Plans for Dubai Metro Purple Line 'in the air'

Line linking Dubai airports will not go-ahead until 'there is a visible demand' - RTA.

The planned Dubai Metro Purple Line will not get the go-ahead until there is adequate demand, transport chiefs have said.

Plans for the line are "in the air" at present, Roads and Transport Authority chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer told Construction Week.

The Purple Line will provide a high-speed link between Dubai International Airport and the under-construction Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.

Plans for the original line showed a 49km link with eight stations along its length. It was intended to cut travel time between the two airports to 40 minutes.

But Tayer said: "For the time being we are not really in a position to answer (questions concerning the purple line). We are considering different methodologies, and it's a plan for the future. I cannot tell you exactly what route it will take. It's in the air, but it will link the two airports."

His comments come as RTA chiefs announced work on the Red and Green Lines were on schedule despite the global economic crisis.

The red line, which is due to open on Sept. 9, 2009 runs a total of 52.1km from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali.

The green line, stretching 23.9kms around Dubai creek from Al Qusais to Jedaff, is set for completion on March 21, 2010.

The Purple Line was announced in June 2007, and construction was originally slated to begin in March at a cost of $2.73 billion but thetime table has now been pushed back indefinitely, with the RTA saying construction will not begin until "there is a visible need".

"Whenever there is a visible need for this line to be built, it will be built," RTA CEO for strategy and corporate governance Abdul Ibrahim Younis said.

Younis said the construction timetable would depend upon the progress of developments surrounding the proposed route, and that any delays to those projects may push back the Purple Line.

Younis added that studies already under way would ensure the Purple Line was built according to the needs of the surrounding population.

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Posted by: Lity Mathew

I feel this is an appropriate move as RTA will get a chance to regotiate the prices with the contractor once again; moreover this will help further streamlining the spending, based on the sequnce of urgency in other projects.

Posted by: andrews

This shows that the low oil prices has really affected the Dubai government in general. Even if you check out the fancy looking RTA headquarters building near DFC it is on a stand still as the construction has be aborted. I would not be surprised to wake up one day with a newspaper with headlines 'Dubai introduces Income tax'

Posted by: F Naufel

I find it hard to believe that RTA does not have money. If it is useless then why don't they scrap Salik. Not only has it made life harder for the residents, it pinches on pockets as well.

Posted by: zamir iqbal

I think they are having money problems that's why it is postponed.

Posted by: Joe

The government has been behind in their decision making when it comes to mass transit. They should be pro-active and proceed with the Purple Line. Waiting means the construction costs will be higher in a year or two when its approved and it means everyone will have to wait that much longer for another transportation option. Roads like Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road can only be expanded so far for all the cars. The metro could solve a lot of problems if done correctly and as quickly as possible.

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