“We are fully committed to the Dubai Metro and tram networks and are working diligently to ensure a smooth handover of operations in September, 2021”, said Keolis Group CEO, Marie-Ange Debon, in a statement after winning the contract for the operation and maintenance of Dubai Metro. The contract, which includes the operation of the Dubai Tram, covers a total of 15 years, including six renewable years, and is worth about AED542 million per year.
“We look forward to working hand-in-hand with RTA to deliver its vision of world-class, smart and sustainable mobility for the city, and this is our top priority. We are honoured to have been selected, along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering and Mitsubishi Corporation, by RTA to operate and maintain Dubai’s sophisticated driverless metro system and catenary-free tram system”, Marie-Ange Debon added.
The contract provides a perfect opportunity to blend RTA’s reputation for innovation and efficiency with Keolis’s international experience and expertise. Keolis will be the lead partner in a joint venture (JV), which will also deliver the talents of both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC). Keolis-MHI is an integrated joint venture between Keolis (70%), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (25%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (5%).
From September 2021, Keolis will provide shared mobility services in Dubai along with the major railway system integrator MHI and rolling stock supplier MC, and partners which were both heavily involved in the construction and development of Dubai’s metro network. With Keolis in the lead, the JV will take the form of a new subsidiary called Keolis-MHI.
“We will provide operation and maintenance services for the Dubai automated metro network and the operation of Dubai tram network on behalf of RTA. We will manage the assets of the metro and tram networks including trains, control centers, stations and the associated infrastructure. MHI and MC will primarily support the maintenance of the metro systems, as they are the main original suppliers and system integrator of the metro red and green lines” She further elaborated.
Keolis boasts extensive experience in managing automated metro and tram networks, and as a multimodal operator working closely with 300 public transport authorities every day to guarantee safe, reliable and passenger-focused mobility solutions.
Keolis is present in Doha, Qatar, since 2017 under a joint venture called RKH Qitarat. Keolis operate and maintain, on behalf of the public transport authority Qatar Rail, the Doha driverless metro network (3 lines, 76km long) which has been fully operational since December 2019. Keolis’ contract with Qatar Rail also covers the operation and maintenance of the tram network (4 lines, 12km of track) in Lusail which is scheduled to be launched in 2021.
Keolis has a track record of running one of the world’s most iconic systems in London (Docklands Light Railway) and is also the long-standing operator of choice for the world’s first automated metro in Lille. The extent of Keolis’ metro experience is reflected in the many other automated metro networks the business successfully manages across the world, which includes Lyon and Rennes in France, Shanghai (China) and Hyderabad (India).
“In the future, we may consider exploring new opportunities to support RTA in its ambitions to further develop shared and smart mobility for Dubai residents and visitors. We may also look at opportunities in the Middle East region as it develops its public transport networks,” Marie-Ange Debon concluded.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said: “We at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority are keen on ensuring the highest standards of operation, maintenance, security and safety for the metro and tram riders and achieving competitive performance indicators of operation and punctuality of journeys besides improving the quality of services provided to metro and tram riders. According to the contract, the consortium shall undertake the operation and maintenance services of the Dubai Metro Red and Green lines as well as Route 2020. It will also cater to the operation of Dubai Tram, and all assets of the metro and tram networks including trains, control centres, stations and the associated infrastructure”.
Equipped with 129 metro trainsets (79 Kinki Sharyo metro trains delivered by Mitsubishi in 2009 and 50 Metropolis trains built by Alstom), the metro network provides easy access to key locations such as Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Healthcare City and the Expo 2020 site, where the United Arab Emirates is set to host an exceptional edition of the World Expo event for six months from October 2021.