Dubai: Dubai Metro operations will be launched on schedule on September 9 but only with the opening of 10 out of 29 stations, a senior official said.
"We are going to start the Metro operations as promised, but will open 10 key stations on the Red Line," Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told a crowded press conference yesterday, quashing rumours of delays in launching the operations.
He said the remaining stations would open in batches in the coming few months, and all the stations on the Red Line will be operational by next February.
He also announced the Green Line would be delayed by three months as it will open in June next year instead of the earlier announced date of March 2010.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will officially launch the Metro on September 9.
The stations to be opened include: Al Rashidiya, Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, Deira City Centre, Al Rigga, Union Square, Khalid Bin Al Waleed (BurJuman), Al Jafiliya, Financial Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Nakheel Harbour and Tower.
"Launching of the Dubai Metro on September 9 is a true manifestation of the vision of Shaikh Mohammad to uplift the infrastructure of the emirate of Dubai," Al Tayer said.
He said the RTA vision, which is based on Dubai's Strategic Plan 2015 is now being realised.
"With the soft launching, the RTA is seeking to ensure the safety of Metro users, the integrity of the system and buildings, and the operational readiness of all rail systems and stations for the sake of which it conducted a phased start of operations on the same lines adopted everywhere in the world.
"The Dubai Metro project has been completed in a record-breaking period of less than four years since Shaikh Mohammad laid the foundation on March 21, 2006.
"Though some 90 per cent of stations are ready, we are not opening all of them because the property projects to be served by these stations have yet to be completed and no passenger demand is foreseen for the time being," he explained.
An example of this is the Jebel Ali Industrial station and Jafza station.
However, he did not comment why some stations, including Karama, Trade Centre, Emirates Towers, Burj Dubai, Business Bay, Al Quoz, Ibn Battuta Mall, Nakheel and Dubai Internet City, are not yet opening despite massive development around them.
"Construction of some stations has yet to be completed due to multiple complexities due to changed designs," he noted.
He said throughout the construction of the Metro, the RTA remained highly committed to the best global safety standards and sought the services of international agencies to assess the Metro's safety throughout all phases of the project.
The 10 stations have been selected based on various factors including population density in the area served by each station, availability of commercial activities in the vicinity of the station, availability of commercial government bodies in the nearby areas, the link with multi-storey car parks, the link with the other transport modes such as buses and water transport, technical readiness of the station, and the number of anticipated passengers at each station.
He said that the stations would be served with feeder buses for the passengers in the communities in the vicinity of the stations. More than 700 feeder buses have been deployed to serve these stations on well planned routes.
The Dubai Metro system is 76 kilometres long, consisting of two lines - the Red Line and Green Line - and the is deemed as the world's largest automated driverless Metro system.
The train operation time during Ramadan will be from 6am to midnight from Saturday to Thursday and from 2pm to midnight on Fridays.
The regular metro operation time after Ramadan will be from 6am to 11pm from Saturday to Thursday and from 2pm to midnight on Fridays.
The train running time may be increased by one hour depending on the demand of passengers and after monitoring the system for at least three months.
Dubai Metro service is set to run at 10 minute intervals between trains for a rate of six trains per hour with an intake of 3,858 passengers per hour per direction while the volume of demand on the Red Line is anticipated at 3,500 passengers per hour per direction in the initial months.
Initially 11 trains will be operational on the tracks but there will be 60 trains on the tracks once the system is fully operational next year.
Have your say
Are any of these Metro stations near your area of residence? Will you be using them? If so, how will it affect your everyday transportation? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the comments form below.
A very strange choice of stations to be opened on time. As for no trains after 11pm Thursday and before 2pm Friday, they cannot be serious?
Posted: August 31, 2009, 15:19
It's sad that JLT MS is not opening yet. Anyways, is there any feeder bus operating from Nakheel to JLT area during the opening date? Hope you can provide more info. Thanks.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 14:31
It's a big disappointment that the other stations will be delayed. Aside from that they should revise the timings and extend it upto 1 a.m. They should consider that many of the stations are nearby malls and it closes at 12 midnight. They should give ample time for the passengers to walk and reach the stations. Not only that, Night liner buses are very limited and not reaching on time. You have to have for 2 hours before it arrives. Hence RTA should make it until 1-2am 7days a week.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 13:49
What about people socialising after 11pm and people working on Fridays?
Posted: August 31, 2009, 12:43
It's such a good news that metro is opening in time. but it's my personal opinion it'll not be so effective as many people having their own car in dubai.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 12:21
I request RTA to increase the number of buses from Intl. City to Rashidiya. Now it's running every half an hour it should be atleast one in every 15 minutes. Anyway It's a dream come true for all of us. Well Done RTA.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 12:08
Can't see myself using it. I live in Al Barsha 2 with nearest station at Mall of the Emirates. How am I supposed to get from my home to the station and back in this heat and with no pedestrian walkways? Taxis won't appreciate such a short fare as I already know from experience and Buses going round to everyone's homes - I don't think so!
Posted: August 31, 2009, 11:32
It's really rocking... by reading all the day of metro... even am resident from shj i will use metro on daily basis to my office in deira by drooping car in multi store car park in rashidiya. i get easy park and mind set free drive to deira by metro no tension... i luv dubai.. hope to see more ... and some office starts by 6am hope metro start atleast by 5:00am
Posted: August 31, 2009, 11:26
Yes there is a metro station just next to where I work and i will definitely try it. But the point i would like to emphasize is that i wish that other emirates would also have similar type of projects to enhance their infrastructure.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 11:16
It is sad to know that many of the key stations will not be opening. I was really looking forward to use the service between Union
Posted: August 31, 2009, 10:49
I live in JLT and I was planning to use the Metro to commute to work from the very first day. However now I will not be using the metro till they have launched the JLT metro station. Its surprising how they are not launching such a key station which has so much population around it.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 10:32
It's a dream come true, a world class Metro in our Dubai. We must be proud to have and lucky to travel on this luxurious train. All thanks to RTA
Posted: August 31, 2009, 10:11
I think the timings on friday are not at all good. How will someone get to a mall for eg (City Centre or MOE) in the morning if the metro starts at 2pm? The RTA should revise the timing for a morning commencement of the train on a friday.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 10:07
This is not a surprise; we can see that some stations are not open but not opening the stations at Karama station and Jafza? Do they think there is no demand in Jafza? This is surprising.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:37
I am waiting for train system. It will be a nice journey.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:37
This is no doubt a breather to all employees/residents alike from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali. Congratulations Shaikh Mohammad and more power RTA!
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:25
Several people live in the International City and around 80% of them travel in cars. There is no mention anywhere as to how the residents of International City will have access to the nearest Station - Rashidiya and how long it will take to reach. Travelling by Metro will be considered only after we have clarification on these questions.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:12
I stay in Sharjah and work in Jebel Ali. I thought of using metro from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali but now I read that they will not open the station at Jebel Ali and Jafza. I do not understand the reason for the same. It is one of very important location in the map of Dubai and they are ignoring it. There are many people who travel in public and private buses from Sharjah, Bur dubai and Deira. They would have surely used the Metro and saved a lot of money. I am really disappointed.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:02
11PM on a Thursday? As some people stay out till 3 in the morning, the options will still remain limited! If these are driverless trains why not keep a couple trains running all night long?
Posted: August 31, 2009, 09:00
I am very exited for the metro travel, but today's news totally disappointed me because they are not opening the Al-Quoz station. I hope a lot of commuters from Al-Quoz to Bur Juman are there like me, I appreciate if the authorities open that station without delay.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 08:55
Yes! Mall of the Emirates station is just 5-minute walk from my accommodation. I will be using this services and I fairly believe this will make my travel from Al Barsha to Garhoud easy and convenient. I can?t wait to ride on the Metro! 09.09.09, history will take place.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 08:27
Absolutely disappointed that the Internet City station is heading for a delayed opening. On the flip side we wait for the long awaited opening.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 08:26
Dubai metro is a mega project and people do understand delay in opening of Metro stations. But sudden announcement of delay in opening of some stations will cause problem to people. Because there are many people in my knowledge who were waiting for metro launch so they can have choice of living anywhere in Dubai with Metro stations around. Previous statements and information by metro officials suggested that Metro will be completed on time.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 03:42
I have a very big question mark on the operational hours especially on Friday. No Metro service on Friday morning?
Posted: August 31, 2009, 02:06