By Ed Attwood www.arabianbusiness.com
A proposed $2.73bn high-speed express railway link between Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central could be cancelled, according to a senior official familiar with the project.
“Our view is that what both airports need is really fast and efficient links Downtown to residential and businesses, so we don’t really need a fast Metro link between the two airports because the amount of traffic between airports won’t be significant,” Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told Arabian Business.
“Particularly as we see, at some stage, the complete transfer of the Emirates hub to Dubai World Central – so the fast links to the centre of town are more important to the airport links.”
When asked whether this meant that the proposed link had now been cancelled, Griffiths said: “Well – let’s put it this way – that is our focus of planning.”
Dubai Airports and the RTA had planned to link the two facilities via the 49-km Purple Line.
The original design, announced in 2007, had eight stations and was intended to cut travel time between the airports to 20 minutes.
More recently, Dubai Airports had pushed for the development of a central rail terminal with connections to the two airports through the city’s main business and tourist areas, instead of the Purple Line.
Earlier this year, the managing director of Al Futtaim Engineering, which worked on the Dubai Metro Red Line, said that there was potential for the Purple Line to be revived.
Dubai World Central, which opened last year, is expected to be the world’s largest airport when it is completed around the mid-2020s. It will be able to handle 160m passengers annually.
On Wednesday, Dubai Airports announced that it would spend $7.8bn expanding the existing facilities at Dubai International Airport.