HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launches official operations of Route 2020 Project
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has officially inaugurated the Route 2020 Project.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said: “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 a 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 metro, tram, buses and marine transport. The video sheds 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 a total capacity of 320,000 riders per day. His Highness boarded the new metro train, which features 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 sqm in area, with a total capacity of 522,000 riders per day 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.
HH 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 station’s predominant color. 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 the project milestones 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, motoring and braking equipment, and the integration between various subsystems and components.