DUBAI // Mirdif City Centre mall is to get its own Metro station as part of plans to extend the network.
The shopping centre has been attracting enough traffic to warrant its own link to the Dubai Metro, said Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, acting chief executive of the Rail Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
During his keynote address at the Middle East Rail exhibition on Tuesday, Mr Al Ali said that the Red line will be expanded by 10 to 15 kilometres to service the Expo 2020 area near Al Maktoum International Airport.
The Green line will also be extended, by 20.6km, and gain 11 more stations to cover International City, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Academic City.
He also announced plans for the second phase of the Dubai Tram. Phase one is set for completion this November, linking Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the Palm Jumeirah. Phase two will link sites such as Mall of the Emirates and the Burj Al Arab.
Etihad Rail will operate passenger and freight tracks.
“We should have the freight rail in the Habshan area operating by the end of this year,” said John Lesniewski, Kam programme and sales director for Etihad Rail.
“Phase two will be the track from Saudi Arabia to Dubai. Construction on this should start this summer. Phase three will be to connect the Northern Emirates.”
The National Transport Authority (NTA), also present at the exhibition, confirmed that the Etihad Rail project was on schedule. The 1,200km rail line is set for completion in 2018 and will be an integral part of the GCC rail programme.
“There is a social and economic need to link the rail systems of the Arab world,” said Dr Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the NTA.
“The Etihad Rail network will play a crucial role as part of the GCC network. This next period will be critical.
“We will complete the Etihad Rail by 2018, which will connect Oman to Saudi Arabia. But we are also creating local networks within each emirate.”