The Dubai Tram was finally opened to the public this month. The Dubai Tram has been under construction for the past few years and like many other RTA projects there has been a few setbacks and delays along the way. Initially the tram was due for completion back in 2009, the same time as the first phase of the Dubai Metro was completed. The first delay was 3 years taking the completion date until 2012. It was then subsequently announced the project was to be delayed for a further 2 years due to the downturn in the global economic climate.
Despite the delays, the positives that can be taken from this are that despite any issues and setbacks that have occurred, the project did go ahead and was eventually finished.
The first phase of the tram opened this month and the track runs for 10.6km and has 11 stations on its route with 11 trams in service; the second phase on the Dubai Tram will be a 4km extension to the current track with an extra 6 stations and also link into the Mall Of The Emirates.
The construction of the Dubai Tram has been undertaken by a consortium of Alstom, Besix and Parsons, with phase 1 costing AED3.18 Billion. The tram was designed to be an integral part of the Dubai transport network, linking the Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail and running along Al Sufouh Road and Jumeirah Beach Road from Mall of the Emirates at one end to the Dubai Marina.
The tram is the first outside of Europe that runs entirely on an underground power source having no overhead cables. It is also a world first to be equipped with platform screen doors; other luxuries include free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned stations.
The trams opened to the public at 6.30am on Wednesday 12th November 2014, with a trip every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 12 minutes during non-peak hours, its due to run for 19hours a day from 06:30 – 01:30 Saturday – Thursday and 09:00 – 01:30 on Fridays.
The opening of the Dubai tram further underlines Dubai's commitment to using rail as a viable alternative to the car in easing congestion in the city. Dubai currently leads the way in the Middle East for its innovation in using rail as an integral part of its transport system.
However the completion of the project marks the end of the rail work currently under construction in Dubai.
We now await further news of the next proposed rail project set to start in Dubai. As well as awaiting further news on the expansion of the tram project, we are eagerly awaiting news on the extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line which is scheduled to be completed ahead of the Expo in 2020.
Dubai's neighbour in the UAE; Abu Dhabi is also in the design and feasibility stage of their Metro system. We await further news on when we can expect some firm timescales relating to this project.
For the immediate future at least Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman are Middle East locations where construction professionals looking to work on International leading rail projects should contact Maxim to look to for opportunities unless they are interested in exciting opportunities also available in the UK and in Hong Kong and around Asia.