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Sat 3 Jan 2009 09:56 AM

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Plans for Dubai Metro Purple Line 'in the air'

Line linking Dubai airports will not go-ahead until 'there is a visible demand' - RTA.

The planned Dubai Metro Purple Line will not get the go-ahead until there is adequate demand, transport chiefs have said.

Plans for the line are "in the air" at present, Roads and Transport Authority chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer told Construction Week.

The Purple Line will provide a high-speed link between Dubai International Airport and the under-construction Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.

Plans for the original line showed a 49km link with eight stations along its length. It was intended to cut travel time between the two airports to 40 minutes.

But Tayer said: "For the time being we are not really in a position to answer (questions concerning the purple line). We are considering different methodologies, and it's a plan for the future. I cannot tell you exactly what route it will take. It's in the air, but it will link the two airports."

His comments come as RTA chiefs announced work on the Red and Green Lines were on schedule despite the global economic crisis.

The red line, which is due to open on Sept. 9, 2009 runs a total of 52.1km from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali.

The green line, stretching 23.9kms around Dubai creek from Al Qusais to Jedaff, is set for completion on March 21, 2010.

The Purple Line was announced in June 2007, and construction was originally slated to begin in March at a cost of $2.73 billion but thetime table has now been pushed back indefinitely, with the RTA saying construction will not begin until "there is a visible need".

"Whenever there is a visible need for this line to be built, it will be built," RTA CEO for strategy and corporate governance Abdul Ibrahim Younis said.

Younis said the construction timetable would depend upon the progress of developments surrounding the proposed route, and that any delays to those projects may push back the Purple Line.

Younis added that studies already under way would ensure the Purple Line was built according to the needs of the surrounding population.

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Maz Mohad 11 years ago

I think more importantly whats needed is a line running along the highways of E44 and E311 roads.

Boby Joseph 11 years ago

Demand and Supply for RAIL in a country like UAE for RAIL is not going to be an easy affair, the problem has a lot of dimensions than simple population demand. UAE's true population will never reach a demand levels and the link between the two airports has a lot to do with Dubai as a hub for future flight demands. Whatever be the demand the actual demand is at least 5 years from now, given the world situation however, what is true though is the cost of building such a RAIL link is quite cheap today at $2.73 billion, which is a gamble Dubai government should take, because these kind of decisions are what made Dubai today what it is today! The slow down is temporary and will usually take a quick turnaround any time 1 to 5 years but, to do a RAIL line takes the same amount of time. Hence, I personally feel the RAIL line should be done by finding enough funding pledging so it will pay for itself after the completion.

Raj 11 years ago

The need of the hour is fast, efficient & punctual mass transportation system on which commuters can really rely on, and curb ownership of personal cars.

Mounir 11 years ago

why cant dubai be like abu dhabi and build infrastructure ahead of it being needed? whats the point of building a bridge tomorrow when it was needed last week?

Richard 11 years ago

Clearly the date for the opening of the new airport is being posrponed - if it opens at all

Joe 11 years ago

The government has been behind in their decision making when it comes to mass transit. They should be pro-active and proceed with the Purple Line. Waiting means the construction costs will be higher in a year or two when its approved and it means everyone will have to wait that much longer for another transportation option. Roads like Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road can only be expanded so far for all the cars. The metro could solve a lot of problems if done correctly and as quickly as possible.

zamir iqbal 11 years ago

I think they are having money problems that's why it is postponed.

F Naufel 11 years ago

I find it hard to believe that RTA does not have money. If it is useless then why don't they scrap Salik. Not only has it made life harder for the residents, it pinches on pockets as well.

andrews 11 years ago

This shows that the low oil prices has really affected the Dubai government in general. Even if you check out the fancy looking RTA headquarters building near DFC it is on a stand still as the construction has be aborted. I would not be surprised to wake up one day with a newspaper with headlines 'Dubai introduces Income tax'

Lity Mathew 11 years ago

I feel this is an appropriate move as RTA will get a chance to regotiate the prices with the contractor once again; moreover this will help further streamlining the spending, based on the sequnce of urgency in other projects.