By Sona Nambiar www.business24-7.ae
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will finalise the detailed master plan for Dubai’s alignment with the UAE railway network by the end of this month, according to a senior official who did not wish to be named.
He also told Emirates Business in an exclusive interview that the RTA will start meetings with various developers to finalise the detailed master plan for the intersecting station requirements in terms of design and capacity of the four Metro lines in Dubai. “We already have the strategic master plan in place. On the second level, after getting the necessary approvals, we have started making a detailed master plan and investments in the project run into a few million dirhams. We are concentrating on certain areas to speed up the process of connectivity during our projects,” he said.
“We are giving priority to finalise the details of Dubai’s alignment with Abu Dhabi within this month with the Union Railways Company.”
The Union Railways Company is the UAE Government-owned firm in charge of the estimated $11 billion (Dh40.4bn) UAE railway.
Meanwhile, the RTA will also look at the details of its existing Metro master plan.
“We will conduct a detailed study of the Red and Green lines in relation with the Purple and Blue lines since the latter will intersect at certain points. For instance, a current Red Line station can handle the capacity of the Red Line, but its demand will change when it intersects with the Purple Line,” said the official. “We need to understand if we have to upgrade the size of a station or even redo it . This detailed master plan will be ready by the end of this year.”
This can only be done in conjunction with the developers and that process is in the pipeline, he added.
“As the next step, we are going to meet the individual developers in the next one or two months again and get the details of their projects and future plans. It would have happened earlier, but the global crisis happened and certain developments have slowed down. Besides, we do not have all the information from the developer and that will affect our study. There is no use bringing a line to a project that has been delayed for an indefinite period and it is better to focus attention elsewhere,” he said.
“The actual current details of most of the areas under development in Dubai are with the individual developers and not the government and so we do not know the exact details of their plans.
“Hence, we do not know if the future Metro alignments will go over a building or road or whether underground. This is the stage before giving every project to a consultant who will go into further details on alignment.”
Another focal area is the Green Line extension to International City. “It is under study since International City 2 and Academic City are showing a high rate of development with about 25 per cent ready. The surrounding area of Dubai Silicon Oasis is also developing and so we are looking at the feasibility of the extension,” he said.