Mohammed bin Rashid: "Dubai Metro is a key pillar of our infrastructure”

September 10, 2019  

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that development projects implemented across the UAE are chiefly aimed at ensuring the highest quality of life for all citizens and visitors. The projects aim to achieve the highest standards in accordance with global best practices.

His Highness pointed out that the development drive in the UAE seeks to improve all aspects of life and provide the best services to all segments of society. It also supports the goal of achieving the top ranking in global competitiveness indicators across sectors.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed made these remarks on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Dubai Metro, which was launched by His Highness on 9 September 2009. Dubai Metro, the world's longest driverless metro project, was one of the most important initiatives undertaken by the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA). The launch of the massive mass transportation system was aligned with His Highness’s vision to strengthen the foundations of a green economy and achieve sustainable development through the adoption of efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "Dubai Metro is a key pillar of our infrastructure. It reflects the advancement of our plans to adopt solutions that make life easier for people. Our investments in this sector reflect our keenness to create the best solutions for easy and safe mobility for all.”

His Highness expressed his appreciation for the achievements of Dubai Metro, saying it is a high quality addition to the transport infrastructure in Dubai, and a model for forward-looking projects that feature advanced technology. The project was the first of its kind in the Arab world and among the most advanced in the world. Our goal is to be at the forefront of the global future industry, he added.

His Highness further said, “The Metro's success in achieving the goals we launched 10 years ago embodies our forward-thinking decisions and awareness of the importance of adopting of innovative future-oriented solutions. In the beginning, some were unenthusiastic about the idea of creating Dubai Metro. We chose to implement the metro project because we realised the value it would add to society by providing safe and sustainable transportation.”

“In the last ten years, our investments in the roads and transport sector have reached almost AED100 billion, which have laid the foundations of a strong infrastructure. We are dedicated to raising the quality of our infrastructure and ensuring we are second to none,” he continued.
HH Sheikh Mohammed commended the projects and initiatives of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) that have contributed to the enhancement of Dubai’s global reputation. His Highness also thanked all those who participated in the implementation of such projects that have contributed to transforming Dubai into a global model for cities that prioritise the happiness of society.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Dubai Metro tomorrow (Monday), 9 September. Dubai Metro was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mohammed on 09/09/2009.
The first decade of the Metro’s operations has seen exceptional successes including its full compliance with top global safety standards and high levels of operational efficiency reflected in on-time journeys. The fact that over 1.5 billion riders have used Dubai Metro since the launch of the service (as of end of August 2019) further underscores the success of the operations.

On Wednesday, 09.09.2009 at 09:09:09 pm, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the Red Line of Dubai Metro, spanning 52 km and comprising of 29 stations (4 underground, 24 elevated, and 1 at-grade). Exactly two years later, on 09.09.2011, His Highness inaugurated the Green Line of Dubai Metro, extending 23 km and comprising of 18 stations (6 underground, and 12 elevated).


The two lines intersect at the Union and Burjuman stations.

“Dubai Metro is the brainchild of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It reflects His Highness’s vision for creating a world-class infrastructure that has raised Dubai’s standing as a global hub for finance and business,” said HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

“The concept is driven by His Highness’s firm belief in the vital role of metro systems in the urban development envisioned for the Emirate. Sheikh Mohammed envisaged the metro system as the backbone of a transit system that connects hotspots in the Emirate, providing safe and smooth mobility for all. To match that supreme vision, His Highness issued directives to construct metro facilities that met and even exceeded global standards of excellence and sophistication.

Standout Project

“The huge successes of Dubai Metro have gone beyond the realms of the Emirate. The Metro has enhanced the global profile of Dubai as a splendid metropolis, business hub, and a luxury lifestyle destination. The metro is a gorgeous addition to Dubai’s iconic landmarks and uses state-of-the-art rail industry technology. Furthermore, it has carved a niche for itself as the world’s longest driverless metro network,” commented Al Tayer.

Growth in Ridership

RTA Chairman expressed his appreciation for the growth in metro ridership numbers, which validates RTA’s plan for increasing the share of public transport riders. “The growing number of metro users reflects the evolution in the culture of using mass transport in the community. People have started to realise the benefits of using public transport such as peace of mind, physical relief, smooth mobility and reduced outlay on fuel and maintenance of vehicles,” he noted.

“From the start of operations on 09.09.2009 until the end of August this year, Dubai Metro saw about 1.5 billion riders. The number of metro riders rose from about 39 million riders in 2010 to 69 million riders in the following year. With the launch of the Green Line of Dubai Metro in Sept 2011, metro riders rocketed to 109 million riders in 2012. The ridership continued to hit new heights in 2015 reaching 179 million riders. By the end of 2018, it broke the two-hundred-million barrier clocking 204 million riders. Currently, Dubai Metro serves about 650,000 commuters daily; a record that significantly surpasses the number forecasted in studies commissioned at the design phase of the project,” confirmed Al Tayer.


“The successful operation of Dubai Metro supports RTA’s strategic objective of raising the share of public transport in the total number of mobility journeys to 26% by 2030. The share of public transport has grown steadily starting from 6% in 2006, reaching 17.5% in 2018, a cumulative growth rate of about 9.3% per annum.

“The massive investments of Dubai Government in public transport infrastructure has proven to be a hit. It has supported the flourishing development witnessed by the Emirate and spurred the growth of business and tourism. The Dubai public transport network contributed in raising the safety and smoothness of mobility in the city. In addition, it has contributed to improving the business climate and enhancing Dubai’s competitive edge in hosting mega-events, Expo 2020 being an example. The indirect benefits of public transport include conserving the environment, and reducing the financial losses caused by traffic bottlenecks by deflecting the demand from private vehicles to public transit means,” he added.

Contributions of Partners

Al Tayer commended the efforts of RTA’s strategic partners and their contribution to the successful operation of Dubai Metro. Above all comes Dubai Police (represented by the General Directorate of Transport Security), and Serco Middle East, the operator of the metro network. He also thanked commuters who made the metro their ideal mobility choice and praised their compliance with the rules governing metro operations and facilities. It is noteworthy that throughout the past ten years, not even a single act of vandalism of the metro facilities has been reported. Al Tayer also thanked RTA employees, especially Rail Agency staff, for their tireless efforts in overseeing the metro service.

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators of the Dubai Metro over the past decade reveal very high operational standards. On-time departures of the metro service maintained a rate of 99.7%. From the start of operations till the end of last August, the metro completed 2.348 million journeys and covered about 81.133 million km.

Through the metro service, RTA aims to improve mobility within Dubai, especially in tourist areas and business districts. It also seeks to enhance the integration of mass transit modes in the Emirate, provide a safe and smooth transit alternative, reduce carbon emissions and improve the living experience of people.

6 billion transactions

“From the start of the metro operations in September 2009 to the end of August 2019, about 6.298 billion transactions have been made using nol cards. Transactions covered entry/exit from metro stations, buses, taxis and marine transport as well as payment of parking fees, and card top-ups. The daily use of nol cards is on the rise and has grown to 2.511 million transactions. The total number of nol cards and tickets amounted to 75.588 million.

“RTA’s automated fare collection system, comprising of nol cards and e-purse, is a key smart payment platform in Dubai. It supports Government efforts to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. The nol card boasts high safety features, thanks to the sophisticated technologies it uses. It has won several awards including the best-prepaid card in the Middle East.

“The e-purse is a prepaid online account for prepayment of RTA’s services. Companies can make deposits to the e-purse account instead of using cash or credit cards. About 1,700 accounts have been opened and transactions processed through the purse worth about AED1.136 billion.
“The e-wallet has multiple features and saves the hassle of carrying cash. It enables secure online payment, checking account details, and cancelling payments. Clients currently can use the e-wallet to pay licensing services of drivers and vehicles. Efforts are being made to broaden its use to cover various retail and corporate services,” explained Al Tayer.

Route 2020

On 29 June 2016, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum endorsed the awarding of the contract for the Route 2020 Project, which seeks to extend the Dubai Metro Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the site of Expo 2020, to Expolink Consortium comprising French, Spanish and Turkish companies at a cost of AED10.6 billion.
On 5 September of the same year, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council, laid the cornerstone of the Route 2020 Project, signalling the start of construction works in the project.

Route 2020 extends 15 km (11.8 km viaduct, and 3.2 km underground). It has seven stations including a transfer station with the Red Line, a station at Expo site, three elevated stations, and two underground stations. It serves densely populated areas that are home to more than 270,000 people, including The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and the Dubai Investment Park.

The transit time from Dubai Marina Station to Expo Station is expected to be 16 minutes only. The capacity of Route 2020 is estimated to be 46,000 riders per hour in both directions (23,000 riders per hour per direction). According to RTA studies, the ridership of Route 2020 is expected to reach 125,000 per day in 2020; and the number is set to rise to 275,000 riders per day by 2030. Studies also anticipate that about 35,000 riders would use the Expo Station per day during weekdays, and the number is poised to rise to 47,000 riders per day during weekends. This number accounts for about 20% of the projected total number of daily visitors to Expo.

Construction Milestones

-21 March 2006: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the construction works of Dubai Metro at an official event held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

-29 July 2006: Casting the first concrete pillar of Dubai Metro viaduct between the 6th and 7th interchanges on Sheikh Zayed Road.

-10 Jan 2007: HH Sheikh Mohammed launched the drilling of Dubai Metro tunnels by pressing the operation button of the giant tunnel boring machine, Al Wugeesha, at the site of the Union Station in the direction of Burjuman Station.

-7 March 2008: The first batch of Dubai Metro carriages (10 trains) arrived at Jebel Ali Port.

-20 Sept 2008: HH Sheikh Mohammed launched the technical trial-run of Dubai Metro on the test track.

-09 Sept 2009: HH Sheikh Mohammed launched the commercial operation of the Red Line starting with 10 stations.

-09 Sept 2011: HH Sheikh Mohammed launched the commercial operation of the Green Line of Dubai Metro.

Key Facts

-Dubai Metro extends 75 km: 52 km on the Green Line and 23 km on the Green Line.

-The metro route is partly underground (downtown areas), and the rest is an elevated track. A limited sector of the Red Line (about 3.3 km) runs above-ground.

-Each metro train comprises of five fully air-conditioned cabins with a total capacity of 650 riders. All trains are driverless.

-There are 79 trains available for the metro service in total. Trains in service include 51 on the Red Line and 16 on the Green Line.

-The design capacity of the metro network is 26,000 riders per hour per direction in both the Red and Green Lines. By 2020, the Dubai Metro is anticipated to serve about 700,000 riders per day and 255 million riders per annum.

-Three multi-level Park-N-Ride terminals have been constructed with a capacity of 8,000 parking slots.

-The interior design of the metro stations on both the Red and Green Lines as well as Route 2020 features six symbolic design themes:

- Heritage: Culture and history of the UAE

- Earth: Durability of nature

- Air: Elation and continuity of life 

- Fire: Source of energy and strength

- Water: Source of life and inspiration

- Future Dubai symbolised in Expo Station


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