Dubai tram project still strangled by liquidity woes

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By Elizabeth Broomhall  www.emirates247.com

Dubai’s long-awaited Al Sufouh tram project could see its launch date delayed further as liquidity woes continue to slow construction, Arabian Business has learned.

Dubai Tram
Dubai Tram

The consortium of firms behind the 14km tram scaled back work in the wake of the global crisis as Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) struggled to meet its payments.

The emirate’s transport chief Mattar Al Tayer last April called for an acceleration in the construction of the line, but contractors said the project remained plagued by cash concerns.

“[The financial issues] are not fully solved, but it’s progressing,” said Philippe Dessoy, the general manager for Sixco, a subsidiary of Besix and part of the consortium of firms that won the project in 2008.

“We are still hoping to get a solution very soon. We are still working on it, but not at full speed.”

Designed to stretch 14km along Al Sufouh Road, the tram is set to be the world’s first to run with ground power feeding the entire line, eliminating the need for overhead wires.

The first phase of the project will span 10.7km and cost AED4bn, the RTA said in April, and will see 13 of the network’s 19 stations open to the public. More info