By Andy Sambidge
Executive Council reviews shortlist for UAE capital's 131km rail project.
An international consultancy firm will soon be named to lead Abu Dhabi's metro project, it has been announced.
The Abu Dhabi Executive Council, chaired by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is reviewing the recommendations of the Abu Dhabi Transport Department (ADTD) with a view to awarding the consultancy contract.
The project is regarded to be one of the biggest transport projects in the world as the UAE capital aims to follow its neighbour Dubai down the rail system path.
The shortlist includes consultancy firms with international expertise in mega projects from the US, UK, Australia, Lebanon, France, Spain, and Denmark.
The department will grant the contract to the selected company once it gets the approval of the Executive Council, a spokesperson said.
The project is included the UAE capital's Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP), part of the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 project and is aimed at serving the ever-increasing population of the city and its suburbs.
The network will comprise 131km of metro lines and will be divided into two parts - the first one will serve Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi Island, Sadyaat Island and Yas Island.
The second part will serve Abu Dhabi Island, Mussaffah and Mohammed bin Zayed suburbs.
According to the contract, the consultant will carry out a feasibility study, the initial and detailed designs of the network, stations, safety and security systems, electronic control systems and finally supervision of the eventual construction of the metro.
The department has earlier issued standards for the designs of the metro wagons, railways and stations that confirm to the emirate's distinctive Arab and Islamic traditions and heritage and would have minimum environmental footprints.