Dubai: A tram network will be built on Al Sufouh Road providing a link between major developments in the new residential, commercial and business district of Dubai, revealed a senior official.

"The 14.5km tram line will run on Al Sufouh Road connecting the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Jumeirah Lake Towers," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the Dh4 billion Al Sufouh Tram Project.

Master plan

Speaking at a packed press conference on Tuesday in Dubai, Al Tayer said the project was part the RTA's master plan to provide a comprehensive mass transit systems by 2020, covering the metro, tram, bus and marine transport.

"The tram will be connected to Dubai Metro's Red Line on Shaikh Zayed Road at three points including the Mall of the Emirates station, Dubai Marina station and Ibn Battuta Mall station to facilitate commuters," he said.

The tram will also interlink with the monorail of The Palm Jumeirah at the entry point of The Palm at Al Sufouh Road.

"The tram project will encourage people in these upmarket areas to use an alternative mode of transport instead of private cars," he added.

The contract for the project has been awarded to a consortium consisting of the French Alstom, the Belgium Besix, the British Serco, and the American Parsons; which will undertake the detailed design work, while the French Systra Co will act as RTA Consultant for the project.

Al Tayer said that the project would serve about half a million people in the area, which has witnessed massive growth during the last few years.

"Demographic surveys, population density estimates and manpower distribution along the tram path revealed that those areas are inhabited by about 180,000 residents, 210,000 workers, and 20,000 visitors per day. The tram project will help us control traffic congestion in such a high concentration area," he said.

Popular: Networks worldwide

  • The world's first electric tramway was established in 1881 in the village of Gross-Lichterfelde, now in Berlin, Germany. Today it is a part of one of the world's largest electric tram networks.
  • In the Arab world, Egypt and Tunisia run tram systems. Both Cairo and Alexandria have tram systems in Egypt and the tram system in Heliopolis, Cairo, is considered one of the oldest examples of a light rail system. Tunisia ran a traditional tram system until 1960, and now has a new one that started in 1985.
  • While North American cities have opted to drop the tram system for more modern transport systems, Western European countries have chosen to upgrade theirs significantly. Today Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have operational tram networks.
  • Sarajevo is thought to be the first European city to have a full time tram network, which started in 1885, after it became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Other European states that have a tram network are Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, and Hungary.
  • In Asia, tram networks exist in Japan, India Hong Kong, China, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Australia and New Zealand also have tram networks.

- Staff Report