x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

New terms for metro debt

Dubai will be left with almost Dh10 billion of debt related to the emirate¿s metro system after renegotiating terms on close to Dh30bn.

Ivan Gale Dubai will be left with almost Dh10 billion (US$2.72bn) of debt related to the emirate's metro system after renegotiating terms on close to Dh30bn with members of the Dubai Rail Link Consortium (DURL). The consortium, made up of the Japanese groups Obayashi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and Kajima, has been paid about Dh20bn under the new terms, with Dh9.6bn left to pay.

The metro debt details were revealed in a sovereign bond prospectus published yesterday on the London Stock Exchange website. Under the plans, Dh3.77bn will be paid by the Dubai Roads and Transit Authority in monthly instalments of about Dh169 million beginning in May and extending until September next year. The balance of Dh5.82bn will be paid in equal monthly instalments over a period of seven years, with a guarantee provided by the Dubai Government.

When the project is completed, which is expected to be in August next year, the metro's Red and Green lines will have a total length of more than 70km and 47 stations. Other details released in the prospectus reveal the emirate's transport-related businesses have fared relatively well during the downturn. Jebel Ali Port, ranked among the top 10 most competitive globally, handled 11.1 million containers last year, with 45 per cent destined for or originating in Dubai and the rest classified as transshipment. The figures are a drop of 6 per cent from 2008, with the drop attributed to the global financial crisis.

Dubai International Airport is also one of the busiest hubs globally. It is ranked 14th in terms of total passenger traffic and sixth in terms of total cargo handled over the 12-month period ending in May, according to the Airports Council International. Last year, it handled about 40.9 million passengers, for a rise of 9.2 per cent from 2008.