The detailed design for the Dubai Metro Purple Line is complete and waiting for approval to go ahead on construction, according to a senior official from Parsons Brinckerhoff, the project consultant on the sidelines of the Arabian Construction Summit 2009 organised by Meed.
Meanwhile, Parsons is also looking at the possibility of a rail network in Oman, he added. In May 2007, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed the agreement with Parsons to carry out consultancy services including the initial designs of Dubai Metro Purple Line. The project completion is expected in Q4 2013.
"We have gone through a process of defining the route more in detail and making it much more attractive to the RTA and the passengers. We are just waiting for the go-ahead on construction," said Stuart Wallace, Managing Director of Parsons Brinckerhoff Middle East. "We could go to tender by mid-May but that will depend on the RTA and when they want to start."
The Purple Line is the fourth line of the Dubai Metro project and will provide an express means of transport that provides a direct link between Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Airport, a distance of about 49 kilometres.
The line, which will be built underground, will pass along Al Khail Road and will serve vital key projects extending along Al Khail Road and the Al Jaddaf area. The line will be automatically operated and driver-less and will include eight passenger stations.
"Our design is being geared towards ensuring that the project gets the patronage from the developers on that route and their developments are well-served by the transit system," said Wallace.
He agreed that the construction prices have fallen in the Middle East and particularly, Dubai. "I think that we were going through a rollercoaster and I think that the markets will recover. But it is a wait and watch situation," he told Emirates Business.
"In some areas, we do lot of feasibility work and front end work and we see that continuing. 2009 is going to be a tough year and I would not like to predict much beyond that since a lot would depend on world events," said Wallace.
He sees growth in Oman, Qatar and Saudi. "In Oman, we are looking at a rail project as well as roads and major port developments. Iraq is another prospective market," he said.
The company has recently won contracts including a power award in Kurdistan, a highway in Kuwait, and some rail work in Dubai.
"This month we are getting a transmission contract in Abu Dhabi, a transportation award in Saudi Arabia and some additional work in Qatar," he said.