The Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated metro rail network in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The Red Line and Green Line are operational, with three further lines planned. It's the main way of transport in Dubai. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere (elevated railway). All trains and stations are air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.
The first section of the Red Line, covering 10 stations, was ceremonially inaugurated at 9:09:09 pm on 9 September 2009, by Sh. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, with the line opening to the public at 6 am (UTC 4:00) on 10 September. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula and either the second in the Arab World (after the Cairo Metro) or the third (if the surface-level, limited-service Baghdad Metro is counted).
More than 110,000 people, which is nearly 10 per cent of Dubai’s population, used the Metro in its first two days of operation. The Dubai Metro carried 10 million passengers from launch on 9 September 2009 to 9 February 2010 with 11 stations operational on the Red Line. Engineering consultancy Atkins provided full multidisciplinary design and management of the civil works on Dubai Metro. Architecture firm Aedas were the architect who designed for Dubai system's 45 stations, two depots and operational control centers. The construction of the Dubai Metro was undertaken by Al Ghurair Investment group.
Guinness World Records has declared Dubai Metro to be the world's longest fully automated metro network with a route length of 75 kilometers (47 mi).
According to statement by Adnan Al Hammadi, Chief Executive of the Rail Agency and Transport Authority, Dubai Metro transported 33.3 million people in Q1 of 2013, a significant increase, compared to the same period of the previous year.
Planning of the Dubai Metro began under the directive of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who expected other projects to attract 15 million visitors to Dubai by 2010. The combination of a rapidly growing population (expected to reach 3 million by 2017) and severe traffic congestion necessitated the building of an urban rail system to provide additional public transportation capacity, relieve motor traffic, and provide infrastructure for additional development.
In May 2005, a AED 12.45 billion/US$3.4 billion design and build contract was awarded to the Dubai Rail Link (DURL) consortium made up of Japanese companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation and Turkish firm Yapı Merkezi, and the Project Management ('The Engineer') and Construction Management services contract awarded to a French-American joint venture between Systra and Parsons Corporation.
The first phase (worth AED 15.5 billion/US$4.2 billion) covers 35 kilometers (22 mi) of the proposed network, including the Red Line between Al Rashidiya and the Jebel Ali Free Zone set for completion by September 2009 and the Green Line from Al Qusais 2 to Al Jaddaf 1. This was to be completed by June 2010. A second phase contract was subsequently signed in July 2006 and includes extensions to the initial routes. The Red Line partially opened at 9 minutes and 9 seconds past 9 pm on 9 September 2009 (9/9/9 9:9:9), inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.
The Dubai Metro is operated by Serco under contract to the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority.
Before launch, Dubai Municipality Public Transport Department expected the metro to carry 1.2 million passengers on an average day, 27,000 passengers per hour for each line, and 355 million passengers per year once both lines are fully operational. It is planned to provide transport for 12% of all trips in Dubai. After the first month of operation (on a limited network), the monthly total was 1,740,578 passengers, which equates to under 60,000 passengers/day.
After the opening of more stations in May 2010, ridership surged to 103,002 passengers/day and reached 130,000/day by the beginning of October 2010, though still short of the originally anticipated 140,000 passengers/day, passengers are expected to rise to 170,000/day by the end of 2010. When the Green Line opened on 9 September 2011, passengers on the Red Line was noted as 180,000/day, with the new line expected to add as much as 120,000/day to the network. In 2013, passengers rose to 377,000/day, split 64% for the Red line and 36% for the Green Line.
The first two lines of the Dubai Metro will have 70 kilometres (43 mi) of lines, and 47 stations (including nine underground stations).
The Roads and Transport Authority's master plan includes 421 kilometers (262 mi) of metro lines up to 2030 to cater to the expected above 4.1 million population of the city. There are plans for 268 kilometers (167 mi) of light rail tracks to act as a feeder system for the Metro, although only the Al Sufouh Tramway is under construction as of January 2013. The fate of this entire network – which would reportedly be divided into Blue, Purple, Pink and Gold lines – is now dependent on an economic recovery and private investment.
The Dubai Transport is divided into 4 tiers (5 zones). As of 2013 the cheapest ticket (not preloaded, and not in the "gold" class) with distance not more than 3 km cost 1.80 AED (about $0.54) - equivalent of Tier 0, and most costly single trip (Tier 3, exceed 2 zones, and paper not preloaded ticket also) 5.80 AED (about $1.77) and was not increased from opening. Dubai Metro fares are among the cheapest metro fares in the world. Tier 1 is one zone trip, where the travel exceeds 3 km, Tier 2 is neighboring 2 zones travel. Also (excluding Gold class) using cards there is "no more paying" - a free rest of day travel if cost exceeds 14 AED (about $3.81).