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Dubai metro closer

01 Feb 2002

CONSTRUCTION work is expected to start next year on an urban rail network in Dubai. Director-General of the Municipality Qassim Sultan announced on December 22 that two routes had been selected for the first phase of a network which could be extended to the adjacent emirates of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi at a later date.

The project has the backing of Crown Prince and Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Feasibility studies were initiated in 1997, following the publication of forecasts suggesting a 66% increase in road use between 1997 and 2005, with a further doubling by 2017. Detailed design studies are expected to start in May.

The first route would start at Dubai International Airport, and run north through the Free Trade Zone to Al Ittihad Square, where the principal station would be located adjacent to the municipality offices. Crossing Dubai Creek, the line would head west to the Trade Centre and along Sheikh Zayed Road. The second route would run southwest from Al Ittihad Square to Al Nahda Roundabout in the suburb of Al Qussais.

Sultan expects a decision to be made shortly whether to build the line above ground or in tunnel. Station locations are currently being finalised, and the municipality is looking at ways to recruit and train operating staff.