Rail In Comparison

Metro Expansion

If a city were considered only as good as its underground rail system, Dubai would be up there with the best and eager for more.

Currently, Metro ridership hovers around 450,000-500,000 riders per day on its 75km network consisting of 47 stations spanning the Red and Green Lines. It has played a fundamental role in changing the perception of the public transport sector not only in Dubai, but across the GCC. In January 2015, Dubai Metro transported about 1.3 million more people than it did in the same month of the previous year, a 9.5% increase. The lines currently carry between 13,000 passengers per hour, and at peak capacity the Dubai Metro carries 26,000 passengers per hour.

The number of stations from both lines combined is expected to increase to 70 from the current 47, with 11 new stations planned on the Green Line. Set for completion before World Expo 2020, the Green Line will almost double in length from the current 22.5km to about 40km. The extension plan of 20.6km from Jaddaf to Academic City has already been finalized. The extension will snake through Festival City, Lagoons, Ras Al Khor Industrial Area, International City, as well as Silicon Oasis and Dubai Academic City. According to the plans, the Green Line is also expected to pass via Meydan in Nad Al Sheba on its way to Academic City. As the route for the Green Line is being worked out, the Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) engineers are studying the feasibility of a possible connection to the Meydan station of Etihad Rail, the country’s connecting rail line to the planned GCC rail network.

Also set for completion prior to World Expo 2020 is the expansion of the Red Line, which will include seven additional stations, with 4km and two of the stations being underground. The so-called “Route 2020″ project will extend the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the site of Expo 2020, with construction set to begin 1Q2016. The project will serve the Gardens, Discovery Garden, Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estate, and the Dubai Investment Park, project a 16-minute journey between Dubai Marina to the Expo site. The RTA announced that they would begin receiving requests for pre-qualifications the end of May, to select the shortlist of qualifying consortiums by June 30.The RTA will release tender documents in early July, and will start receiving proposals early December. A future plan is also in place to construct three additional stations to serve the new Al Maktoum International Airport.

All in all, with simply the Green and Red Line extensions, the RTA will create the critical infrastructure necessary to shuttle visitors and residents to the city from World Expo 2020 and beyond. Dubai Metro expansion plans will not end with simply the Red and Green Lines—four further lines have also been proposed. The north-south Purple Line would connect the city’s two airports; the Gold Line would link Dubai Marina area, Arabian Ranches, and Deira. Both are due to open by 2025. The Blue Line would run north-south parallel to Dubai Bypass Road, and the Pink Line would run east-west from City of Arabia to Al Sufouh, due for completion by 2030.