From plan to 'live': How Dubai got its Metro, Tram bang on time

A file picture of the Dubai Metro. (AP)

Taking critical decisions at the right time and ensuring an effective team work has been the foundation for the successful completion of Dubai’s mega infrastructure projects - Metro, Tram, roads and bridges - on time.

During a panel discussion on ‘Complex and Mega Projects’ at the Dubai International Project Management Forum on Tuesday, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed the secrets of his organisation’s success, which has invested Dh80 billion in the last 10 years to build the city’s excellent infrastructure.

“We do follow up on regular basis as critical decisions can make or break a project,” he said, citing an example of how he and senior officials of Mitsubishi Corporation and Parson Corporation were meeting every three months to review the Metro project.

He further revealed that taking tough decision was necessary in the better interest of the nation and failure of the parties to complete the Metro by 09-09-2009 (September 9, 2009) would be 'thrown out'.

“Innovation is very important and there is a need to have a clear vision for the success of any project. Besides, all those working on the project have to be dedicated and perform as a team to ensure the completion of the project.”

He disclosed that employees have been appreciated for their efforts and even offered rewards to encourage them to complete projects on time.

On the technology front, RTA chief said that Dubai has always adopted the latest technology when it comes to building its infrastructure, citing the example of Dubai Tram.

“We have a flexible legislation, which is necessary and our emphasis has also been on developing public-private partnership,” he added.

In May 2015, RTA said its giant projects have contributed to ranking the UAE at the top of all countries of the world in terms of the quality of roads in 2012 and 2013 based on the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum.

The authority has stated that their projects have had a positive bearing on the economy of Dubai, with savings in time and fuel exceeding Dh87 billion during the period from 2006 until the end of 2014.

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