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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Dubai Metro extension for Expo 2020 to begin this year

Route 2020, the 15-kilometre section of the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the world fair site, is scheduled to officially open in May 2020.
Route 2020 will feature seven stations including five above the ground and two underground with an expansive airplane wing the main design inspiration for the stations. Courtesy RTA
Route 2020 will feature seven stations including five above the ground and two underground with an expansive airplane wing the main design inspiration for the stations. Courtesy RTA

DUBAI // Building work on the Dh10.6 billion Dubai Metro extension to the Expo 2020 site will start by the end of the year.

Route 2020, the 15-kilometre section of the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the world fair site, is scheduled to officially open in May 2020.

“Route 2020 will serve the Expo site and a number of vital locations with a high population of up to 270,000,” Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, said on Wednesday.

“It will also serve Al Maktoum International Airport in future. The airport is 6km from the Expo site. The Airport authority has asked for an extension of time to finalise their internal master plan.

“Once they approve the route we can start work.”

Trial runs are expected to start at the end of 2019 before the official opening, five months before the Expo opens.

Route 2020 will have seven stations – five above ground and two underground – and will connect the Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investments Park, with plans to extend it to Al Maktoum International Airport.

Fifty new trains will be bought, with 15 running on the Expo service and 35 across the rest of the network.

The allocated budget for the first six months of work was about Dh1.5bn, said Abdul Ibrahim Younes, chief executive of RTA’s Rail Agency.

French, Spanish and Turkish firms will carry out the extensive construction and infrastructure work required for Route 2020.

The contract was signed yesterday with a consortium led by the French Alstom conglomerate, Spanish Acciona and Turkish Gulermack.

Alstom will supply 50 trains and handle electromechanical works.

The French Thales Group will provide technological systems while Acciona and Gulermack will handle civil works.

“We expect the trains will carry 35,000 Expo visitors a day during weekdays. It will increase to 47,000 passengers on weekends. This will be 20 per cent of visitors coming to Expo 2020,” Mr Younes said. Route 2020 will be able to move about 46,000 riders an hour in both directions. The consortium assured the RTA that deadlines would be met.

“This project is a critical responsibility for our consortium and we personally commit to meeting Dubai’s expectation,” said Henri Poupart Lafarge, chief executive of Alstom and the Expolink Consortium.

“We will deliver a high quality solution on time and be involved from start to finish. The Expo­link looks forward to working with the RTA to deliver the Route 2020 extension on time with innovative and sustainable solutions for Expo 2020.

“Route 2020 is a project of the highest importance globally and we are honoured to contribute to the infrastructure development of Dubai that will enable the world to come and visit Expo 2020.”

ralwar@thenational.ae