The Dubai Tram is a modern tram system in Al Sufouh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates running from Dubai Marina to the Palm Jumeirah. Along its route, it connects with two stations on the Dubai Metro Red Line, as well as with the Palm Jumeirah Monorail. The Dubai Tram is the fourth tramway in the world to be powered by a ground-based electric supply system, also known as APS, for Alimentation Par le Sol (feeding by the ground).
The Dubai Tram is the world's first tram network using platform screen doors at stations, as well as Supervised Vehicle Operation (SVO) to ensure accurate station stopping.
The Dubai Tram is somewhat unique, as it uses a power collection system that may have problems in Toronto. It does demonstrate the use of side-of-the-road right of way design that can be advantageous in parts of Toronto.
|Number of lines||1|
|Total length||10.6 km|
|Loading||Low level platforms with doors isolating platform from track
Platform 20 cm above track
|Fleet||Alstom Citadis 402
Seven section, 100% low floor, 44 m long
8 sliding doors per side, first and last single, six double
|Fare collection||Self service, barrier free, proof of payment|
|Fare integration||Up to three transfers permitted per trip (within 180 minutes) at no additional cost|
|Airport service||Via Red Line Metro at Jumeirah Lakes Towers or Dubai Marina stations|
|Right of way||Isolated centre of road or side of road, with signalled level crossings.|
|Service frequency||6 minute minimum headway|
|Opening||November 11, 2014|
The Dubai Tram route has an alignment that is southwest to northeast. To keep descriptions simple, the southwest end will be referred to as west (shown to the left on the route map) and the northeast end will be referred to as east (shown to the right on the route map).
The west end of the line has a one-way loop with two stations serving the Jumeirah Beach Residences. The first of these, Jumeirah Beach Residence 1, is located on a median of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street a short distance west of Braih Street (seen in the photo to the immediate left) where it crosses to the north side of the Dubai Canal on a single-track median as seen in the photo to the far left.
All stations of the Dubai Tram have enclosed air conditioned platforms, with platform edge doors separating passengers from trams as they enter and leave the station, as can be seen in the photo below to the leftt.
From Jumeirah Beach Residence 1, the line continues west in the centre of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street for nearly 1.5 km to where Jumeirah Beach Residence 2 is located.
A little west of Jumeirah Beach Residence 2, the line turns south at Al Sayorah Street to head back over the Dubai Canal. The line turns back east at Al Marsa Street, in its own right of way between Al Marsa Street and the E11 motorway. The tracks here continue just west of the junction where a future west extension could start from. Just to the east of the junction, is Jumeirah Lakes Tower station, as seen in the photo to the far right and the one below to the far left. This is a centre island platform station.
The single track loop brings trams to the westbound track at junction, so they must cross over to the eastbound track just before arriving at Jumeirah Lakes Tower station, as seen in the photo to the immediate left. This station has a connection to the Dubai Metro Red Line.
The next station, Dubai Marina Mall, has side platforms as seen in the photo to the immediate right. The photo to the far right shows a westbound tram turning at the wye junction east of Dubai Marina Mall to branch on Braih Street to start the loop.
Further west, the next station is Dubai Marina with side platforms and a connection to the Dubai Metro Red Line. After leaving Dubai Marina station, the line continues west before turning north and arriving at Marina Towers station.
Marina Towers station is a side platform station located on the east side of Al Marsa Street. Continuing north about 80 metres, the LRT moves to the centre of Al Marsa Street at the intersection Alkhayay Street. It continues about 300 meters before it turns east at highway D94 where it follows a side-of-road right of way on the south side. Here, it continues about 200 metres to reach Mina Seyahi station.
Mina Seyahi is a centre platorm station, shown at the far left. The photo to the immediate left shows a local area map at Mina Seyahi.
The next station is Media City. This is a centre platform station as seen in the two photos to the right.
From Media City to the next station, Palm Jumeirah, the distance is 530 metres, as can be seen in the photo to the left. Palm Jumeirah station has three tracks in it, with two centre platforms between the tracks.
At Palm Jumeirah, there is a walking connection that takes about 5-10 minutes to the the Palm Jumeirah monorail located to the north of the LRT station.
The third track at this station provides operational flexibility when busy. Usually, LRTs use the outer two tracks - westbound on the north side, and eastbound on the south, as seen in the two photos below to the left.
Continuing from Palm Jumeirah, the next stop is Knowledge Village, about 1100 metres away. This station has side platforms, as seen in the photo below to the far left.
Continuing east for another 550 metres from Knowledge Village, the line reaches its terminus at Al Sufouh station. This station also has side platforms, as shown in the photo to the immediate left.
After passengers leave the tram at Al Sufouh station, they continue east for a short distance where they can turnback and cross over to the westbound track, as shown in the photo to the right.
Beyond Al Sufouh station, the line continues about 1.5 km where it turns at Esfri Street and follows on its west side for about 800 metres. It then turns again to cross Esfri Street just before Abdullah Omran Taryam Street to continue another 900 metres to Al Thowima Street where it turns to follow it on its east side for about 350 metres to where the tram depot is located.
Fares can be purchased from fare vending machines at stations, and the machines can be used to add value to a NOL card for fare payment.
The entire tram route is within zone 2 of the Dubai fare system.
When using the NOL card, the Silver class fare within one zone is AED 3, or just over $1.00 CAD. This fare allows up to three transfers within a 180 minute period. The Gold class fare within one zone is AED 6, or just over $2.00 CAD.
All stations are fully accessible and trams have level boarding with the platforms.
There are two fare classes: Gold and Silver. One end of each tram is reserved for Gold fare class where seating provides more space for riders. At the other end of each tram is a section reserved for women and children only, which only requires the Silver fare.
Unlike the Dubai Metro lines, where the Gold section is always at one end and the Women and Children section is always at the other, the end with each section can vary from one tram to the next since the west end of the line uses a loop to turn trams back. Display signs in each station announce which end will have which section before the tram arrives.
As noted above, the Dubai Tram is the fourth tramway in the world to be powered by a ground-based electric supply system. Developed by Alstom, it is known as APS, for Alimentation Par le Sol (feeding by the ground). The photo to the left shows the power pick-up rail in the middle of the tracks. The system only electrifies the rail when it is under a tram.
Route maps mounted above platform doors are oriented to show the stations laid out in the direction that an arriving train will be travelling. In the immediate right photo, this westbound platform is south of the track, so a train will be heading to the right. In the far right photo, this westbound platform is north of the track, so a train will be heading to the left.
Various signage is posted warning drivers to keep off of tram tracks in certain areas or to watch speed because of the presence of trams. To the immediate left is a sign posting the fine for disrupting tram services may be up to AED 30000 - that is just over $10,000 CAD!
The current tram is Phase 1 of a two phase plan. The second phase is expected to add an additional eight stations (with two connecting with the Metro Red Line) over a distance of 4 km.