Dubai Metro has sold more than 200,000 personal travel cards for the second day of operations of the Arabian Peninsula’s first urban rail system.

The city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) says that enough “Nol” cards have been sold in time for the first full day of operations on 10 September to serve one-sixth of Dubai’s 1.2 million population.

The Red line of the AED28bn ($7.62bn) metro was opened in a lavish ceremony on 9 September, and opened to the public the following morning.

The project is now some 80 per cent over its original budget of AED15.5bn. The RTA has said it hopes to recover close to 50 per cent of its investment within five years (MEED 23:6:09).

Under the metro’s fare scheme, Dubai will be divided into five zones. Costs on the metro will vary from 80fils to AED5.80. A one-day travel pass will cost AED14, which the RTA claims is the cheapest public transport system in the region apart from Tehran.