Only 9 metro stations to open despite lifting of midday ban

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    Only nine out of 29 Metro stations will open in Dubai on September 9, even after authorities lifted the summer midday work ban to speed up the project, according to e-mails seen by Arabian Business.

    Under a plan referred to by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and its contractors as “999”, nine stations will be opening on the $4.2bn project’s launch date.

    Following an article in Arabian Business about Metro contractors breaking the UAE’s summer midday work ban, a general manager from the Dubai Rapid Link Consortium on Sunday wrote to one of the project directors asking for the rule to be lifted.

    “Could you ask the RTA for a [permit] to work through the midday break on all critical stations…This includes the 9 stations to be delivered for 999, the depots, EEPs (Emergency Evacuation Plans), and annexes. It would also be preferential to include the remaining stations on the Red Line,” he said.

    In his response, a senior RTA official also referred to the 999 target.

    “The [Ministry of Labour] application should refer to Dubai Metro project and the commitment to deliver in 999. To expedite the completion of the project, the contractor requires to be exempt from the midday break law,” he wrote.

    A Ministry of Labour spokesperson was not available for comment on Tuesday but sources close to the situation said that the request for an exemption has been granted.

    A senior RTA official told UAE daily Gulf News on August 9 that 17-22 stations would be opening on September 9.

    The UAE’s midday work ban is effective between 12.30-3pm from July 1 through to August 31 and applies to all work in direct sunlight.

    However, the rules also state that exceptions can be made provided certain health and safety criteria are met. A consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is responsible for building the Dubai Metro.

    An RTA spokesperson declined to comment.