Dubai Metro’s 220,000-square feet, two-level Union Square junction station is the largest underground Metro station complex in the world, the head of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said.
In his inaugural address at the Metropolitan Railways Assembly in Dubai, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of RTA, spoke of several other innovations and achievements of Dubai Metro.
He said the project is an amalgam of innovative architectural styles, reflecting a blend of modernity and tradition. He said the design of the stations reflect the four elements of nature (water, air, fire and earth) besides the heritage design of Al Ras and Al Ghubaiba stations.
More than 30,000 engineers and workers from five main contractors and 150 subcontractors have worked on this project. Sophisticated methods have been used in constructing viaducts and tunnels, using 10 gantry cranes and three tunnel-boring machines, Al Tayer said.
“Diverse methods have been introduced for paying Metro fares using automated fare collection cards (Nol), and wireless internet connectivity (WiFi) is provided all over the network.
Each train has a capacity of 640 passengers. Air-conditioned footbridges have been constructed and fitted with ‘travelators’, ensuring smooth passenger traffic with full attention to meeting requirements of special needs people,” he said.
The RTA overcame a host of challenges while constructing the Metro, he said, at the top of which was delivering the project on time. The four years that it took for the project delivery to begin is considered a record.
The list of challenges also included building the world’s longest driverless Metro system to be constructed in a single project, recording an average accident rate below the international rate with one injury per one million working hours, and providing the highest level of architectural finishes in the trains, stations and annexes.
Al Tayer also told delegates the authority has achieved full integration with other modes of transportation – such as buses, taxis and water transport – using state-of-the-art technology.