September 28, 2021

Mitsubishi-Keolis JV starts Dubai metro, tram operations

categories : auto

Japanese industrial group Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering said it has successfully begun operations of Dubai Metro as well as the tram network as the emirate gears up for the Expo 2020.

The services are being implemented through Keolis-MHI Rail Management and Operation, a consortium led by Keolis, a subsidiary of SNCF (French National Railway Company) and CDPQ (Caisse de dépot et placement du Quebec), and Mitsubishi Corporation.

The business concession had been awarded to Keolis-MHI and includes the Dubai Metro, an urban rail network inaugurated in 2009, and the Dubai Tram that started operating in 2014. The contract with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) covers a maximum of 15 years: 9 years plus a 6-year option.

This project marks Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering’s first direct participation in operating an urban rail transport system outside Japan.

Under this deal, Keolis-MHI will also be responsible for the maintenance of Dubai Metro, as it looks to contribute to building safe and smooth transport systems worldwide. Dubai Metro will be providing critical transportation for the Expo2020 Dubai that kick off on October 1.

To celebrate the handover, an official ceremony was held at Al Rashidya metro depot in Dubai, in the presence of Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman; Bernard Tabary, International CEO, Keolis Group; Kentaro Hosomi, Chief Regional Officer for Europe, Middle-East and Africa of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; and Wallace Weatherill, Managing Director of Keolis-MHI.

Speaking at the event, Al Tayer said: 'Dubai Metro currently constitutes the backbone of transportation systems in the emirate. It links vital areas and provides safe and smooth mobility for riders. Its huge successes have gone far and wide beyond the scope of the emirate.'

'Billed as the longest driverless metro project worldwide, it has contributed to boosting the global competitiveness of Dubai and its success in hosting mega-events, such as Expo 2020,' he added.

Keolis Group CEO Marie-Ange Debon said: 'We are very excited to begin operating Dubai’s world-class metro and tram networks in collaboration with MHI and MC. We’re also delighted to welcome 1,850 new members of staff to Keolis Group.'

'Our shared goals bring us together: meeting the highest safety standards, delivering outstanding passenger service, and moving together towards a smart and sustainable future. Along the way, we’ll continue to focus on safety, quality, innovation and sustainability. Our ultimate goal is to ensure customer happiness by providing the very best passenger experience to Dubai’s residents and visitors,' remarked Marie-Ange.

'We share RTA’s Smart City Vision, which sees smart mobility as the answer to a more efficient transport system and a more vibrant city. And we look forward to accompanying RTA on this exciting journey to make the city safer, cleaner and more attractive,' she added.

Hosomi said: 'Now, at the 12th anniversary of the first major achievement between RTA and MHI after succesful completion of the construction of Red Line on September 9, 2009, this signifies the start of our new chapter together, reinforcing the long partnership between the two.'

'We are very pleased to return back to Dubai Metro today together with our partner Keolis. MHI hereby commit to provide our strong support with our significant and unrivalled experience and knowledge of Dubai Metro, gained since 2005 as the original system provider, integrator and equipment manufacturer,' he added.

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