Dubai Metro’s proposed new Blue Line will be mostly underground

We’re constantly told that flying taxis and independent cabs are an unavoidable part of Dubai’s sparkling travel future, and if you go in and out of Sharjah on a regular basis, the idea of vertical line skipping must seem quite appealing. But there’s another method of transportation that’s been making headlines across many platforms this week, and we’re all for it.

The prospect of a Blue Line for Dubai’s Metro was originally explored in 2006, along with other potential extensions including the expansion of the existing Red and Green line. Plans changed when the global economy slowed, but the Blue Line, like the revived Palm Jebel Ali project, again looks to be on track.

According to a story published on, the emirate’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) was rudely asking contractors to build the project. And the job’s scope of work narratives provide some fairly amazing possible characteristics of the massive Blue choo-choo.

We’re going underground

A large portion of the 30m track (about 15.5km overall) will be laid to rest according to Meed, with five of the proposed 14 stops considered “underground stations.”

This places Dubai in the same league with places like London, Paris, Shanghai, New York, Brussels, Delhi, Sydney, Toronto, Cairo, and, er, Glasgow. And there’s anything really attractive, almost romantic, about these troglodytic networks of transportation, allowing people to thunder silently through the heart of a seething, always-on city.

Mind the gap

According to the Meed article, the successful contractor will be given the task of “supplying 28 driverless trains, the building of a depot to accommodate up to 60 trains, and the building of all associated roads, amenities, and efficiency diverting works.”

The Blue Line will connect the current Red and Green lines and use an electromechanical system similar to the heritage lines.

Master plan

This rail project contributes to the bigger goal of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which includes plans for the city’s transport system in addition to reviving and consolidating amenities in important Dubai districts.

The proposal seeks to put 55% of the population within 800 metres of a major public transit station. And to promote and facilitate the use of public transportation, walking, cycling, and other more flexible ways of mobility.

Mass transit systems are also excellent traffic-reduction and environmental-friendly transportation options. A motif that recurs throughout the 2040 project. It also aims to boost the amount of green and recreational space, to create green corridors and more protected nature preserves, and to improve overall environmental sustainability.

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