Abu Dhabi Metro

28 October 2013

The UAE capital is under pressure to develop its metro system

Value: $7bn


Department of Transport

Tel: (+971) 2 656 6666

Web: dot.abudhabi.ae



Tel: (+971) 2 676 5140

The Abu Dhabi Metro forms part of the emirate’s Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP), a major initiative taken by the Department of Transport (DOT) in Abu Dhabi to develop a comprehensive plan for surface transport to service a population expected to rise to 2.6 million by 2030.

Unveiled in 2009, the plan has made slow progress since then. However, on 1 May 2013 the DOT held an industry briefing outlining technical aspects of the $7bn metro project. It detailed the proposed procurement timetable and pre-qualification process.

What has emerged represents a scaling back of the original plan, which involved the construction of 131 kilometres of line, supported by tram and bus feeder services.

In November 2012, the study and preliminary design contract for Abu Dhabi’s metro system was awarded to the Adapt consortium, comprising US-based Aecom and Parsons Brinckerhoff and Germany’s DB International.

The DOT’s plans for Abu Dhabi comprise one 18km line between Zayed Sports City and the Mina Zayed/central business district area, 5km of which will be underground. There will be 17 stations, 13 above ground, with a line serviced by fully automated 80-metre rolling stock. This will link to a pair of light rail lines running above ground.

What has emerged represents a scaling back of the original plan, which involved [building] 131 kilometres of line

The DOT plans to split the metro line into three separate contracts (the first covering the civil works for the above-ground structures) to be awarded as design-and-build contracts. The second will be for the underground construction work, to be awarded using a design-and-build contract. The third covers the rail system, the rolling stock and the operation and maintenance for the line. That will be awarded using a design, build, operate and maintain contract.

Abu Dhabi is aiming for awards in 2014 and completion in 2018. This is an ambitious timetable that reflects the urgent need to prevent gridlock on the capital’s roads.

Key dates

2009: Masterplan unveiled; six consortiums shortlisted for the consultancy project

2010: Contracts on phase 1 tendered

2012: Study and preliminary design contract awarded to the Adapt consortium

2013: More than 400 companies register interest in construction contracts. Shortlist for prequalifiers expected by the end of the year

2014: Construction contracts expected to be tendered in first quarter

2018: Metro due for completion

Source: MEED

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