A newly completed Dubai Metro line that will connect people to the Expo 2020 site and surrounding areas was inaugurated on Wednesday before it opens to the public later this year.
The Dh11 billion project, which the Roads and Transport Authority began almost four years ago, includes a 15-kilometre extension of the red line and seven new stations.
Route 2020 will take visitors to and from the Expo 2020 site during the six-month global exhibition, which will open in October 2021 after a one-year delay due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, posted a video on Twitter that showed his tour of the new transport link.
“We announced, 47 months ago, the extension of the Dubai Metro red line at a cost of Dh11 billion,” he said. “Today we [launched] our project."
He said it took 80 million hours to complete the work on time "as we promised".
“We say what we do and we do what we say. This is Dubai.”
He said more than 12,000 engineers and technicians worked to complete the project.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, accompanied Sheikh Mohammed on the tour.
The new route will open to the public in September and the extended track runs over and underground.
It runs from the former Nakheel Harbour and Tower station, now named Jebel Ali station, direct to Expo 2020 and will pass through popular neighbourhoods such as Dubai Investments Park, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan and Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Fifty trains will serve passengers across the seven stations including one interchange with the red line, one flagship station at the Expo 2020 site as well as three elevated and two underground stations.
The seven stations on the route are: Jebel Ali Station; The Gardens Station; Discovery Gardens Station; Al Furjan Station; Jumeirah Golf Estates Station; Dubai Investment Park Station and Expo Station.
A total of 15 trains will exclusively carry passengers to and from the global fair.
From Dubai Marina, people will be able to reach Expo 2020 in 16 minutes.
There will also be a key train service to link Terminal 1 station and Terminal 3 station at Dubai International Airport with the expo site.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general of RTA, said Route 2020 would have the capacity to carry 125,000 riders a day in 2021 and 275,000 riders a day by 2030.
Once open to the public, Jumeirah Golf Estates station will be biggest along the whole Dubai Metro network.
It will serve residential communities such as Dubai Sports City and Dubai Production City through the metro bus link.