By Andy Sambidge
Nakheel chief makes announcement following first official trip along 5.45km track.
The Palm Monorail project will be up and running in April, Nakheel's CEO has announced following the successful completion of the first official journey.
The Palm developer hosted a delegation from the Road Transport Authority (RTA) which travelled from Gateway Station at the trunk of Palm Jumeirah to Atlantis Aquaventure Station.
The journey between the two stations which are at either end of the monorail track, covering a distance of 5.45km, took eight minutes.
Chris O'Donnell, CEO, Nakheel, said: "We have been working very closely with our strategic partner RTA since the Palm Monorail's inception. Our cooperation extends as far as a joint ticketing system that will enable holders of a RTA farecard to pay for journeys on the Palm Monorail.
"As a result of this cooperation we are delighted to be able to announce that the Palm Monorail will be open for visitors of Palm Jumeirah from April 2009."
Abdulmajid Al Khaja, CEO of RTA, added: "Together, Nakheel and RTA have been focused on delivering a transport service which will enhance the other transportation projects currently underway in Dubai.
"When we connect the Palm Monorail to the Metro we will be able to offer passengers a seamless journey from Dubai International Airport to the hotels on Palm Jumeirah, using just one farecard.
"As we enter the final stages of completion we look forward to the next important stage of welcoming Dubai's residents and many visitors here on board."
The Palm Monorail is the first system of its kind to be completed in the Middle East.
State-of-the-art technology has been employed to overcome a number of challenges including running 1,000m of rail over-sea, meeting Dubai's unique climatic conditions, and protecting the communities of Palm Jumeirah from noise pollution by using a virtually silent track system.
Developed by a consortium of leading international companies, led by the Marubeni Corporation, the Palm Monorail's 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.