Red Line extension plan right on track

A feasibility study into the extension of Dubai Metro's Red Line to the Abu Dhabi border is nearing completion, with a construction contract expected to be awarded in the second quarter of this year.

A feasibility study into the extension of Dubai Metro's Red Line to the Abu Dhabi border is nearing completion, with a construction contract expected to be awarded in the second quarter of this year.

"We are studying the expansion of the line to the Abu Dhabi border," said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).

"But the system will be solely for Dubai; there are no plans to extend the line into Abu Dhabi.

The Red Line is expected to be extended by 12km from the Jebel Ali Free Zone to the border.

A contract for the Blue Line, which will run along Emirates Road linking Dubai International Airport to Dubai World Central in Jebel Ali, is also expected to be awarded later in the year.

The Red and Green Lines are currently being constructed by the Mitsubishi-led Dubai Rapid Link (DURL) consortium.

The Red Line is expected to be completed by the end of 2009, while the Green Line will be ready by March 2010.

The RTA last week signed an operation and maintenance deal for the project with the UK's Serco.

Al Tayer said that for the first three years, maintenance of the network will be looked after by DURL, while Serco will operate the system.

Serco will then take over full maintenance and operation for the following two years, in a deal that could be extended by an additional five, depending on approval from the RTA.

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