The RTA has no immediate plans to build the Dubai Metro’s planned blue or purple lines, the CEO of the agency said Friday.
The two lines were originally included in the masterplan for the Dubai Metro’s network, to run on different routes between Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central.
“The blue line and purple line are part of the future infrastructure,” CEO of the RTA Mattar Al Tayer told Arabian Business reporters at a Dubai press conference, which followed the opening of Dubai Metro’s Green Line. When there is a demand we will build them. I cannot see that we will need any purple or blue line in the next five to six years.”
In July, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said the proposed $2.73bn Purple Line could be cancelled.
The 49 kilometer high-speed expressway was meant to run along Al Khail Road with as many as eight stations.
“Our view is that what both airports need is really fast and efficient links Downtown to residential and businesses, so we don’t really need a fast Metro link between the two airports because the amount of traffic between airports won’t be significant,” Griffiths told Arabian Business.
“Particularly as we see, at some stage, the complete transfer of the Emirates hub to Dubai World Central – so the fast links to the centre of town are more important to the airport links.”
When asked whether this meant that the proposed link had now been cancelled, Griffiths said: “Well, let’s put it this way – that is our focus of planning.”
The Blue Line, which was previously approved for construction and due for completion in 2014, would span 47 kilometres and link the two airports via emirates road if built.
On Friday, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE prime minister and vice-president and ruler of Dubai, opened Dubai Metro’s second line, the Green Line.
The official opening ceremony was held at the Dubai Healthcare City Station, exactly two years after the launch of the Red Line – the first metro line ever to be launched in the Middle East.
The Green Line has added eighteen stations and 23km to Dubai’s existing rail network, to provide low-cost transport for passengers living in the older areas of the city such as Deira and Bur Dubai.
All of the Green Line’s stations have been opened to the public except Al Jadaf and Creek Stations, as the real estate developments they were intended to serve, are yet to be completed.
It is hoped that the new line will boost the number of passengers using the Metro each day from 190,000 to more than 250,000, and significantly reduce traffic congestion in the emirate.
At the press conference, Adnan Al Hamadi, chief executive of the Rail Agency at the RTA, said he expected as many as 100,000 passengers to use the Green Line per day during the first two weeks of operation.
Matter Al Tayer said the benefits of the project were numerous, the most important of which was the infrastructure of Dubai.
“The economy of Dubai is good because the infrastructure is ready to be utilised,” he said. “Congratulations to all the inhabitants of Dubai,” he added. “Everyone ought to be proud.”
With the opening of the Green line, Dubai Metro is the world's longest fully-automated metro network.