Nakheel appoints operator for Palm Monorail

SMRT Engineering will be responsible for recruiting and training staff, as well as day-to-day running of service.

The Palm Monorail.
The Palm Monorail.

Nakheel has appointed SMRT Engineering (SMRTE) to commence preparation for the operation of The Palm Jumeirah's AED1.4 billion monorail.

In the following months, Nakheel will finalise the contract and appoint SMRTE as the operator of The Palm Monorail.

The mobilisation contract will see SMRTE evaluating and defining the operational procedures as well as recruiting and training staff for the smooth and efficient operation of The Palm Monorail, including the day-to-day running of the service, ticketing, on-going maintenance, and operation of the monorail's four stations.

The Palm Monorail is the first monorail to be constructed in the Middle East and it is being developed by a consortium of leading international companies led by the Marubeni Corporation. The monorail is a Hitachi-based system with 5.45km fully elevated, double tracked system with four stations. As of July 2007, Nakheel has laid more than 90% of the 5.45km track. Construction work, which began in March 2006, is scheduled to be completed in November 2008 to coincide with the opening of Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah.

Robert Lee, Nakheel executive director, Investment Projects said: "The Palm Monorail will not only be the first such system to be completed in the region, but also promises to be a global benchmark for the transportation industry. Whether it's the driverless system, running approximately 1,000m of rail over-sea, meeting Dubai's unique climatic conditions or ensuring the running of the monorail is virtually silent, The Palm Monorail is employing state-of-the-art technology. We considered a number of leading international operators for this contract and the competition was very strong, but SMRT's experience in developing and managing large scale, modern public transport systems, as well as a first class safety record, meant they were ideally suited to this role."

SMRTE was awarded the contract through a competitive tender called by Nakheel. There were a total of four international submissions, which were reviewed over a three-month period. The review was led by Nakheel's Monorail team, assisted by third party consultants.

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