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is calling on families to register their children born on September 9 between the years 2009 and 2018 to join the Metro Babies birthday party. Registration is open until September 23 at www.rta.ae and the celebration will take place on September 30 at The Dubai Mall (Dubai Ice Rink).
On top of that, residents can also visit the RTA stand at the Dubai Mall on September 12-13 for a chance to win some prizes. They can also collect limited edition of soda cans and look under the bottle caps for a chance to win a Nol card worth Dh1,000.
Click/tap here to subscribe to Khaleej Times news alerts on WhatsApp. Make sure you save the phone number under Contacts on your phone for uninterrupted service.ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!