|Locale||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||2 complete
|Number of stations||49 (29 on red line, 20 on green line)|
|Began operation||9 September 2009|
|Operator(s)||Serco/Roads & Transport Authority|
|System length||74.6 km (46.4 mi)|
|Track gauge||1435 mm Standard gauge|
|Electrification||Third rail, 750 V DC|
The Dubai Metro (in Arabic: مترو دبي) is a driverless, fully automated metro rail network in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The Red Line and Green Line are operational, with three further lines planned. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere (elevated railway). 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 9 September 2009, by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, with the line opening to the public at 6 AM on 10 September. 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. Engineering consultancy Atkins provided full multidisciplinary design and management of the civil works on Dubai Metro. Architecture firm Aedas were the architect who designed for Dubai system's 45 stations, two depots and operational control centres.
According to statement by Adnan Al Hammadi, Chief Executive of the Rail Agency and Transport Authority, Dubai Metro transported 33.3 million people in Q1 of 2013, a significant increase, compared to the same period of the previous year.
Planning 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, and the Project Management ('The Engineer') and Construction Management services contract awarded to a French-American joint venture between Systra and Parsons Corporation. 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 9 September 2009 (9/9/9 9:9:9), inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.
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$ 7.8 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.
Work officially commenced on the construction of the metro on 21 March 2006. In February 2009, a top RTA Rail Agency official said the US$ 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 US$ 2 billion-US$ 3 billion. Construction of all 29 metro stations on the Red Line was declared complete on 28 April 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 Lakes Towers Station were opened on 15 October 2010. After much delay, Jebel Ali Station, the terminus of the Red Line on the Abu Dhabi side was opened on 11 March 2011, and Jebel Ali Industrial Station, renamed Danube Station, was opened on 12 December 2012. The final two stations, Al Jadaf and Creek, on the Green Line was opened on 1 March 2014.
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 to 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. When the Green Line opened on 9 September 2011, ridership on the Red Line was noted as 180,000/day, with the new line expected to add as much as 120,000/day to the network.
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.
The first two lines of the Dubai Metro will have 70 kilometres (43 mi) of lines, and 47 stations (including nine underground stations).
The Roads and Transport Authority's masterplan includes 421 kilometres (262 mi) of metro lines up to 2030 to cater to the expected above 4.1 million population of the city. There are plans for 268 kilometres (167 mi) of light rail tracks to act as a feeder system for the Metro, although only the Al Sufouh Tramway is under construction as of January 2013. The fate of this entire network – which would reportedly be divided into Blue, Purple, Pink and Gold lines – is now dependent on an economic recovery and private investment.
The Dubai Transport is divided into 4 tiers (5 zones). As of 2013 the cheapest ticket (not preloaded, and not in the "gold" class) with distance not more than 3 km cost 1.80 AED (about $0.54) - equivalent of Tier 0, and most costly single trip (Tier 3, exceed 2 zones, and paper not preloaded ticket also) 5.80 AED (about $1.77) and was not increased from opening. Dubai Metro fares are among the cheapest metro fares in the world. Tier 1 is one zone trip, where the travel exceeds 3 km, Tier 2 is neighboring 2 zones travel. Also (excluding Gold class) using cards there is "no more paying" - a free rest of day travel if cost exceeds 14 AED (about $3.81).
In 2011, the RTA stated that there are no "immediate plans" to build the Blue and Purple lines "in the next five or six years".
In 2013, the RTA laid out a three phase plan to expand the existing lines and build new ones: extending the Green Line by 12 stations and 24 kilometres (15 mi) to Academic City by 2020; expanding the overall system by 58 stations and 91 kilometres (57 mi) by 2025 and completing expansion with a total of 69 stations and 221 km over and above the present 47 stations and 70 kilometres (43 mi) that are present as of January 2013.
- Purple Line: along Al Khail Road. There will be about eight stations, three with check in facilities. However, The Dubai Airports claimed that this was unfeasible as it did not pass through many localities. They however suggested opting for a "central terminal" similar to ones in the US where trains leave from inside the airport to the other airport with trains also leaving to the city. The RTA have taken this into consideration.
- Blue Line: along Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.
- Gold Line: Announced as the 'Yellow Line' in April 2008 and confirmed in January 2013 as the 'Gold Line'.
- Red Line Extension: 15.5 kilometres (9.6 mi) and six new stations, terminating at the border with Abu Dhabi. No dates for completion announced.
- Green Line Extension: The line could be further extended by 11 km from Al Jaddaf to International City under the Green Line extension project.
Summary of complete and proposed lines
|Construction started||Opened||Length||Stations||Trip time ||Average speed||Cost ||Cost/km US$|
|Sept 2009||August 2005 ||9 Sept 2009 (10 stations)
April 2010(+18 stations)
Sept 2013 (+1 station)
(5 km underground)
|69 – 70 minutes||47 km/hr||AED28.0b
|Green Line||Etisalat -
|March 2010 ||July 2006 ||9 Sep 2011 ||22.5 km 8 km underground
|39 – 40 minutes||38 km/hr|
|Purple Line (proposed)||Dubai International Airport -
Al Maktoum International Airport
|by 2012 ||No immediate plans ||Proposed||49 km ||8
(0 open) 
|Blue Line (proposed)||Dubai International Airport -
Al Maktoum International Airport
|by 2013 ||No immediate plans ||Proposed||47 km ||18?||unknown||unknown||unknown||unknown|
Dubai 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.
Japanese manufacturer Kinki Sharyo built a total of 79 five-car trains (62 on Red Line, 17 on Green Line). 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 (first 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. As of 2013, the Red Line operates 62 trains (train registrations 5001-5045, 5063-5079) 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 17 trains (train registration numbers are 5046 to 5062) 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 9 September 2009 (09-09-09), the first day of operation, one metro train broke down and passengers were stranded for two hours before being picked up by a second train.
- 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.
- On 3 December 2012, the Dubai Metro saw its first death when a man committed suicide by lying down on the metro tracks and was run over by the automated train.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dubai Metro.|
- Dubai Metro official website
- Dubai Metro Map, Dubai City Info
- Mydubaimetro.com – unofficial community resource website for Dubai Metro