The joint venture of US’ Parsons International and France’s Systra has won the contract to complete the preliminary engineering for the new metro line that will serve the Dubai Expo 2020 site, located next to Al-Maktoum International airport in the Jebel Ali area.

MEED reported in late June that the joint venture was the frontrunner for the deal. Work is due to start on the study in early August.

The emirate’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) received bids on 28 April from the Parsons/Systra team and UK-based WSP.

It is understood the link could be a standalone system, meaning it could operate using different rolling stock and systems to the existing Green and Red lines of the Dubai Metro.

There are four possible alignments for the new line running from an interchange station on the Red Line in the Jumeirah Lake Towers/Jebel Ali area up to the Expo site.

One earlier proposed solution was a new line that would create options for stations at existing residential and industrial areas not currently on the metro network. That would run from the metro car park at Nakheel Harbour & Tower station, past Discovery Gardens, the Green Community and Dubai Investments Park (DIP), before heading out to the Expo site next to the new airport.

Another alignment under consideration is an extension beyond Jebel Ali that will head inland to the Expo site. This solution would mean longer journey times to the Expo, and would provide fewer opportunities to build new stations for existing centres of population and industry.