Etihad Rail – the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network – warmly welcomed company Vice Chairman, H.E. Mattar Al Tayer – Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA in Dubai, at the Beach Rotana Hotel last Thursday where he led an educational and insightful presentation to Etihad Rail employees.
The presentation saw H.E. Al Tayer share key lessons learnt and best practice from his role as Chairman of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), where he has overseen the development of the Dubai Metro and most recently the opening of the Metro’s Green Line. The Green Line opened to great acclaim on 9 September and saw more than 100,000 people use the service in the first two days alone. Marking the completion of one of the biggest and most vital transport projects in the region, the Green Line stretches 23km and comprises 18 stations. Its opening comes exactly two years after the launch of the Metro’s successful Red Line, which covers more than 50km and has some 29 stations. In his speech to Etihad Rail, Al Tayer gave insights on all sorts of aspects of the Metro project, from planning to financing, general leadership and management and also technical, administration and communication matters.
H.E. Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said that the team leading the Dubai Metro overcame many technical and operational challenges throughout the development of the project. These included: work on the unique design of the metro stations (which portray the shape of a sea shell), as well as the transport, installation, and execution of huge concrete moulds ranging between 24 and 72 metres. The team also oversaw the construction of 16 pedestrian bridges that link the metro stations to the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as the installation of 16 electronic and electro-mechanical engineering systems on the project. Additionally, 15km of tunnels were constructed using three giant rigs (TBM) each weighing 1000 tonnes and with a cost exceeding AED25 million per device. Technical issues relating to the ventilation of the tunnels were also successfully overcome.
Al Tayer also highlighted the fact that the team spearheading the project undertook their work (challenges included) under the full supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, where His Highness’ guidance and instructions played a major role in inspiring the morale of all workers (including RTA and its alliances) involved in the project.
He further added that an emphasis was put, from the outset, on the importance of delivering the Dubai Metro project on schedule – a commitment the RTA met through the impressive coordination of a highly dedicated team of engineers and workers who adhered to the milestone date of 9/9/2009.
Commenting on the Vice Chairman’s presentation, Etihad Rail CEO Richard Bowker said: “The Dubai Metro project represents one of the biggest and most ambitious infrastructure projects in the region and its completion came in record time and on schedule. The landmark project brings an advanced and efficient network that caters to the needs and aspirations of Dubai in the 21st century.”
He further adds: “We were delighted to have H.E. Al Tayer share his experiences in leading the Dubai Metro project with all our team here at Etihad Rail. As a leader with an international reputation in the industry, his insights and expertise are invaluable. We will use his lessons carefully to positively influence and inform our decisions – for the benefit of the Etihad Rail network and the UAE as a whole. His presentation comes at a very opportune time as we make our final preparations for the start of construction on the first stage of the network towards the end of this year.”