Commuters will be able to board Dubai Metro only on September 10, a day after the launch of the region’s most-awaited public transport project, while engineers are still fine-tuning glitches in synchronising the platform and train doors at some underground stations, XPRESS has learnt.
Dh28 billion project
Around 150 VIPs have been invited to attend the opening ceremony on 09.09.09 to launch the Dh28 billion system. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is tight-lipped on the timing of the inaugural run, but sources said the first run is expected to push off between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
The inaugural run will start at the Mall of the Emirates station and head to Nakheel Harbour & Tower station from where it will go to Rashidiya station, sources said.
The door synchronisation snags are due to a software problem that caused glitches in other stations until recently, sources said.
Ten of the 29 stations on the Red Line will open during the scaled-down launch, with the rest of the stations to go live by February.
According to the RTA, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will inaugurate the service.
Meanwhile, the list of guests from the companies involved in the project includes six top executives from the joint-venture consultant Systra Parsons, 12 from the main contractors and three from the operator Serco.
Top executives invited
Among those who have been invited are James Shappel, Parsons President; Phillippe Citroen, Systra Managing Director; Anthony Burchell, Project Director for Systra and Parsons; Kazuo Tsukudo, Mitsubishi Chairman; Takato Nishizawa, Mitsubishi Senior Vice-President; Nick Brown, Chief Executive of Serco Transport; Zafar Raja, CEO of Serco; Paul Anderson, Managing Director of Serco; two managing officers of Obayashi Corp; the director and executive officer of Kajima Corp and others.
Rial runs continue
RTA and Serco employees are currently using dummy “Nol” cards to commute from one station to another as part of the trial runs.
The rehearsals in the run up to the launch date involve 10 stations and at least 11 trains going up and down the 52.4-km Red Line, sources said.
They said the snag list is now being worked upon, with final touch-ups being given to the stations.