Dubai property developer Nakheel has appointed the UK’s Serco to operate the monorail on Palm Jumeirah after cancelling a contract with Singaporean rail firm SMRT Engineering in July.

The contract with SMRT, which is a division of SMRT Corporation, was signed in 2007 and was due to run for a six-year period. It is not clear why the contract was cancelled.

Serco took over operations of the monorail on 6 August and it will also be responsible for maintaining the network. The monorail runs for about 5.5 kilometres from the Gateway Station at the entrance of the Palm to the Atlantis Station at the top of the Palm island.

Serco already operates and manages the Red line on Dubai metro. The Green line is scheduled to begin in August 2011 after a year-long delay resulting from a design change. A total of 23 million passengers have used the Dubai metro since it opened on 9 September 2009 up until 1 July (MEED 11:7:10).