H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), has received H.E. Billy Kelleher, Ireland’s Minister for International Trade and the accompanying delegation that include H.E. Ciaran Madden, the Irish Ambassador to the UAE, and several representatives of Irish companies. The meeting explored means of cooperation in the field of roads & bridges construction as well as transport technologies.
In the outset of the meeting Al Tayer commended the historical relations between the UAE and the Republic of Ireland; which has pushed the bilateral commercial exchange as manifested by the joint investments in several fields, and the exchange of tourist delegations between the two countries. He added that he would be looking forward to see more Irish companies over here particularly those specialized in transport sector.
Al Tayer briefed the Minister about the potential investment opportunities open for the private sector in implementing RTA road projects and transport systems to be undertaken by the RTA up to 2020. These include construction of thousands of kilometers of main roads, crossings over Dubai Creek, ring roads serving the existing & future development centers, rail (metro & tram) projects, public transport modes and marine transport systems. Such projects, which cost billions of dirhams, open up new windows for businesses to take part in RTA tenders. “RTA is considering adopting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, which will create attractive economic elements in several projects that motivate the private sector to take the initiative in adopting and funding such projects in consideration of benefiting from the revenues during the period of contract” said Al Tayer.
The length of the paved network in Dubai leapfrogged from 1860 km in 2003 to more than 3000 km in 2009, and so is the number of lanes crossing Dubai Creek which were only 19 at the time of establishing the RTA in November 2005 but became as high as 48 lanes in 2008. Expenditure on roads network jumped from 9 billion dirham in 2003 to more than 19 billion dirham last year, and all of these projects were constructed by private sector companies.
The Irish Minister was also briefed by H.E. Mattar Al Tayer about Dubai Metro project which comprises the Red and Green Lines. The Red Line extends 52 km (including 5 km underground) over 29 stations including 4 underground stations: Khalid bin Al Waleed, Al Ittihad, Al Rigga and Port Saeed, and 25 elevated stations including two stations at Dubai International Airport. The Red Line extends 5 km underground. The Green Line extends 22 km (including 10 km underground) over 18 stations including 6 underground stations.
For his part H.E. Billy Kelleher, Ireland’s Minister for International Trade, stated that he was impressed by the bunch of projects undertaken by the RTA particularly in the field of mass transit through Dubai Metro, Safouh Tram and public transport modes. He also hailed the speed of constructing RTA projects in a record time.
Afterwards the CEO of Rail Agency at RTA Abdul Majeed Al Khaja and the Director of Rail Construction Dep’t Adnan Al Hamadi accompanied H.E. Billy Kelleher, Ireland’s Minister for International Trade and the accompanying delegation in a tour over Dubai Metro that took them to several metro stations.
Al Khaja gave a brief account to the visiting delegation about Dubai Metro which was purpose built to be environment-friendly with full attention and commitment to fulfill the standards of safety and security at the highest quality standards. He also touched on the unique design of stations which combines the spirit of modernity and authenticity, with full attention to the provision of services needed by the metro users such as commercial outlets, restaurants and waiting areas.