Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) recently inaugurated its 15-kilometre Red Line extension, Metro Route 2020, worth USD 2.9 billion. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the line during an official ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “We announced the Red Line extension 47 months ago. Today we are launching our project: 50 trains, seven stations, 12,000 engineers and technicians and 80 million hours to complete our work on time as we promised. We say what we do and we do what we say.”
Work on this project commenced in 2016. The new line — which includes seven stations, all with bus and taxi interchanges, and over 3.2 kilometres of underground and 11.8 kilometres of elevated track — will become operational from September 2020. Currently, dynamic testing of the new line is underway, which will be followed by system reliability testing and a 14-day trial run without passengers.
The new line includes a terminal at Expo 2020 site and an interchange at Jebel Ali. It will connect several prominent communities of Dubai, including Dubai Investment Park, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Al Furjan, Discovery Gardens and The Gardens, with a total population of about 270,000. The line will also provide a direct metro link to Dubai International Airport’s Terminals 1 and 3. A further extension of 3.4 kilometres is planned from Expo 2020 station to Al Maktoum International Airport.
It will be able to transport 46,000 passengers per hour and is expected to serve approximately 125,000 passengers per day from 2021. This number is expected to increase to 275,000 by 2030. During the Expo 2020 event, now scheduled for October 2021, the line is expected to transport 35,000 passengers per day on weekdays, and 47,000 per day over weekends; about 29 percent of all Expo visitors.