Dubai rail system bidders thinned from sixty to six

Dubai Light Rail bidders whittled down from 60 to six.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  July 24, 2004

Six contractors in the lead for Dhs14.3 billion Dubai Light Rail Project Construction Week has learned that six contractors bids are in the lead for being shortlisted from the more than 60 submitted for the lucrative civil content for Dubai’s Dhs14.3 billion Light Rail Project. The pre-qualification process begun recently and it is understood that the announcement of the shortlisted bidders will be made in August or September. Market sources revealed the existence of a list of potential winners that includes four contracting joint ventures and two standalone bidders. The standalones are the Saudi Arabian Bin Laden Group and South African company Odebrecht. The four joint ventures that are said to be among the top-six are Bilfinger/ Taisei/Besix; Boygues/Vinci/Hochtief/CCIC; Consorcio Dutco Balfour Beatty/RoyalBam-Interbeton/Parsons Transportation; and Obayashi/Yapi Merkezi. The huge city network project is a first for the region and requires specialist knowledge. It is generally believed that any successful foreign bidders would require local help from the vast stable of local contractors that Dubai boasts. Following the pre-qualification process, the selected contractors for the civil content would be asked to submit detailed technical bids. There has been no timeframe announced by the Dubai Municipality, which is overseeing the design and implementation of the Dubai Light Rail Project. However, as the first phase of the metro project is to be ready within five years by 2009, the market expects the finalisation of the main contractor by early next year. The Higher Committee for the Dhs14.3 billion Dubai Rail Project formally launched Dubai’s long-standing dream of a state-of-the-art urban rail transit system in March this year. Nasser Ahmed Saeed, director of Roads Department is the general co-ordinator for the rail project. The project is being undertaken to ease the pressure from off the roads network. Over the past three decades, the municipality has built 9100 lane km of roads at a cost of Dhs8.4 billion. The proposed Dubai Metro network will comprise two lines, the Red Line and the Green Line. The Red Line will initially run from Salahuddin Road (near Al Ghurair Centre) to the American University of Dubai through BurJuman and Shaikh Zayed Road, and will progressively be extended to Jebel Ali Port in the south and the intersection of Al Nahda and Damascus roads through Al Qiyadah intersection in the north. The Green Line will, during the initial operation segment, ply between Al Ittihad Square (near the municipality) and Rashidiya bus station via Deira City Centre and the Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and will be extended to serve the Deira and Bur Dubai central areas up to BurJuman and Wafi shopping centres. Totalling 70 km, the two lines will have 55 stations in all - 35 along the 50 km long Red Line, and 22 stations along the 20 km long Green Line. The two transfer stations at Al Ittihad Square and BurJuman would be common to both lines. A possible extension of the Green Line from Wafi to the projected Festival City development was under study. In its entirety the metro system will have 18 km of tunnels, 51 km of viaduct, one major train depot and maintenance facilities site and several auxiliary stabling facilities, while the total fleet size is expected to be slightly in excess of 100 trains. The Dubai Metro System will be built around top-of-the-class modern trains, fully air-conditioned and customised to meet the specific requirements of the emirate. Each train is be about 75 m long and will consist of five cars with double doors to allow fast and smooth flow of passengers at stations. The trains will offer a standard class, but with a women and children only section, as well as an exclusive first class section. The driverless trains will be fully automated, and the electrical traction system to be used is proven environment-friendly in terms of noise and gas emissions. With frequencies as high as one every minute and a half, the fast travelling trains would have extensive window panels. There would be no visually intrusive overhead contact lines, thanks to the "third rail" connection system. The trains will use steel wheels or tyres running on a special double track for full guidance and support. All to fully air-conditioned stations will be equipped with platform screen doors.

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