H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) headed RTA delegation that took part in Asia Pacific Rail Conference held in the Thai capital Bangkok; where H.E. presently RTA experiment in achieving Dubai Metro Project.
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer delivered a keynote speech in front of more than 200 key decision makers in railway industry as well as railway operators, bankers, financiers, risk management & insurance consultants, contractors and vendors; in whihc he reviewed a host of core topics related to the leadership role in achieving Dubai Metro Project.
“The leadership and generous patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was the underlying factor for completing Dubai Metro project on time. HH kept the project under close look, tracked various construction phases and made site visits marking the project milestones. In March 2006 HH laid the foundation stone of the project, in January 2007 HH launched the initial tunneling works of the metro tunnels, and in September 2008 HH launched the trial run of the metro on the test track stretching from Jebel Ali Station to Ibn Battuta Station” said Al Tayer.
“HH directed to address all security and safety requirements at the highest global standards; which proved a crucial element for completing the project without significant construction incidents. HH directed to buy another Tunnel Boring Machine to speed up the tunneling drive and accordingly the tunnels of the Red and Green Lines were completed ahead of schedule” said Al Tayer. He stated the key factors underlining the completion of the project which included a well-defined vision, mission and objectives, and the continual follow-up of the work progress in various phases of the project, as well as the teamwork spirit, cooperation and communication with various internal & external relevant parties. Contributing factors also included the proper management of risks and challenges, developing integrated work programs spanning all stakeholders and sub-contractors, documentation, and benefiting from learned lessons.
Al Tayer went on to say that the leadership team was confronted with several challenges in the course of completing the Dubai Metro project and cited examples such as the need to assess the key project details, overcoming technological issues that shoot up (such as tunnel ventilation), taking strategic decisions (such as the phased opening of the Red Line Stations), commitment to open the project on time (09.09.09), coordination with the diverse parties of the project, and dealing with engineers workers belonging to about 200 nationalities. “In rising to these challenges, the leadership team was driven by the strict compliance with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum which were communicated to everyone engaged in the project construction, be it RTA employees or the Consortium undertaking the project. It was stressed to all bodies that the decision to open the project on the pre-determined date at the signing of the project in 2005 was irreversible and things have to be carried on accordingly. All potentials and resources of all RTA agencies and sectors have been mobilized to ensure the timely delivery of the project”.
Al Tayer reviewed some of the decisions taken which had considerable impact on expediting the progress of the metro project such as the establishment of Dubai Metro Project Forum; comprising senior RTA executives, as well as project contractors and Consultant, with a view to speeding up decision-taking in core issues. The Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA assumed direct responsibility for the project as of May 2009 and made daily site visits when the operation date approached. HH adopted various tools to achieve this end including rotation of site supervisors, and payment of instant rewards to the excellent supervisors at various locations. Based on several inputs, the decision of the phased operation of the metro service on the Red Line was taken.
“The stations opened were selected on the basis of several standards at the top of which came the population density in the area served by the station for the convenience of those living in the vicinity of the station, availability of commercial activities in the area served by the station, availability of government activities in the proximity of each station, the station linking with multi-level parking lots, the station linking with multi-modal transportation means (such as buses and marine transit systems), and the projected number of passengers at each station” said Al Tayer in a concluding remark.