The Tram is now open to the public!
The Dubai Tram (previously the Al Sufouh Tram) system was designed to be an integral part of the Dubai transport network, linking the Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail and running along Al Sufouh Road and Jumeirah Beach Road from Mall of the Emirates at one end to the Dubai Marina. After initially being planned for completion in 2009, when the first phase of the Dubai Metro was completed, it was first delayed until 2012, and it was subsequently announced that the Dubai Tram System was being delayed by another 2 years and will now be ready in 2014 due to the downturn in the global economic climate. In 2013 Sheikh Mohammed officially unveiled the designs for the interiors of the trains and of the stations and plans were made to up the tempo of the development of the Dubai Tram so that it would indeed be ready by 2014.
The trams have all been tested and the first phase of Dubai Tram is due to be opened on 11 November 2014. On this day there will be an inauguration ceremony and the tram will only be open to the public at 6.30am on Wednesday 12th November.
Many of the RTA traffic projects for Dubai have been delayed in recent years due to the financial situation in the Emirates but it does seem that most of the projects will eventually be completed, most likely once the residential areas are themselves completed and occupied, to ensure full use of the Dubai trams and other forms of transport.
When phase one of the project is complete (end of 2014), the tram will run for 19 hours a day from 6.30am until 1.30am Saturday to Thursday and 9am until 1.30am on Fridays, so will really help to reduce the level of traffic that builds up along the roads around Dubai Marina and JBR. The roads down near Jumeirah Beach Residence have been dug up now for a number of years for the Al Sufouh Tram Project but finally there should be an end to the traffic chaos.
The second phase of the Dubai Tram has been announced which will extend the track by 4km and link the tram network with Mall of the Emirates.
The Dubai Metro has been a great success since it opened, with millions of passengers in the last few years and tens of thousands of residents using the transport system for their daily commute. As the traffic in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach residence is so bad, particularly at weekends, it is anticipated that the Al Sufouh Tram System could make a huge difference once it is open and providing (unlike the Dubai Metro) the RTA get the opening hours right.