The buzzword for the Dubai Metro project is now "9-9-9", referring to the completion date of the first phase - the Red Line - which is fast approaching. The line is set to start operation on September 9, 2009.
The Dh15.5 billion Dubai Metro Project, the world's largest automated - and thus driverless - metro system, is in the 31st month of its construction out of a total 49 months.
"We are right on schedule and have achieved a number of milestones ahead of time," said Engineer Adnan Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of the Dubai Metro Construction Department at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). "People in Dubai will see the trains running on the test track on Shaikh Zayed Road by the end of April," Al Hammadi said.
Some of the upcoming milestones are finishing of underground stations, completion of elevated stations and the beginning of construction work on the Green Line tunnels. Two more power stations will be commissioned, metal track laid for trains and pedestrian bridges at all stations will be built.
One of the major milestones achieved so far is the completion of tunnelling work for the underground portion of the Red Line. The challenging task consisted of boring the tunnel under Dubai Creek and the Dnata building.
The first main power station became operational on schedule early this year, and will provide electricity to the Red Line.
"Despite the extension of the Green Line by 4.9km, we are determined to start the operation on schedule," Al Hammadi told Gulf News .
Mammoth work on Dubai Metro chugs on
Residents and tourists in Dubai will have to wait 18 months to ride the trains, with work on the Dubai Metro entering its 31st month - out of 49 total - of construction.
Around 25,000 people, from engineers to labourers, are busy day and night to deliver the project on schedule to meet the September 9, 2009 deadline to start operation.
Some 72 per cent of the work on the 52.1km Red Line, which runs from Al Qusais to Jebel Ali, and 12 per cent of the work on the Green Line, which runs from Rashidiya to Jaddaf along the Dubai Creek, has been completed. The Dh15.5 billion Dubai Metro Project-the world's largest automated driverless metro system, started in October 2005.
Gulf News, the first newspaper to get access to the construction sites of the Dubai Metro, brings you exclusive pictures of the underground and elevated stations, tunnels being excavated under the Dubai Creek and construction of the elevated track.
A map of the Red and Green Lines has also been created to explain the route of the Metro and inform residents about the locations of stations.
All stations will have facilities such as parking, taxi lay-bys, and public transport links to other modes of transport to ensure smooth journeys for all.