Keolis start nieuw contract voor metro- en tramnetwerk Dubai

On September 8th Keolis began operating and maintaining Dubai’s driverless metro network and operating the emirate’s tram network under a 15-year contract awarded by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) on 31 January 2021. Keolis-MHI is a joint venture led by Keolis that includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) which have both been heavily involved in the construction and development of Dubai’s metro network since 2005. For this contract, Keolis-MHI has recruited 1,850 employees, mainly from the previous operator, following a smooth seven-month transition period.

A smooth transition for a succesful operation

The transition of assets and systems went smoothly, in line with RTA’s requirements, which called for retaining a majority of Serco’s workforce who have acquired extensive experience in operating and maintaining Dubai’s metro and tram networks.

To facilitate the move, Keolis sent in a transition team whose members reflect the Group’s expertise in France and around the world. It included 52 staff dedicated to mobilisation on the ground, alongside 105 experts in operations, maintenance, human resources, marketing and customer relations.

Setting stringent standards and defining clear areas of responsibility, the new contract spans 15 years composed of a nine-year fixed term contract with three possible two-year extensions.   

Keolis-MHI is responsible for operating and maintaining the Dubai Metro Red and Green lines and operating the Dubai Tram. The company will run all metro and tram network assets, from trains and control centres to stations and associated infrastructure, delivering premium passenger transport services capable of handling large variations in passenger numbers.

Also covered are operation and maintenance of the automated metro and fare systems, and full coordination and integration of Dubai’s metro, tram and other means of transport. The service must meet the highest standards of security and safety for passengers as well as demanding performance indicators for operations and punctuality.

Dubai Metro, the backbone of Dubai public transport

As the world’s longest driverless metro, Dubai Metro uses level-4 communications-based train control (CBTC) technology by Thales, which boosts transport capacity by reducing the interval between trains.
The system has two lines (including Route 2020) covering a total of 90 kilometres, including 15.8 km of tunnel. Its 53 fully air-conditioned stations offer a host of facilities, from retail outlets to Wi-Fi. The metro system is also part of a wider, multimodal network that expands travel options by linking metro stations with bus, taxi and marine services. Safe and convenient mobility has helped boost the global competitiveness of Dubai, as it prepares for Expo 2020 Dubai, which opens in October 2021.

The metro has also reduced carbon emissions and eased traffic congestion by 15% down to 25% in the districts it serves. Along the way, it has helped raise the use of public transport threefold, from 6% of the population in 2006 rising to 18.1% in 2019.

The network operates with 129 metro trainsets -- 79 Kinki Sharyo metro trains delivered by Mitsubishi in 2009 and 50 Metropolis trains built by Alstom -- and provides easy access to key locations, including Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Healthcare City and the Expo 2020 site, where the United Arab Emirates is set to host a highly-anticipated World Expo for six months from October 2021.
His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said: Dubai Metro currently constitutes the backbone of transportation systems in Dubai. It links vital areas and provides safe and smooth mobility for riders. The huge successes of the Dubai Metro have gone far and wide beyond the scope of the Emirate. The metro has embellished the global profile of Dubai as a superior business hub and a key destination for an exceptional quality of life. The metro is a brilliant addition to Dubai’s iconic landmarks as it uses state-of-the-art rail technology”.

Keolis Group CEO Marie-Ange Debon said: We are very excited to begin operating Dubai’s world-class metro and tram networks in collaboration with MHI and MC. We’re also delighted to welcome 1850 new members of staff to Keolis Group. Our shared goals bring us together: meeting the highest safety standards, delivering outstanding passenger service, and moving together towards a smart and sustainable future. Along the way, we’ll continue to focus on safety, quality, innovation and sustainability. Our ultimate goal is to ensure customer happiness by providing the very best passenger experience to Dubai’s residents and visitors. We share RTA’s Smart City Vision, which sees smart mobility as the answer to a more efficient transport system and a more vibrant city. And we look forward to accompanying RTA on this exciting journey to make the city safer, cleaner and more attractive.