Dubai: The 14.5-km long Route 2020 for Dubai Metro’s Red Line extension will have five elevated stations with aircraft-inspired designs, Gulf News can exclusively reveal.
The route will branch out from Nakheel Harbour and Tower station to the Expo 2020 site near Al Maktoum International Airport. On this section, 10.5km will be elevated, while 4km will underground, supported by two underground stations.
According to the details accessed by Gulf News from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), elevated stations will continue to be consistent with the existing Red Line station designs, they will have additional elements, drawing inspiration from the wings of an aircraft.
“Since the invention of an airplane brought an epoch-making change to human civilisation, in terms of the way people moved and communicated, we thought it will be apt to have the station designs inspired by the design of an aircraft,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.
Among the five elevated stations will be Nakheel Harbour and Tower station that will be the transit point for commuters heading towards the Expo 2020 site.
“The Nakheel Harbour and Tower station will be modified and redeveloped to accommodate the Route 2020 along with the existing Red Line. The station will be expanded to have additional space, keeping in mind future demands and increasing number of commuters,” informed Al Tayer.
The station will continue to operate during the period of modification, catering to commuters on the Red Line.
Al Tayer added that all stations will maintain the fundamental identity of existing stations which includes exterior elements like material and colour of the cladding.
However, the key station on the project will be the Expo station, which is also elevated but is unlike any of the stations in design and looks.
The station spans massive futuristically-designed wings, overlooking the expo site.
“The expo station has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the visitors to the Expo 2020 as well as future footfall. The design is at the same time modern and monumental, complementing the futuristic image of Dubai,” said Al Tayer.
The underground stations will complement the existing stations while improving the access and flow of commuters.
“We have ensured that the underground stations are developed in a way that will ease movement of commuters, while keeping the design similar to the existing ones. The stations have been designed keeping in mind their venue, linking them to surrounding landmarks and other modes of transport,” Al Tayer said.
He added that all stations will have wider platforms to accommodate increasing number of passengers and specially-designed escalators to ensure smooth flow of commuters. The route itself will have three tracks, unlike the existing lines, which have two.
Route 2020 will pass through several densely populated localities and industrial zones on its way to the Expo 2020 site, including Discovery Gardens, Dubai Investment Park, Al Furjan and Jumeirah Golf Estates, supporting about 240,000 people. It will connect a major chunk of the city’s population directly with the mass transit system.
The tenders of the project are expected to be awarded by next month and construction work will begin early next year. The project is expected to be ready by 2018.
The Route 2020 is also expected to connect with Etihad Rail at Al Maktoum International Airport, which it will eventually serve.
Following the completion of the project, the total network of Dubai Metro will be 90km, while the entire rail network, including the Dubai Tram, will extend to 101km.
Currently, the Red Line journey time from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali is around 60 minutes. The new route will have an additional journey time of 16 minutes.
Apart from Route 2020, two more extensions have been approved, however — it is still not known when the work these projects will begin. The proposals include a 3.5km extension from Rashidiya to Mirdif on the Red Line and a 20.6km extension on the Green Line from Jaddaf to Academic City, passing through Festival City, Ras Al Khor, International City and Silicon Oasis.