Paris: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will fast-track a Dh5 billion expansion of the Dubai Metro’s Red Line to connect to the Dubai World Central, if the emirate wins the bid to host the World Expo 2020, a top official said.
Dubai has already earmarked a large venue for the Expo 2020 at the Dubai World Central (DWC) — the 140 sq. kilometre airport city that will host among others, a 160 million passenger capacity Al Maktoum International Airport — the world’s biggest greenfield airport project.
“As soon as the bid results are out and if we win — which we will Inshallah (God willing), we start the planning and development of the project,” Mattar Mohammad Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told the media on Wednesday.
He said, the plan to extend the Red Line to DWC has been there for sometime. The project was supposed to be linked with the growth in passenger traffic at the Al Maktoum International Airport, which will launch scheduled commercial flights in October through a temporary passenger terminal with a capacity to handle 5 million passengers. However, things will change in November, if the UAE wins. “If that happens, we will start working on it from then, in November itself.”
The airport, which was opened in 2010, currently handles cargo operations.
Al Tayer said, the UAE’s Etihad Railway will also pass through Jebel Ali, close to the DWC, which will bring additional visitors to the Expo site.
“We have already floated the tenders for the next stage of Etihad Rail’s development. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2017, and that will bring additional traffic to the area,” Al Tayer, who is also on the Etihad Rail’s board, said here in Paris.