The consortium led by France’s Alstom and the local/Belgian Belhasa Six Construct has stopped work on the estimated $1.1bn Al-Sufouh tram project in Dubai.

The consortium stopped work on the 11-kilometre-long tramway in late April because of irregular payments from the project client, Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA). “It is on hold,” says a source close to the project. “Non-payment has been an issue for nearly one year. There were only small payments from time to time.”

Dubai rail projects
Project Value Status
Dubai Metro- Red Line Combined completed
Dubai Metro- Green Line $10.6bn under construction
Dubai Metro- Blue Line $1bn planned
Dubai Metro- Purple Line $1bn on hold
Al-Sufouh Tram $1.1bn on hold
Source: MEED; MEED Projects

The consortium is now understood to be looking for financing for the scheme. “The consortium is trying to put financing in place,” says the source.

The RTA has confirmed that work on the Al-Sufouh tram has slowed down. “Due to the current economic downturn in general, most of the projects have been slowed down and the same goes for Al-Sufouh Tram,” says Adnan al-Hammadi, chief executive of the rail agency at Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).  

The original completion date of April 2011 has also been extended. “The project programme has been revised and accordingly the project completion date has been extended. A major part of the project is currently in its design stage,” says Al-Hammadi.

Preliminary works began on the project in January 2009 after Alstom/Six Construct consortium was awarded the contract to develop the scheme in 2008 (MEED 29:4:08).

The original plan involved building the tramway with 19 stations in two phases. The 11-kilometre first phase will run along Al-Sufouh road from Dubai Marina to Jumeirah Beach Residences and will also connect to Dubai Metro’s Red line. The second phase will involve building a spur line that will run to Mall of the Emirates.

The tram is also planned to serve Dubai Media City, Burj al-Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Knowledge Village with a capacity to transport 5,200 passengers an hour in each direction.

France’s Systra is the consultant.