Tram at Dubai Marina on test before opening. The Dubai Tram will start rolling for passenger service from Wednesday, following its inauguration on November 11 2014. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Tram will be flagged off by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday evening, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

Shaikh Mohammad, along with senior government officials, will take the inaugural ride from Al Sufouh tram depot.

The trams will be open for public service from 6.30am on Wednesday, November 12, with a trip every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 12 minutes during non-peak hours.

The 10.6km network is served by 11 stations and snakes through densely populated areas of Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

With each tram carrying a maximum of 405 passengers, the tramway is expected to serve around 27,000 people daily.

In stage one, 11 trains will operate from 6.30am to 1.30am on weekdays and from 9am to 1.30am on Fridays.

Dubai Tram is considered the first tram outside Europe powered entirely by on-ground electric cables extending throughout the tramway. It is also the first tram in the world that uses the technology of platform screen doors, the mechanism of which is synchronised with the opening and closing of the tram doors in order to provide additional comfort, safety and security to riders.

“The Dubai Tram is a brainchild of Shaikh Mohammad to provide an advanced transit system that serves the JBR, Dubai Marina and Al Sufouh. At the establishment of the RTA in 2005, Shaikh Mohammad directed us to develop integrated and comprehensive solutions for the area in order to accommodate the huge urbanisation projects in the neighbourhood. RTA undertook a comprehensive study to look into the needs of the area, and find ways to integrate various modes of transport,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.

Dubai Tram is the first in the world to have air-conditioned stations along with special needs-friendly features that will allow people with mobility difficulty and parents with small children extra time to board or disembark the tram.

The trams will have seven cabins, one Gold class, two for ladies and children and four Silver class.

It is connected with Dubai Metro at two stations – Damac station and Jumeirah Lakes Towers stations in Dubai Marina – and Palm Jumeirah Monorail at the Palm Jumeirah Station.

A Silver class ride on the tram will cost Dh3, irrespective of the distance travelled, while on Gold class the cost will double. Commuters will need a minimum of Dh7.5 as Nol balance to take a ride on the tram.

“All commuters should make sure they check in and check out of the tram by tagging their Nol cards at the tram doors in order to avoid any fines,” Al Tayer said.

Multiple footbridges, parking areas and taxi lay-bys have been built at various stations, while walkways and cycle tracks have been developed alongside the tram tracks.

“The tram aims to improve the mobility within Dubai in general and areas of tourist and economic importance served by the tramway in particular. It also contributes to boosting the integrated public transport systems in the emirate, providing a smooth, handy and highly efficient transit experience within communities characterised by business and tourist importance in the city of Dubai,” said Al Tayer.

The trams pass through 30 traffic junctions and crossings, including 24 signalised intersections, sharing road space with motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Since the tramway shares road space with other road users, trams will have the right way at all times.

New road signs and road markings relevant to tram movement have been set up in the areas served by the trams and RTA has run a massive campaign through social media to make people aware of the new rules and penalties.

RTA has also introduced tram-related information in the driver’s curriculum for new drivers in order to make them aware of the tram movement.