Video: Dubai Metro to add 50 more trains in new project

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on September 9, 2018 | Last updated on September 9, 2018 at 04.16 pm

(KT file)

Residents and tourists from across the country use the Metro on a regular basis.

On September 9, 2009, the residents of Dubai were introduced to Dubai Metro and the lives of over a million people in the UAE underwent a dramatic change.

Public transport systems, which are safe, clean and affordable, are an essential part of nation building. Celebrating its ninth anniversary today, the Dubai Metro has surpassed expectations in terms of providing safe transportation systems for the people of Dubai.

Today, the Metro has 49 stations - 29 on the red line and 20 on the green line. During the first half of this year, the Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines have transported 103.3 million passengers, compared to 100.6 million commuters during the same period last year.

In terms of road space and energy consumed, public transport is far more efficient than private vehicles. According to a study, "a bus carrying 40 passengers uses only 2.5 times more road space than a car carrying only one or two people. And the same bus consumes only about three times as much fuel as a car."

However, for the Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA), this is only the beginning and there is much more to come. With Route 2020 nearing completion, the RTA aspires to expand the Dubai Metro rails to 110km by 2020 and 421km by 2030.

Route 2020 will not just facilitate the Dubai Expo, but will also serve around 270,000 residents living in growing communities such as Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investment Park, The Gardens, as well as Al Maktoum International Airport in the future.

The project, including the procurement of 50 trains, was awarded to Expolink, a consortium of French, Spanish and Turkish companies, at a cost of Dh10.6 billion. Furthermore, the trial run is expected to start in the last quarter of 2019 and the official operation is set for May 20, 2020, five months ahead of the scheduled opening of Expo 2020.

Residents and tourists from across the country use the Metro on a regular basis, and have called it 'a life-saving mode of transportation'.

From alleviating congestion on the roads and reducing harmful emissions, the project has brought a host of economic, social and environmental benefits.

Economic benefits

To observe the occasion of the Dubai Metro turning nine, the RTA has carried out a comprehensive study on the economic impact of the Dubai Metro project, including both its Red and Green Lines, in collaboration with Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK. The study analysed the direct and indirect economic benefits of the Metro and calculated various internationally-recognised economic indicators in this regard.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, said: "At a time when the RTA celebrates the ninth anniversary of the Dubai Metro, this study underlines Dubai's keenness to invest in improving and widening its infrastructure, since it is the backbone of driving the competitiveness of cities and countries."

He added: "The infrastructure in general, and roads in particular, play a massive role in supporting economic, social and tourist activities, boosting the integration of the local economy, and enhancing GDP."

The emirate's investments in roads and transport infrastructure have touched Dh100 billion.

Backbone of the public transport system

"Dubai Metro is a flagship project of the RTA and has become the backbone of the city's public transport," said Al Tayer.

The study examined the capital and operational costs of the Metro.

Material benefits include increasing consumer surplus of metro users (residents, tourists), raising foreign investment, reducing mobility and vehicle operation costs, curbing carbon emissions, decreasing traffic accidents, cutting road maintenance costs, and boosting employment prospects.

Key years: 2020, 2030

The study estimated that the accumulated benefits in 2020 and 2030 would be Dh115 billion and Dh234 billion, whereas the capital and operational costs for the same years were estimated at Dh45 billion and Dh54 billion.

According to the RTA studies, the ridership of Route 2020 is expected to reach 125,000 riders per day in 2020; and set to rise to 275,000 riders per day by 2030. 

The extended line will span 15km comprising an 11.8km viaduct, and a 3.2km underground track. The project encompasses seven stations including a transfer station with the Red Line, Expo Station, three elevated stations, and two underground stations, as well as the supply of 50 trains.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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