Dubai Metro

28 October 2013

Emirate’s rail masterplan calls for up to 400 kilometres of new track

Value: $8bn


Roads & Transport Authority

Tel: (+971) 4 284 4444



Serco Group

Tel: (+44) 1256 745 900


The Dubai Metro is the GCC’s only functioning urban metro system, comprising two lines stretching 75 kilometres. Since opening in September 2009, the Red and Green lines have serviced more than 300 million individual trips, with an average 366,000 daily users today, representing a 20 per cent increase in annual ridership since it opened.

The metro operator, the UK’s Serco Group, was handed the operation and maintenance contact for the first two lines for a five-year period from 2009, with the possibility of a further five-year extension.

The 52km Red Line runs from the Sharjah border to Jebel Ali port and is the busiest line, with an estimated 7 million passengers a month in the January-June 2013 period. The Green Line, linking Dubai International airport to Healthcare City over a distance of 23km, saw 4 million passengers a month.

The client, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), is preparing to move ahead with expansion plans. A proposal has been finalised to extend the Red Line from Rashidiya to Mirdif, adding 12km of track, while the Green Line will be extended 24km from Al-Jaddaf to Academic City. The Green Line extension will link to areas including International City, Silicon Oasis and the Ras al-Khor Industrial Areas. The design work on the projects, which will determine routes and station numbers, will begin in 2014.

The RTA’s transport masterplan calls for a rail network extension of up to 400km by 2030, which would involve the construction of further lines. A third, to be known as the Blue Line, would stretch 47km and provide a shuttle service between Dubai International airport and the new Maktoum International airport at Jebel Ali. The Purple Line will also link Dubai International with Al-Maktoum airport, with eight stations. In total, the new rail routes will take the number of Dubai Metro stations to 197.

The RTA is also considering plans for a new line that will serve the proposed Dubai Expo 2020 site, located next to Al-Maktoum International. This is likely to comprise a spur line leading from the Red Line.

The RTA will extend the Red Line from Rashidiya to Mirdif and the Green Line from Al-Jaddaf to Academic City

Key dates

2008: The UK’s Serco Group signs operations and maintenance contract for first 2 lines

2009: Dubai Metro opens in September, with 10 stations operating along the Red Line

2010: 21 stations on the Red Line in use

2011: Green Line opens in September

2012: Planning starts for the Red and Green line extensions

2013: Plans announced to expand existing lines

2014: Design work on expanded lines expected

2020: Completion of line extensions expected

2030: Completion of expanded lines expected

Source: MEED

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