• New links include extensions to the existing Red and Green lines
  • For Expo link, RTA is planning to hold an industry briefing on 7 May
  • Expo link project now known as Route 2020

The new metro line that will connect to the Dubai Expo site is the first of a raft of metro projects that are planned by Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) for 2020 and beyond.

New links include extensions to the existing Red and Green lines, as well as a new line that will run through some of the oldest areas of Dubai and also provide a link to the Dubai station on the UAE’s federal Etihad Railway network.

For the Expo link, the RTA is planning to hold an industry briefing on 7 May for firms interested in working on the project, which is now known as Route 2020.

The project is the largest infrastructure scheme that will be built for the Expo. It involves building a 15-kilometre-long line branching off the existing Red Line at Nakheel Harbour & Tower station close between the Ibn Battuta Mall and Jumeirah Lake Towers stations. About 11km of the line will be elevated, with five elevated stations and two underground stations.

In July 2014, the RTA awarded a joint venture of the US’ Parsons International and France’s Systra the contract to complete the preliminary engineering for the new metro line. Work on the study began in August.

The other metro schemes that are still in the early planning stages include an extension connecting to the Dubai Parks & Resorts development in the Jebel Ali area close to the Abu Dhabi border, an extension of the existing Green Line, which will be 20.6km-long with 11 new stations running from Jadaf to Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), and a Red Line extension that will be 3.5km-long and will run from Rashidiya to Mirdif City Centre. 

The Parsons/Systra team is the consultant for both the Red and Green line extensions. In 2014, these schemes were due to be completed in time for the Expo in 2020, although it is now expected that the target completion dates may be moved as the RTA focuses on Route 2020.

It is understood that discussions have been held by the transport agency and Dubai Parks & Resorts for the theme park rail link.

Another line still in the very early planning stages will run from Al-Ghubaiba station in the Bur Dubai area, through the Satwa area, connect to the existing Red Line at the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and continue on to Nad al-Sheba and the Meydan area, where a major transport hub will be located that will include the Dubai station on the Etihad Railway network.

Etihad Rail and the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA)  signed a cooperation agreement for securing railway alignments, station locations and all operational responsibilities in February this year.

As part of the agreement, the RTA will issue non-objection certificates (NOCs) for any road works required by Etihad Rail in line with the timeline and framework agreed by both parties.

Upon completion, the Etihad Railway will span about 1,200 kilometres across the UAE, transporting both freight and passengers.

The network will also form a part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west, and Oman through Al-Ain in the east.

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