By Joseph George www.business24-7.ae
Dubai Metro will be inaugurated as originally planned on September 9 – or 09/09/09 – by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
A total of 11 trains will initially travel between 10 stations on the Red Line.
The trains will run at a rate of six per hour and the remaining 19 stations will become operational within the next six months.
The second section of the network, the Green Line, is due to open next year.
“Sheikh Mohammed wants Dubai Metro to be the number one in the world for at least for the next 10 years and we have built it to match his expectations,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
“The launch of Dubai Metro on September 9 will be a true manifestation of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to improve the infrastructure of Dubai.
“The RTA’s vision, which is based on the infrastructure section of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, is now being realised. The Dubai Metro project has been completed in a record-breaking time of less than four years since Sheikh Mohammed laid the foundation stone of the project on March 21, 2006.”
Al Tayer said work on the 10 stations opening on September 9 was fully complete.
“Work on the remaining stations is nearing completion; they are about 90 per cent complete,” he added.
“Some of the stations are not being made operational yet as the property projects they are intended to serve are yet to be completed. This obviously means no passenger demand is foreseen for the time being at these stations. An example of this is Jebel Ali Station.”
The construction of some stations had not yet been completed due to the complexity of the Metro network.
“The remaining work will be over before February 2010. However, we will make these stations operational in groups of three or more so they can be integrated into the system in a smooth way.”
The 10 Red Line stations that will open on September 9 are Rashidiya, Terminal 3 (Dubai International Airport), City Centre, Al Rigga, Union, Khalid bin Al Waleed, Jafiliya, Financial Centre, Mall of the Emirates, and Nakheel Harbour and Tower.
“Throughout the construction work the RTA has remained committed to the best global safety standards and sought the services of international organisations to assess safety through all the phases of the project.
“The RTA was keen to use the latest technology available in the rail industry and provide all means of comfort and welfare to passengers. The RTA’s foremost interest is in the safety of Dubai Metro users. As such all our focus and efforts were put into getting the 10 stations ready in terms of infrastructure and operations. Extensive trial runs were carried out to make sure of this.”
Al Tayer listed the factors that had led to the selection of the 10 stations that are to open first. “The factors were the population density in the area served by each station, the presence of commercial activities, the presence of government bodies, links with multi-storey car parks, links with other means of transport such as buses and water transport, the technical readiness of the station and the anticipated number of passengers who will use each station. “The opening of Rashidiya Station is important because it is the starting point of the Red Line on the east side of the city, and because it houses a multi-storey car park for 2,750 vehicles and serves several highly populated areas such as Rashidiya, Mirdif, Al Mizhar, Al Warqa and Nad Al Hummar.”
The Terminal 3 Station at Dubai International Airport will serve passengers arriving and departing, while City Centre, Al Rigga and Khalid bin Al Waleed stations will serve highly populated areas and commercial centres, with high traffic flows. Union Station will serve the central business district along with several key government organisations. The station is located close to a major bus station and many marine transport stations on Dubai Creek, making it a multi-modal station.
The Jafiliya Station will serve Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, Dubai Police Station and the new Etisalat building.
“The opening of this station will reduce the pressure on roads and parking facilities for the large number of people who require these services regularly,” said Al Tayer.
The Financial Centre Station will serve the business and financial district of Dubai and also provide connections to several five-star hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Mall of the Emirates Station will serve one of the largest malls in the Dubai, and will also serve the Al Barsha area. The Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station includes the second multi-storey car park on the Red Line on the West side of the city, which can accommodate up to 3,000 vehicles.
Al Tayer said the fare structure of Dubai’s mass transport system was designed to be affordable.
“The fares are among the cheapest worldwide. For instance the fare of a trip from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali is only Dh5.80. More than 700 feeder buses have been deployed to serve these stations on well-planned and coordinated routes. “These buses will have route numbers beginning with the letter F, and will be visible to all passengers waiting to use them for connection to the nearest Metro station.”
International City Extension
Dubai Metro’s Green Line could be extended to International City, Mattar Al Tayer said.
“It is still not finalised,” he said. “We are studying all aspects of the extension. Similarly, several other possible expansions are being studied.”
He said the length of the network had almost doubled since it was first planned because of a series of extensions. Without ruling out further extensions, he said: “The key criteria for us is the number of people and institutions a new station can cover.”
RTA also has plans to build Blue and Purple Lines, though the latter remains under review.
During Ramadan, Dubai Metro will run from Saturday to Thursday between 6am and midnight, while on Friday the service will be available from 2pm to midnight.
After Ramadan, Metro will run from Saturday to Thursday between 6am and 11pm, while on Friday the trains will operate from 2pm to midnight.
The timings will be reviewed after three months and could be extended.
The service will have a 10-minute headway and will operate at a rate of six trains per hour with a capacity of 3,858 passengers per hour per direction.