Dubai Metro’s Red and Green lines generated an estimated AED66bn ($18bn) in accumulated benefits for Dubai’s economy between 2009 and 2016, according to a recent study.

This outweighs the accumulated capital and operational costs the Dubai government incurred during the period, which stood at AED41bn.

UK-based Henley Business School at the University of Reading conducted the study, which analysed the direct and indirect benefits of the metro to the emirate’s economy between 2009, when it entered operation, and 2016.

MEED understands the metro’s accumulated financial benefits come in the form of tariff revenues, jobs and the appreciation in the value of properties surrounding the metro stations.

Other benefits that the study quantified include “increasing consumer surplus of metro users that include residents, citizens and tourists; raising foreign investment; reducing mobility and vehicle operation costs; curbing carbon emissions; decreasing traffic accidents; cutting road maintenance costs; and boosting employment prospects,” a Dubai Roads & Authority (RTA) statement said.

The study marked the ninth anniversary of the GCC’s first urban rail system.

“This study underlines Dubai’s keenness to invest in improving and widening its infrastructure,” Mattar al-Tayer, RTA director general and chairman, said, adding that the emirate’s investment in roads and transport infrastructure has touched AED100bn.

MEED estimates that revenues from the metro’s ticket fares to station naming rights, advertising revenues and retail shop leases comprise under 5 per cent of the metro’s estimated $18bn accumulated financial benefits.

The Dubai Metro’s Red Line is being extended with a 15 kilometre link to the Expo 2020 venue. Further plans to expand both lines are under study.