German firm TUV Rheinland has won the contract to provide engineering and assurance services to the France’s Alstom Transport, which is developing Dubai’s Al-Sufouh tram.

The tramway is the first catenary-free tramway project in the Middle East. It will run for 11 kilometres along Al-Sufouh Street in Dubai, connecting Dubai Marina to Dubai Media City and the Burj al-Arab hotel.

According to Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), the first trams will be delivered by Alstom in December. Test runs will start in January 2014 and the tram is expected to be fully operational by November next year.

Alstom is part of the consortium with local/Belgian Belhasa Six Construct consortium, which won the contract to design, build and operate the tram in 2008. In 2012, the Alstom-led consortium won a 13-year $231m maintenance contract for the tram project’s first phase.

The total tram network comprises 17 passenger stations, of which 11 stations are covered under phase one. Each train measures 44 metres in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 passengers. The fleet consists of 11 trams in phase one. Once phase two is complete, there will be a fleet of 25 trains able to transport about 5,000 passengers an hour.