Country: United Arab Emirates

Industry Sector: Transportation

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Nakheel, Dubai’s master developer, today began on site testing for its newly delivered monorail trains on Palm Jumeirah – the first monorail service in the Middle East.

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Nakheel, Dubai’s master developer, today began on site testing for its newly delivered monorail trains on Palm Jumeirah – the first monorail service in the Middle East.

High-tech trains arrived from Japan this weekend from leading railway system manufacturer Hitachi Ltd, best known for creating Japan’s high speed Bullet train. Two trains were raised on to the 5.45km track on Palm Jumeirah, and are now making initial test journeys, closely monitored by the RTA and operators SMRTE.

Robert Lee, Nakheel Managing Director, Investment Projects, said:

"It’s great to see the Palm Monorail trains well and truly on track. Having the first monorail in the Middle East here in the Palm Jumeirah is indicative of Nakheel’s vision, leadership and ambition as a developer. It will ensure we continue to play a critical role in Dubai’s growth as a global centre for tourism, and marks our commitment to creating sustainable transport systems, hand-in-hand with our partners at the RTA."

Tests on the trains will be carried out for the next six months before the monorail is opened to the public in April next year. The new system will carry thousands of passengers each day between Gateway Station at the trunk of Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis’ Aquaventure Station on the crescent, calling at Trump International Hotel & Tower and the luxury retail centre Palm Mall en route.

The system will ultimately connect to the Dubai Metro following the introduction of RTA’s Al Sufouh tramline, with direct links to Dubai Airport and other major transport hubs.

The Palm Monorail is being developed by a consortium of leading international companies led by the Marubeni Corporation. The system is fully automatic and driverless, although an attendant will be on board at all times. The monorail will initially carry up to 2,400 passengers per hour per direction in four separate trains, each made up of three cars. At full capacity, the figure will rise to a maximum of 6,000 people in nine vehicles.