Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro Station
Dubai Metro Station

Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro (in Arabic: مترو دبي) is a driverless, fully automated metro network in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The Red Line is almost fully operational, the Green Line is under construction with trials commenced in October 2010, and 3 further lines are planned. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere. All trains and stations are air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.

The first section of the Red Line, covering 10 stations, was ceremonially inaugurated at 9:09:09 PM on September 9, 2009, by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, with the line opening to the public at 6 AM on September 10. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. More than 110,000 people, which is nearly 10 per cent of Dubai’s population, used the Metro in its first two days of operation. The Dubai Metro carried 10 million passengers from launch on 9 September 2009 to 9 February 2010 with 11 stations operational on the Red Line.

Once the 20 km Green line opens, the Dubai Metro will overtake the title of longest fully automated metro network from the Vancouver Skytrain, surpassing it by 1 km.

Jebel Ali Free Zone station under construction in May 2008
A station on the Dubai MetroPlanning of the Dubai Metro began under the directive of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who expected other projects to attract 15 million visitors to Dubai by 2010. The combination of a rapidly-growing population (expected to reach 3 million by 2017) and severe traffic congestion necessitated the building of an urban rail system to provide additional public transportation capacity, relieve motor traffic, and provide infrastructure for additional development.

In May 2005, a AED 12.45 billion/US$ 3.4 billion design and build contract was awarded to the Dubai Rail Link (DURL) consortium made up of Japanese companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation and Turkish firm Yapı Merkezi. The first phase (worth AED 15.5 billion/US$ 4.2 billion) covers 35 kilometres (22 mi) of the proposed network, including the Red Line between Al Rashidiya and the Jebel Ali Free Zone set for completion by September 2009 and the Green Line from Al Qusais 2 to Al Jaddaf 1. This was to be completed by June 2010. A second phase contract was subsequently signed in July 2006 and includes extensions to the initial routes. The Red Line partially opened at 9 minutes and 9 seconds past 9 PM on September 9, 2009 (9/9/9 9:9:9), inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.[10] The construction cost of the Dubai Metro project has shot up by about 80 per cent from the original AED 15.5 billion/US$ 4.2 billion to AED 28 billion/US$ 7.6 billion. The authorities contradicted this, saying that the cost of the project did not overshoot. They attributed the increase in expenditure to the major changes in the scope and design of the project. The authorities also expect to generate AED 18 billion/US$ 4.9 billion in income over the next 10 years; but they speculate that the Metro would not be a profit-making enterprise, since the fares would be subsidised.

Dubai Metro Nightscape
Dubai Metro Nightscape

Construction delays
Dubai Metro Red Line Viaduct on November 22, 2007Work officially commenced on the construction of the metro on March 21, 2006. In February 2009, a top RTA Rail Agency official said the $ 4.2 billion Dubai Metro project would be completed on schedule despite global crisis. However only 10 out of 29 metro stations of the red line opened on 9 September 2009.

Construction of the 18 stations on the red line and another 18 on the green line restarted on 7 February 2010, according to contractors, after a settlement was reached with a Japanese-led consortium over disputed payments of about $ 2 billion-$ 3 billion. Construction of all 29 metro stations on the red line was declared complete on April 28, 2010 by the acting chief of the RTA Rail Agency.

Seven more stations on the Dubai Metro Red Line opened on 30 April 2010. Ten new trains were pressed into service, giving a total of 22 trains in service when the stations opened. The seven stations are, Emirates Station, Airport Terminal 1 Station, Dubai Internet City (TECOM) Station, Al Karama Station, Emirates Towers Station, Marina Station and Ibn Battuta Station. In addition to this, a further three stations were opened on 15 May 2010; Al Quoz Station, GGICO Station and World Trade Center Station. Furthermore, Business Bay Station, First Gulf Bank (Burj Al Arab/Gold and Diamond Park) Station, Sharaf DG (Al Barsha) Station, Nakheel (Emirates Golf Club) Station and Jumeirah Lake Towers Station were opened on October 15, 2010. After much delay, Jebel Ali Station, the terminus of the Red Line on the Abu Dhabi side was opened on March 11, 2011, whilst the remaining stations on the Red Line will be opened by the end of the first half of 2011. The RTA announced that work on all 18 stations on the 23 km long Green Line that runs around the Dubai Creek through Deira and Bur Dubai is anticipated to be complete by August 2011. In March 2010 the Dubai Metro chief resigned due to the construction delays.


The Dubai Metro is operated by Serco under contract to the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority.

Before launch, Dubai Municipality Public Transport Department expected the metro to carry 1.2 million passengers on an average day, 27,000 passengers per hour for each line, and 355 million passengers per year once both lines are fully operational. It is planned provide transport for 12% of all trips in Dubai. After the first month of operation (on a limited network), the actual monthly ridership was 1,740,578, which equates to under 60,000 passengers/day. After the opening of more stations in May 2010, ridership surged to 103,002 passengers/day and reached 130,000/day by the beginning of October 2010, though still short of the originally anticipated 140,000 passengers/day., ridership is expected to rise to 170,000/day by the end of 2010.

One issue for the new system will be how to reliably and comfortably get riders to their final destination if it is not located at a metro station. The RTA has changed and added “feeder bus routes” which act as shuttle services to and from major locations in and around the station area. There are bus and taxi laybys constructed as well as drop off zones at each station for ease of passenger access. In addition 268 km of light rail lines are also planned, these will serve as feeders to the Dubai Metro. The Al Sufouh Tramway is one of the light rail plans.


When completed, Dubai Metro will have 70 kilometres (43 mi) of lines, and 47 stations (including nine underground stations). Two lines are under construction, and three more are planned. The Roads and Transport Authority’s masterplan includes 320 km of metro lines up to 2020 to cater to the expected 3.3 million population of the city. There are plans for 268 km of light rail tracks to act as a feeder system for the Metro. The fate of this entire network – which would reportedly be divided into Yellow, Orange, Magenta and Black lines – is now dependent on an economic recovery and private investment.

Map of Dubai Metro. Stations in black ■ are open, stations in white □ are not. Dashed lines are under construction, dotted lines are planned.Line Terminals Opened Length Extensions Stations
Red Line Al Rashidiya – Jebel Ali 9 Sep 2009 52.1 km
32.37 mi 0 km 29 (27 open)
Green Line Al Qusais – Al Jaddaf August 2011 17.6 km
10.93 mi 4.9 km 18
Total: 69.7 km
43.3 mi
Under construction

Red Line viaduct in February 2009Green Line: 20 kilometres (12 mi) line with 22 stations from Festival City, through the city centre, Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 and the Airport Free Zone. Originally slated to be 17 km, the line length was increased by 5 km to 22.5 km, and the opening date has been delayed from March 2010 to August 2011. As of October 2010, tracklaying was complete, and there had been a trial run



Purple Line: 49 kilometres (30 mi) Dubai International Airport to Al Maktoum International Airport, along Al Khail Road. Construction commenced in March 2009 and will be operational by 2012. It will have about eight stations on the route, three with check in facilities. However, The Dubai Airports claimed that this was unfeasible as it did not pass through many localities. They however suggested opting for a “central terminal” similar to ones in the US where trains leave from inside the airport to the other airport with trains also leaving to the city. The RTA have taken this into consideration.
Blue Line: 47 kilometres (29 mi) Dubai International Airport to Al Maktoum International Airport, along Emirates Road. This was originally proposed for construction starting along with the Purple Line and completion in 2012. Due to the recession it was taken under reconsideration and the RTA have fixed a deadline of 2014 for completion of this line.
Yellow Line: Announced in April 2008
Red Line Extension: 15.5 km and six new stations, terminating at the border with Abu Dhabi. No dates for completion announced.
Green Line Extension: The line could be further extended by 11 km from Al Jaddaf to International City under the Green Line extension project


Virtual game/tour

The software development company Olive Global has been contracted by the RTA to build a virtual simulation model of the Dubai Metro.This simulation permits the player to choose a character and either play a game where the layer attempts to get around the metro system as quickly as possible, or simply tour four metro stations; Jebel Ali Station (42) and Business Bay Station on the Red Line, and Al Nahda Station and Union Station on the Green Line. This virtual simulation is up and running on the RTA website
List of stations

Rashidiya Station
Khalid bin Al Waleed (BurJuman) Station
Union Station
The interior of a trainDubai Metro is composed of at-grade (G) elevated Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 (T1, T2 and T3, respectively) underground stations (U) and underground transfer station types (UT). Type 1 is the regular at-grade concourse station, Type 2 is a regular elevated concourse station, and Type 3 is an elevated special track station with an extra track to hold a non operational train. Underground transfer stations will be accommodating both the Red and Green lines for easy transfers.

Besides these differences, there are four themes used in the interiors of the stations: earth, water, fire and air. Earth stations have a tan-brown colour effects; water has blue-white colour effects; fire has orange-red colour effects; and the air has green colour effects.

Red Line:
Rashidiya Station (Depot)
Emirates Airlines Station
Airport Terminal 3 Station – For all Emirates Flights
Airport Terminal 1 Station – For all Non-Emirates Flights
Al Garhoud Station (GGICO station)
Deira City Centre Station
Al Rigga Station
Union Station (Interchange, connecting with Green Line)
Khalid bin Al Waleed Station (Interchange, connecting with Green Line)
Al Karama Station
Al Jafiliya Station
World Trade Centre Station
Emirates Towers Station
Financial Centre Station
Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Station
Business Bay Station
Noor Islamic Bank Station (Al Quoz)
First Gulf Bank Station
Mall of the Emirates Station
Sharaf DG Station
Dubai Internet City Station
Nakheel Station
Dubai Marina Station
Jumeirah Lake Towers Station
Nakheel Harbor and Towers Station
Ibn Battuta Station
Energy Station
Jebel Ali Industrial Station
Jebel Ali / Jafza Station
The main depot for the trains will be at Rashidiya just before the Rashidiya Station, while an auxiliary depot is located at Jebel Ali Port.

Green Line:
Etisalat Station (T3)
Al Qusais 1 Station (T2)
Dubai Airport Free Zone Station (T2)
Al Nahda Station (T2)
Stadium Station (T2)
Al Quiadah Station (T2)
Abu Hail Station (T2)
Abu Baker Al Siddique Station (T2)
Salah Al Din Station (U)
Union Station (UT, connecting to Red Line)
Baniyas Square Station (U)
Palm Deira Station (U)
Al Ras Station (U)
Al Ghubaiba Station (U)
Saeediya Station (U)
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station (UT, connecting to Red Line)
Oud Metha Station (T2)
Health Care City Station (T2)
Al Jedaf 1 Station (T2)
Creek Station (T2)
The train depot is located at Al Qusais just before the Al Qusais 2 Station.

Corporate branding

Officials are negotiating with international and local companies over naming rights for 23 stations on the two lines. This corporate branding is the first of its kind.

A train on trial in Dubai in February 2009Japanese manufacturer Kinki Sharyo built a total of 87 five-car trains for the Red and Green lines. They are designed to carry 643 seated and standing passengers, and unusually for a mass transit system, the trains have three classes of accommodation: Gold Class, Women and Children class, and regular Silver Class (economy).The first train was delivered to Dubai in March 2008. The metro has driverless operation and uses third rail current collection. Trained wardens accompany passengers to help with emergencies.


To permit fully-automated operation, Thales Rail Signalling Solutions is supplying its SelTrac IS communications-based train control and NetTrac central control technology. This is configured for a minimum headway of 90 sec. Maximum speed of the trains will be 90 km/h, giving a round-trip time of 2 h 23 min for the Red Line and 1 h 23 min for the Green Line.

Red Line trains will initially run every 7 minutes off-peak, with a minimum headway of 3 min 45 sec provided during the peaks, when 44 trainsets will be in service. From 2010, when 51 trains will be in service, the line will have a peak-hour capacity of 11,675 passengers per hour in each direction. The theoretical maximum design capacity is 25,720 passengers per hour, which would require 106 trains.

The Green Line will have an initial capacity of 6,395 passengers per hour per direction, with 16 trains in service. The design capacity of this route is put at 13,380 passengers per hour, with 60 trains in service.

Over 280,000 passengers used the Dubai Metro during the first week of its operation.

Incidents and accidents

On the first day of operation, one metro train broke down and the passengers had to wait for two hours for a second train to be picked up.

On 28 February 2010, thousands of commuters were affected after part of Dubai Metro’s Red Line was closed after a small fire on the track. A section of the Red Line between Al Jafiliya Station near Za’abeel Park and Terminal 3 Station was shut at around 7pm and remained closed until Monday morning. Trains were evacuated at Khalid Bin Waleed Station, Union Square Station and Al Rigga Station. A Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) spokesman confirmed there was smoke on the underground track between Union Square and Khalid Bin Waleed Stations. However, RTA officials remained tight-lipped about what had caused the incident.


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