Keolis, in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), has won a nine-year contract to operate and maintain Dubai’s metro and tram networks.
Worth approximately €125 million (£107 million) per year, the new contract also includes provision for up to three two-year extensions.
Keolis already runs London’s Docklands Light Railway and is the long-standing operator of the world’s first automated metro in Lille. It also successfully manages several other automated metro networks, including Lyon and Rennes in France, Doha (Qatar), Shanghai (China) and Hyderabad (India).
Tram networks currently operated by Keolis include the world’s largest network in Melbourne (Australia), Bordeaux (France) and Manchester (UK).
His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general of Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), said: “We at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority are keen on ensuring the highest standards of operation, maintenance, security and safety for the metro and tram riders and achieving competitive performance indicators of operation and punctuality of journeys besides improving the quality of services provided to metro and tram riders.
“According to the contract, the consortium shall undertake the operation and maintenance services of the Dubai Metro Red and Green lines as well as Route 2020.
“It will also cater to the operation of Dubai Tram, and all assets of the metro and tram networks including trains, control centres, stations and the associated infrastructure.”
Keolis Group CEO Marie-Ange Debon responded: “We are honoured to have been selected, along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering and Mitsubishi Corporation, by RTA to operate and maintain Dubai’s sophisticated driverless metro system and catenary-free tram system.
“Keolis boasts extensive experience in managing automated metro and tram networks, and as a multimodal operator working closely with 300 public transport authorities every day to guarantee safe, reliable and passenger-focused mobility solutions, we look forward to nurturing a collaborative partnership with RTA to deliver their vision of smart, sustainable and convenient public transportation for the city.”
RTA’s metro and tram networks carry around 210 million passengers per year. Using modern communications-based train control (CBTC) technology provided by Thales, the Dubai metro network is the longest fully driverless and automated metro network in the world. It features two lines (including Route 2020) spanning a total of 90km, including 15.8km of tunnel, and 53 fully air-conditioned stations.
Equipped with 129 metro trainsets (79 Kinki Sharyo metro trains delivered by Mitsubishi in 2009 and 50 Metropolis trains built by Alstom), the metro network provides easy access to key locations such as Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Healthcare City and the Expo 2020 site, where the United Arab Emirates is set to host an exceptional edition of the World Expo event for six months from October 2021.
The city’s catenary-free tram network, which opened in 2014, has a total length of 10.6km. Operated by 11 Alstom Citadis trams, it includes 11 stations and 11 Alstom Citadis trams, connecting to two metro stations: Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers.