A World below

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By Derek Baldwin, Senior Reporter XPRESS   www.xpress4me.com

Dubai : A fifth new Dubai Metro line running parallel to Shaikh Zayed Road is in the planning stages, XPRESS has learnt.

© XPRESS/Karen Dias The underground: A model of the Pink Line of the Metro which will form an essential part of Jumeirah Gardens.
© XPRESS/Karen Dias The underground: A model of the Pink Line of the Metro which will form an essential part of Jumeirah Gardens.

In a three-dimensional model unveiled publicly at Cityscape, Meraas Development touted a new double-track underground Metro line with six-car train sets as part of a behemoth Dh360 billion Jumeirah Gardens project.

“The new Metro line extends from Deira, through Satwa and through Jumeirah Gardens to Safa Park where it continues underground beneath Shaikh Zayed Road and then runs southwesterly parallel to the Red line,” a source close to the project told XPRESS.

“Some people call it the new Pink Line, others simply call it the newest Metro line.”

However, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) officials told XPRESS they have never heard of a Pink Line or any reference to a fifth new line.

On the heels of opening the new Red Line in September, the RTA is still working on a total of four lines including the Green Line (to open in June, 2010) as well as the Purple Line and the Blue Line.

Meraas Development officials declined comment but the model built by 3dr Models reveals a fascinating underground world beneath Jumeirah Gardens to be constructed in coming years, bounded by Shaikh Zayed Road and the Gulf shoreline and Safa Park and Al Diyafa Street.

The Meraas model shows that the new Metro line will be constructed six levels underneath a palm-tree-lined main avenue that wends its way through the Jumeirah Gardens project launched one year ago.

The mixed-use development will create residential and office space for up to 60,000 residents and would link an extended Dubai Creek to an entirely new creek to be dug from Safa Park through Satwa and out to the Gulf.

The new Jumeirah Gardens underground city will contain four levels of public parking as well as large underground roadways with high ceilings to be used by cargo trucks and heavy vehicles to keep the six-lane main avenues free of traffic for smaller vehicles.

The model also shows a new public tram system that would run on two ground-level railways down the middle of the Jumeirah Gardens main avenue through six blocks of high-rises adjacent to Shaikh Zayed Road.

The Meraas Jumeirah Gardens model shows its own Metro stations that are similar to the existing underground stations at Union Square and Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, featuring escalators, platforms and flowing floor patterns.
At ground level in Jumeirah Gardens, the new Metro station entrances are similar to the existing elevated stations of the Red Line but to a much smaller scale.

The new Metro line stations are in keeping with a sea-shell appearance.

Meanwhile, despite media reports that the project has been stalled, Meraas Development officials said the landmark project, Jumeirah Gardens, is still very much in progress.

Meraas display hosts at Cityscape were adamant that the project is going ahead, albeit slower than originally planned before the economic crisis hit in late 2008.

“The Meraas project has never been cancelled and is very much in the game,” said a Meraas employee. “This project will be built and construction is under way right now.”