Consultants in Dubai are now preparing to submit bids on 28 April for the contract to complete the preliminary engineering for the new metro line that will serve the Dubai Expo 2020 site, next to Al-Maktoum International airport.

Bids were due to be submitted on 14 April.

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

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

One solution earlier proposed 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 and Tower station, past Discovery Gardens, the Green Community, and Dubai Investment Park, before heading out to the expo site next to the new airport.

Another alignment considered 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.