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Tue 6 May 2008 02:07 AM

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Abu Dhabi to get Metro 'within seven years'

Light rail network will be supported by fast link between capital and Dubai, official says.

A light rail network will be up and running in Abu Dhabi within seven years, supported by a fast rail link between the capital and Dubai, an official said on Monday.

General manager of the Urban Planning Council Falah Al-Ahbabi said a predicted growth of population in the capital to more than three million meant could not be sustained on private cars alone, and that the city would have its own metro by 2015, reported UAE daily The National.

“We know the urgency of this, and know the demand coming in future. We want to see this up and running, and it is a must to see it up and running within seven years,” he told the newspaper.

“What I can say is this is definitely going to happen,” he said.

According to Al-Ahbabi, a report due by the end of the year would detail the new system with work on a new railway line also beginning shortly afterwards.

“We have to decide on the routes, and whether it is going to be overground or underground, or both,” Al-Ahbabi said, adding that a private sector contractor would be sought to build the system once the report was finished.

The announcement comes days after Dubai said it would launch its first tram system, a 14-kilometre network connecting key locations within the city.

RELATED: Dubai launches first tram system

The 4 billion-dirham ($1.1 billion) project will span 19 stations along Al Safooh Road, linking the Madinat Jumeirah and Mall of the Emirates with Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Beach Residence.

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Sam 12 years ago

Connecting the UAE by metro makes economic and social sense, yes?

Peter 12 years ago

Makes more sense to build a Fast Train system to connect the cities and use the metro to navigate within each city - unless the ultimate plan is to develop the entire coastline..?