Get the lowdown on Dubai's new transport system which is due to launch in November
1. What is it?
Originally planned for 2009, and then 2012, and then the first half of this year, the Dubai Tram, or Al Sufouh Tramway, is essentially a series of trams located in the Al Sufouh of Dubai. It will coincide with both the Dubai Metro as well as the Palm Monorail. At the moment, the project is still under construction and is set for full operation in November this year.
2. How long will it take?
The maximum speed of the trams will be around 50 km per hour so, from one side to the other, it will take around half an hour. Distances between stations range from 500 metres to a kilometre in length.
3. Where are they?
11 stations will run along Al Sufouh Road and Jumeirah Beach Road from Dubai Marina to Mall Of The Emirates for Phase 1, starting at Jumeirah Beach Residence 1 and ending at Al Sufouh. After the initial 11 stations, eight more stations will be opened in Phase 2.
4. How do you get to them?
Four footbridges, similar to the metro’s footbridges, are set to be constructed to allow pedestrians to actually get onto the trams and to ensure that the carriages are used by the maximum amount of people. The footbridges are also air-conditioned and will be located at stations, 4, 6, 7 and 9. Alternatively, links to the Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail will allow passengers to transfer from one mode of transport to the other.
5. How much will it cost?
Although official prices have yet to be released, it is confirmed that the trams will be using a similar system to the Dubai Metro, splitting areas into ‘zones’, with tickets getting more expensive the more zones you cross. However, since the Phase 1 of the tram only spans one zone (which is around 10.6 km), to start off with, tickets will stay relatively cheap at a few dirhams each.
6. The fines
Crossing a red traffic light could leave you with a hefty fine of no less than AED2000 ($544). Crossing a red traffic light which results in an accident will leave you a fine of AED5000 to AED15000. Crossing a red traffic light which results in an accident that kills someone could lead to a fine up to AED30,000.
7. How long will these be open?
The tram is set to run for 20 hours a day from 5am to 1am. So if you somehow find yourself stuck in Al Sufouh in the middle of the night with no sense of direction, the Dubai Tram has you covered.
8. How packed will it be?
Each tram can hold a maximum of 408 passengers.
9. Are there any cycling paths?
Odd question, but yes. A cycling track, which doubles as a pathway for pedestrians, will coexist alongside the trams. Despite this, the track will not go around all of the stations, with no track between stations 5 to 7.
10. Why do we need this?
The main reason for the construction of the trams is to reduce the large amount of traffic clogging up Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence, especially during the weekends. Since its release, the Metro has garnered large success with people utilising it in their daily routine. It seems like the RTA are attempting to achieve the same success with the Dubai Tram and are hoping that the trams will make a huge difference to the traffic when they finally open in November.