The first tracks on the Al Sufouh tramline in Dubai will be laid in December according to Alstom, the French rail firm in charge of the first phase of the project.
The Dh4 billion (USD 1.08billion) mass transit system will run from Dubai Marina to the Mall of the Emirates and be the first of its kind in the Gulf. All stations will be air-conditioned and unlike the conventional overhead wires, Al Sufouh’s tram system will be powered by ground level electricity supply.
The 11km first phase is expected to open in 2011 and will include 11 trams and a section of the line running above ground over a viaduct.
“This will be a world première” commented Eric Lenoir, regional communications manager at Alstom. Describing progress made on the first phase of the project, Lenoir said preparation had begun this summer with work on the viaduct and excavation for the platforms and stations. Work on the first cars had also started this month as well laying of the first track bed.
The announcement follows the openings earlier this year of the Palm Jumeirah Monorail and the first line of the Dubai Metro, signifying Dubai’s heavy investment in public transport in its effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve quality of life in the emirate.
The Al Sufouh tramline is particularly good news for property owners in Dubai Marina, the starting point of the route. With residents in the area gaining greater accessibility, investors can expect potential for increased rental yields and higher returns.
Source: The National