An extension of the Dubai Metro that will link the city with the Expo 2020 site will open to passengers from January 1.
Route 2020 will initially cover four stations: Jebel Ali, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan – all large residential communities currently accessible only by bus or private car.
The remaining three stations – Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Investments Park and 2020 Expo – will open later next year.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general of the Roads and Transport Authority, said about 270,000 people lived in the areas served by the new stations.
The new 15-kilometre section will allow trains to carry tens of thousands of visitors to the Expo site when it opens in October 2021. The world fair was originally due to be held in October 2020 but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers aim to attract millions of people from around the world during the event's six-month run.
The extension to the Red Line cost about Dh11 billion ($3bn) – a major investment in public transport for the city. The original project built between 2005 and 2009 cost about Dh28 billion.
Initial timetable for four new stations
There will be six trains each hour serving Jebel Ali, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan and the waiting time between each train will be 10 minutes.
In total, 19 buses will serve the four stations, connecting metro passengers with other areas.
The service will run between 5am and midnight Saturday to Wednesday, 5am to 1am on Thursday and 10am to 1am on Friday.
The route has the capacity to accommodate 46,000 passengers per hour in both directions.
Transport bosses predict the route will serve 125,000 passengers a day in 2021, rising to 275,000 passengers a day by 2030.