RTA chief orders Dubai tram project acceleration

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By Andy Sambidge  www.arabianbusiness.com

Dubai’s transport chief Mattar Al Tayer has called for an acceleration in the construction of the Al Sufouh tram project.

Dubai's transport chief Mattar Al Tayer has called for an acceleration in the construction of the Al Sufouh tram project. (Getty Images)
Dubai's transport chief Mattar Al Tayer has called for an acceleration in the construction of the Al Sufouh tram project. (Getty Images)

The Roads and Transport Authority has held talks with contractor, the Alstom-Besix Consortium, and has asked it to “step up the tempo” on the project, Al Tayer, the RTA’s chairman and executive director said in a statement on Saturday.

In January, the consortium began a work slowdown amid cash concerns and discussions over refinancing.

“The RTA has agreed with the Alstom-Besix Consortium to step up the work tempo in the project, the first stage of which is set for completion in 2014,” said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer said the RTA was currently working on a study to identify investment potentials such as renting advertising spaces in the project’s stations and trains.

Construction works have now passed the 30 percent completion mark, the RTA added.

“Works are currently focused on building the tram’s infrastructure along a corridor stretching from Dubai Marina to Jumeirah city where water and electricity lines in the area have been identified,” Al Tayer said.

“Work is underway to bypass the utility lines and lay the foundations underpinning the tram rails through which the tram receives power feed,” he added.

The Al Sufouh Tram project will stretch 14km along Al Sufouh Road and the initial phase includes the construction of a 9.5km track starting from Dubai Marina up to the Mall of the Emirates station.

The tram network will comprise 19 stations, nine of which are covered under the first phase.

Each train will have a capacity to accommodate about 300 passengers and once complete, a total of 25 trains will carry about 5,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

The tram project will also link up with Dubai Metro at three stations along Sheikh Zayed Road and it will also link with the monorail of the Palm Jumeirah.

“Al Sufouh Transit System will be a new addition to the outstanding array of projects witnessed by the emirate of Dubai,” Al Tayer said, adding that it will serve residential and commercial areas which have seen huge growth over the past few years.