Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is preparing to issue tender documents for a consultancy contract to design two metro lines and a tram system serving Palm Deira. The three lines will cost a total of about AED15bn ($4bn).

The two metro lines will connect Palm Deira with the Red and Green lines, which are already under construction. The third line will follow a circular route, connecting the main islands of the offshore development.

The first metro line, the Black line, will connect the trunk of Palm Deira with the Union Square station in the Deira area of the city.

The station is already being built as an interchange for the Red and Green lines.

The new line will now provide connections to Palm Deira for passengers travelling on the other two lines from Dubai International Airport or from residential and commercial areas along Sheikh Zayed road.

The other metro route, the Orange line, will run in a loop across several of Palm Deira’s islands and link to the Abu Heil and Ghubeibah stations on the Green line.

The proposed tram system, the Magenta line, will only serve Palm Deira, connecting the main islands of the project.

The feasibility study and outline design of these projects was prepared as part of the integrated transport masterplan for Palm Deira. It was conducted by the Out and About in Palm Deira consortium, made up of MVA, Systra and Sogreah, all of France, and Royal Haskoning of The Netherlands.

The rail projects are the latest of several transportation schemes being developed to serve Palm Deira. In early August, Dubai-based Nakheel, developer of the project, appointed UK-based Hyder Consulting and LWK Architects to design bridges on Palm Deira. The contract involves preparing the architectural concept for 44 long-span bridges that will connect the 26 islands that make up the development (MEED 13:8:08).

Earlier this year, the local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct was awarded a AED300m contract by the RTA to build an access bridge connecting Palm Deira to the mainland. The bridge will be 400 metres long with six lanes in each direction.

Transportation has been a major concern for Palm Deira since it was launched in 2004. Unlike Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, which are being built away from the centre of the city, Palm Deira will connect to the mainland at one of the oldest and most congested areas of Dubai.