Abu Dhabi plans metro network

A busy road in Abu Dhabi
A busy road in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI (AFP) — The wealthy Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi has announced plans to build a metro network, following in the footsteps of neighbouring Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport said in a statement late Tuesday that it has invited leading international consultancies to prepare a study to build the metro.

It said the rail system would be about 131 kilometres (82 miles) long, and would connect the island city with suburbs and new urban areas being developed.

The department did not specify when the network would be ready, but said the metro and other planned transport projects, including roads and a Light Rail Transit system “will meet the people’s and the economy’s mobility needs throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi until 2030.”

It also did not disclose any details about the budget for the metro, which was unveiled as Abu Dhabi presses ahead in revamping its road network to reduce congestion.

Dubai, another member of the United Arab Emirates federation, is expected in September to start operating the first metro system in an Arab state of the Gulf, which is being built in a bid to cut traffic congestion.

The mostly-elevated 70-kilometre (43-mile) driverless network is being built by a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries under a 3.3-billion-dollar contract awarded in 2005.