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Dubai Metro

Dubai inaugurated its metro network in September 2009, becoming the first urban metro network to run in the Gulf's Arab states. The system has eased the daily commute for thousands of the workers in the emirate.

With an economy increasingly based upon financial services, air transport, property development and tourism, Dubai has a rapidly growing population and severe traffic congestion problems. The population is forecast to increase by 6.4% annually, rising to three million by 2017.

"In full operation, Dubai Metro is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers on an average day, and 355 million passengers a year."

Dubai Municipality identified the need for a rail system to relieve growing motor traffic levels and support continuing urban development based on studies which began in 1997. Systra was awarded the preliminary engineering contract, and Dubai Rail Link (DURL), a consortium of four companies headed by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), led the project to build the first two lines of the high-tech driverless rapid transit system. The other consortium members are the Japanese Obayashi and Kajima corporations, as well as Yapi Merkezi of Turkey.

The metro will be fully integrated within the network operated by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), a body created in 2005. Routes will be organised around the backbone provided by the rail system.

Around 1.74 million passengers used the metro in its first month, according to the statistics released by the RTA. The average number of passengers travelling on the Red Line is estimated at around 180,000 a day. Green Line passenger capacity is estimated to be 100,000 a day.

The Red Line was the first line to be completed, in April 2010. The Green line was opened in September 2011. Two more lines are planned. The intention is for 320km of metro lines to be in place in Dubai by 2020. Dubai Metro is the longest automated driverless system in the world.

DURL officials are also in the process of negotiations with major local and international companies for acquiring brand naming rights - in other words, advertisement rights - for the stations on Red and Green lines.

In February 2012 the Dubai Metro entered the Guinness World Records book as the longest driverless metro network in the world, spanning 74.69km.

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Dubai Metro network early stages and gradual station openings

Groundworks began in February 2006, centred on the 52.1km Red line. As of April 2012 all 29 stations on the Red Line have been inaugurated. Eight of the Red line stations were opened in September 2009. Two stations were opened in January 2010.

Station construction stalled temporarily due to payment disputes - worth $2-3bn - between DURL and its contractors, but resumed in February 2010. Seven more stations opened in April 2010, followed by another three in May 2010 and five in October 2010. Two more stations were opened in March 2011.

In August 2006, a second contract worth $12bn was awarded to the MHI consortium for building the Green line. The Green line runs between Al-Qusais and Al-Jadaf, and links strategic locations including Dubai Airport and Healthcare City. In June 2007, Serco (operator of the Docklands Light Railway in London) was named as preferred bidder for initial consultation and the system's operation and maintenance.

Experience Dubai Metro - By Hussein Kefel Full HD & Viewable in 3D

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