UAE: Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially launched tunnelling on the Route 2020 metro extension on October 24.

Twin tunnels 8·8 m in diameter are being bored by 103 m long tunnel boring machine Al Wugeisha Expo 2020. The 3·2 km section from Discovery Gardens to The Green Community will be up to 36 m underground.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the 15 km branch of the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour & Tower to the Expo 2020 site took place in September 2016. Piling works began in November and construction of the elevated section started in August.

The elevated section is due to be completed in November 2018 and tunnel boring the following month. Railway works are due to finish in July 2019, ahead of the start of test running in February 2020. Passenger services are scheduled to begin on May 20 2020, five months ahead of the opening of the Expo.

A 50:50 joint venture of Parsons and Systra is acting as project engineer, with construction work being carried out by the Expolink consortium of Alstom, Acciona and Gülermak. Thales will provide railway systems.

Alstom is supplying 50 trainsets, of which 15 are needed for the new line and 35 to increase capacity on existing routes. The first is due to arrive in July 2018.