Dubai eyes private sector JV to help Metro funding



The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is turning to private finance to pay for future work on the Dubai Metro with plans to add 240km of track and 250km of tramlines. The government is considering three forms of financing – Build Operate Transfer (BOT), Direct Public Finance (DPF), and Public Private Partnerships (PPP). While DPF was used for the initial phases of the Red and Green Lines because the private sector was unwilling to finance the project, Abdul Redha Abu Al Hassan, Director of Planning and Development, Rail Agency, RTA, said that PPP was currently the favoured form of future funding. So far Dubai has spent Dhs28bn on building the Red and Green Lines.

Giving an update on future Metro lines, Al Hassan said that stations on the 22.5km Green Line will be completed in Q1 2010, with the line beginning operations in mid-2010.

Development on the 52km Purple Line however, which will serve areas such as Dubai International Airport, Festival City and Jumeirah Village, has been postponed due to the slowdown in property development in those areas.

‘Once developers give us their schedules, we will reschedule the project,’ he said.

Planning and design for the 18km extension to the Green Line running from Al Jadaf to International City is underway and due to be finished by March 2010. It will add six more stations to the line and is scheduled to be operational from 2013.

The Red Line is also being extended by 15.5km to the border with Abu Dhabi. It will add six stations, and a multi-storey car park at the border. Al Hassan said the preliminary designs were underway, but no date was given for completion as the RTA is again awaiting a schedule for real estate completion in the areas that will be served. The remaining 19 stations on the Red Line, which did not open on 9/9/09, will be accessible to the public by the end of February 2010.

In addition to the Metro, Dubai is also developing 250km of tram system, starting in Al Soufah a 9km track is being built, with 11 trams set to run on the service. Phase 1 will be complete by mid-2011. Phase 2 will begin once real estate projects along the route are completed.