The RTA has confirmed that, as per last year, the tram will be operating throughout the night on New Year’s Eve to enable everyone to travel home from the new year celebrations.
Therefore, once the tram starts operations on the morning of 31 December it will not stop running until 1 AM on 2 January.
They have also confirmed that the same will happen with the Dubai Metro which will operate throughout the night of 31st December. The Metro will stop operating on midnight between the 1st and 2NFL of January which are the end of service normal operating hours.
The RTA are trying to encourage people to use public transport over New Year to save the gridlock that often happened in the past.
They will also be free parking available on 1 January except at the fish market car park.
The RTA has announced the timings for the holiday of Al Hijri (New year) for 2016 and there is no change from the usual timings for Dubai Tram.
The tram will continue to run on Friday from 9am until 1am the next day and on Saturday it runs from 6.30am until 1am the following day.
Free parking has been announced in almost all paid parking zones on 2nd October (the exceptions being the Fish market car park and some multi story car parks).
The RTA has always had a plan that there would be different phases in the development and expansion of the Dubai Tram system.
Although there were some hold ups on the construction of the tram initially during the financial crisis, plans are still ongoing to extend the tram to other areas. Phase 2 of Dubai Tram plans to extend to tourist destinations like the Burj al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Mall of the Emirates.
This would once again link the tram up with the Dubai metro which would give users more options in covering further areas of Dubai using public transport.
Tenders are currently being sought for the construction of phase 2 and further announcements will be made by the RTA in due course.
Phase 3 of the Tram is also in the planning stage and could see the extension of the line to 2nd December Street.
The RTA has always been planning that there will be a phase 2 of the Dubai Tram project. This has now been confirmed although the details are still very sketchy and the project is still in its initial stages.
The second phase of Dubai Tram will likely link up the existing route with places like Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Jumeirah and Burj al Arab.
These additional locations are located just further on from the current terminal of Al Sufouh and so are a logical continuation of the route.
The link with the Mall of the Emirates will give an additional interchange with the Dubai Metro, which is also undergoing plans for expansion.
The increased use of the Dubai Tram in the first quarter of 2016 has shown that the demand for this kind of public transport service is expanding and the extension of the line would be very useful not only to people who live in the locality but also to tourists.
It may be possible that the new extension will be ready in time for Expo 2020 but this has not yet been confirmed by the RTA.
The government and the RTA have announced plans for changes to the public transport system to enable seamless integration for disabled passengers on all of Dubai Public transport services.
One area that has been highlighted is to make the transition between the Dubai Metro and the Dubai Tram much smoother for disabled passengers in particular.
Currently there are issues when changing from the Metro from the Tram at the stations where the two modes of transport connect.
Although the metro trains and the trams themselves have been designed to cater for disabled passengers with specific bays for wheelchairs, the RTA confirms that more can be done to help.
This plan is part of an overall project to make the whole of the city disabled friendly by 2020.
Many other initiatives will be put in place to integrate everyone into Dubai society including projects for healthcare, education and employment.
Some of the initiatives will be in place as soon as 2017 but there will be a rolling timetable of changes introduced up until 2020 to complete the plan.
The RTA has announced plans to reopen some left turns and U-turns that were previously closed for safety reasons around intersections that involved the Dubai Tram.
Some of these intersections will be reopened on 2nd March following some studies and having given people time to get used to the presence of the tram in those areas.
This will be for an initial 3 month period where the traffic will be monitored to ensure the traffic signals are adhered to and no accidents occur.
There was much dismay from drivers when these closures were announced so this will no doubt delight the people who wish to make use of these turns again and who have had to make detours in their journeys because of them.
Further information can be found from Emirates 24/7.