Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) expects to solicit bids within eight months for road projects worth as much as Dh4 billion ($1.1 billion) as part of a bigger drive to upgrade transport links in the city, according to Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA.

This follows the award of a Dh10.6-billion ($2.9 billion) contract to a consortium led by France’s Alstom to expand the city’s metro system to the Expo 2020 site. 

The ‘Route 2020’ project contract for extending the Red Line of the Dubai Metro was awarded to  Expolink Consortium – which besides Alstom comprises Spanish builder Acciona and Turkey’s Gulermak – after winning approval from HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the RTA.

Sheikh Mohammed gave directions for the immediate start of the project work as it will also act as a critical line in serving the needs of demographic growth in the localities surrounding the metro track.

“The construction of the Route 2020 is envisioned in Dubai 2021 Plan for achieving sustainable development, providing an improved world-class infrastructure and services,” stated Al Tayer. 

On the timeline of the project construction, Al Tayer said: “Work on the project will start in the final quarter of this year, and the trial run is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2019.”

“The official operation of the service is set to start on 20/05/2020, that is five months ahead of the opening of Expo 2020,” he added.