Al Sofouh / Sufouh Tram Project



The Al Sufouh Tram System will service between 180,000 and 220,000 commuters living in or near the Al Sufouh (or Al Sofouh / Al Safouh) area of Dubai.

The route runs between Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Marina Mall (or somewhere in the Dubai Marina) which has prompted its nickname – ‘The Shopping Trolley’.

The first phase of the tram system was expected to start operating in September 2009, with construction contract to be awarded in January 2008 and construction beginning in the first quarter of 2008. As with many Dubai projects, that turned out to be overly optimistic and a revised completion date is expected to be sometime in 2014 (see below), with initial work started in late 2008 or January 2009.

  • Opening date of the Al Sufouh Tram has been delayed until late 2014 according to a report in The National 29 September 2010.
  • Abdul Al Hassan, Director of Rail Planning and Development at the Dubai RTA said “Because of the recession we had to re-plan and reschedule. This is true for all projects in Dubai, not only transportation,

Al Sufouh Tram construction and operating information

  • Bidders for the contract included Alstom (France), Ansaldo (Italy), Marubeni Corp (Japan), Leighton Holdings (Australia), and Siemens (Germany). Construction and development contracts were awarded to Alstom and Besix (Belgium), Parsons (USA) and Sistra (France).
  • The preliminary design study started in June 2007 and it is hoped that the tram will become a tourist attraction, as well as easing traffic congestion.
  • The tram route will be integrated into Dubai’s wider public transport network with links to public buses and the Dubai Metro. The RTA (Road & Transport Authority Dubai) is in charge of the development of the Al Sofouh Tram Project, along with other planned rail solutions for public transport in Dubai.
  • The Al Sufouh Tram route will be from Dubai Marina / Jumeirah Beach residence via Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village to Madinat Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates and Burj Al Arab. Tram capacity will be 5200 passengers per hour in each direction. The tram should also provide access to Ibn Battuta Mall.
  • About 19 stations are planned for the 14 km tram route, including 3 interchange stations with the Red Line of the Dubai Metro at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers. The Al Sofouh Tram network will also connect to the Jumeirah Palm Monorail eventually. Value of the project is about AED 2 billion.
  • The Al Sofouh trams will have drivers since they will be on normal roads with traffic (the Dubai Metro is driverless).
  • Eventually there will be 270 km of tram network in Dubai on 7 different tram routes, costing about AED 9.2 billion. Completion scheduled for 2020. Some information from Gulf News interview December 2007 with Engineer Abdul Majid Khaja, CEO of the Rail Agency at the RTA.

Project update May 2009

  • Al Sufuoh Tram Phase II delayed pending status of Jumeirah Hills development, and other road works in the area.
  • Constructions of Al Sufouh Tram stations to begin in December 2009.
  • Completion of Phase I expected by April 2011.
  • Phase I route through Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Media City with 13 stations.
  • Phase I contractor is the ABS Consortium made up of Alstom, Besix, and Serco.
  • Phase II route length 5km, will have 6 stations, tram will run past Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, links with the Red Line Metro at 3 stations on Sheikh Zayed Road (our guess is First Gulf Bank, Mall of the Emirates, and Sharaf DG stations), and the Palm Jumeirah Monorail at Al Sufouh Road Station.