Road and Transport Authority is in the move to extend the line from the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro station to the Expo 2020 site located in the south of Dubai. According to people with knowledge of the matter, RTA is seeking more than $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) to finance a 15-kilometre extension of its above-ground metro train line to the World Expo site by negotiating with the banks and contractor. However, RTA did not immediately comment when contacted by phone and email.
Dubai’s government said it expects to double the number of visitors to the emirate to 20 million by the time of the international trade and tourism event in four years. The city may spend about $8 billion on infrastructure mega-projects including hotels, new metro rail links and more shopping malls. It’s also expanding its second hub at Al Maktoum Airport to deal with the forecasted growth in visitor numbers.
The RTA has invited contractors bidding for the project to submit a financing proposal for up to 80 per cent of the project cost and may award the contract this month, the people said.
Dubai is shifting away from funding infrastructure projects entirely from direct government budgets and looking into tapping more private financing. In November last year, the emirate put into effect a new public-private partnership law, signalling more interest in attracting private investment to develop projects and ease the burden on government budgets.