IN PHOTOS: HH Sheikh Mohammed Launches Dubai Route 2020 Project

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has officially inaugurated the Route 2020 Project.

Also Read: List of Route 2020 Stations in Dubai Metro

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE’s journey towards sustainable development is backed by quality projects and an infrastructure that is globally acclaimed for its efficiency and reliability. Developed by Emirati talent with the support of international expertise, these projects meet the highest global standards as part of the objective of providing a superior quality of living and services for everyone.

“The UAE has exceptional goals and ambitions. Today, we are moving with confidence, determination and a clear vision to attain the highest levels of excellence in various fields. Our objective is to provide people everything that ensures their wellbeing, stability and happiness and establish a prosperous future for the coming generations.

“The world is today entering a new phase which brings unprecedented challenges that some may not be prepared to deal with. However, we have a strategy designed to tide over unforeseen challenges and create a positive future. Our nation is equipped with the plans, competencies and expertise needed to navigate these challenging global circumstances. We have the ability to overcome all obstacles while sustaining our progress and generating new opportunities,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

The launch took place in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council. The project involves the 15 km extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line from Jebel Ali Station to Expo 2020 Station. The AED11 billion Route 2020 project, which links seven stations, will be open to the public in September this year.

Upon arrival at Jebel Ali Metro Station, Sheikh Mohammed was welcomed by Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority, RTA. At the station, His Highness and his entourage watched a video about the Route 2020 Project built as part of the leadership’s vision to promote the sustainable development of the emirate. The project was focused on building globally benchmarked infrastructure and services that meet the UAE’s aspirations themed ‘Towards the Next 50 Years’.

The project is part of RTA’s master plan to provide integrated multi-modal mass transit systems comprising of the metro, tram, buses and marine transport. The video shed light on the communities served by Route 2020, such as The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Investment Park and the Expo 2020 site; which have a combined population of about 270,000.

The track extends 15 km (11.8 km elevated track and 3.2 km underground track) and links seven stations (one Interchange station with the Red Line, one iconic station at EXPO 2020 site, three elevated stations and two underground stations). The project offers safe and smooth transport for Expo visitors and residents of Dubai communities. It is also viewed as a vital future link between several Dubai communities and Al Maktoum International Airport. The new project serves as a symbol of sustainability, progress, and innovation for present and future generations.

Sheikh Mohammed and the entourage toured Jebel Ali Station, an interchange station that spans 8,800 square metres in area with total capacity of 320,000 riders per day. His Highness boarded the new metro train, which features some modifications to the interior design of the metro carriages.

The train stopped at Expo 2020 Station, which boasts a unique design featuring the wings of an aircraft, signifying Dubai’s future drive towards greater innovation. His Highness and his entourage toured the station which spans 18,800 square metres in area, with a total capacity of 522,000 riders per day in both directions at a rate of 29,000 riders per hour in both directions. The station has three passenger platforms and three routes. It is linked on the eastern side with the Expo exhibition and Expo COEX, and on the western side with the EXPO Mall and urban complex. The station design enables its integration with public transport means with spaces for buses and taxis stands.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed unveiled the memorial of Expo 2020 station, an artwork inspired by the phrase “I believe in God” written in Arabic and taken from His Highness’s poem “The Beginning of the Fifty”. The poem, which encapsulates faith in God and wisdom, motivates the youth to make achievements and raise the standing of the homeland.

The memorial, designed by the international artist El Seed, is decorated in blue to match the predominant colour of the station. The monument measures 1.5×3.5 metres and is placed on a 1×4 metre base. The selection of the colour blue symbolises stability, loyalty, trust, intelligence and peace. His Highness posed for a photo with the project team supervising the construction of Route 2020.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer stated that Dubai Metro as a whole and Route 2020, in particular, was a brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He noted that His Highness was keen to ensure the project featured a superior infrastructure, which reflects his belief that a metro system serves as the backbone of transit systems connecting key areas of Dubai.

“Route 2020 was blessed by the support and direct follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed together with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Their Highnesses were key drivers of the project from the time of its conception. They closely followed up on the progress of the design and construction phases and launched milestones of the project all the way to the official opening,” said Al Tayer.

“Route 2020 has a capacity of 46,000 riders per hour in both directions (23,000 riders per hour per direction). RTA’s studies expect the number of riders using Route 2020 to reach 125,000 per day in 2021, and 275,000 riders per day by 2030. Studies also reveal that Expo 2020 Station is expected to record about 35,000 daily Expo visitors during weekdays, and the number to increase to 47,000 daily visitors during weekends. This number accounts for 29% of the total expected number of daily visitors of Expo,” explained Al Tayer.

RTA will open Route 2020 for the public this September and will reveal details of operations later on. Through the metro operator, RTA will continue the operational tests and trials over the following months. The test-run comprises of four phases; the first is the Static Test, where a motionless metro carriage will be placed on the track for carrying out a series of tests. Tests include communication systems, automated operation systems, electrical systems, air-conditioning, onboard electronic devices, lighting systems as well as motoring and braking equipment and the integration between various subsystems and components.

Work is currently underway on the second phase of mobile testing, which consists of a series of tests on a train in motion without passengers. Tests on the rolling stock cover motors, brake systems, loading, electric current systems, electromagnetic compatibility, automated train systems, rail communications systems, and speed.

RTA will shortly embark on Phase 3 of operational tests to verify system reliability and stability. These tests are key phases of the project and start after the completion of tests and integration of the entire systems. During this phase, the system will be running continuously in a mode similar to the normal revenue operation, but without passengers, with the aim of achieving the targeted operational performance indicator (KPI).

Phase 4 features a trial run to be conducted by the operator aimed at verifying the readiness of the operator before the start of actual service operations. The trial includes 14 days of operations without riders to test the various components of the metro system in all modes including normal, degraded and emergency.

The exterior designs of Route 2020 stations feature an enhanced version of the architectural design of existing metro stations along the Red and Green Lines. Such designs include four variations. The iconic Expo station features plane wings symbolising Dubai’s future aspirations and its focus on innovation. The interchange station between Route 2020 and the Red Line at Jebel Ali Station has a design similar to that of current metro stations in order to maintain overall design identity. The other two patterns are for elevated and underground stations. The new designs allow for bigger capacities compared with the existing stations on the Red Line, besides design elements signifying simplicity, modernity and sustainability.

The areas of elevated stations range from 8,100 to 8,800 square metres, and the areas of the two underground stations range from 27,000 to 28,700 square metres. Expo 2020 Station spans 18,800 square metres.

The interior designs of the stations feature a contemporary pattern and flow lines derived from the four elements of nature, namely: air (the pulse of life and the source of continuity), the earth (the constant element of nature), fire (the source of energy and strength), and water (the lifeline and source of inspiration), in addition to the design resembling future Dubai.

The design of the new stations enables integration with the public transportation system. Every station has bus and taxi laybys as well as stops for pick-up and drop-off.

There will be a key train service to link Terminal 1 Station and Terminal 3 Station of the Dubai International Airport with Expo 2020 Station. There will be a bus service for passengers departing from Expo Station to the Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport to ease the movement of riders between the two airports. In the near future, Route 2020 will be extended 3.4 km from Expo 2020 Station to Al Maktoum International Airport to ensure a modern metro link between the two airports.

Source: Dubai Media Office