The bidders are France’s Systra, the UK’s Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick, Louis Berger International of the US and MSI of Singapore. The firms are understood to have recently made detailed presentations to the client, Dubai Municipality.

The successful bidder is expected to take 12-18 months to complete the study. The project is due to be tendered in early 2006 and will take 30-36 months to build. The US’ Wilbur Smith & Associates has completed an initial study for the proposed project, which is estimated to cost at least $1,300 million.

The Dubai LRT project involves the construction of a main line serving residents on the Sheikh Zayed highway. The main line is expected to originate at Dubai International Airport. It will also include two spur lines for commuters in Deira and Bur Dubai.