UAE government plans to spend up to $3 billion on a new metro system in the capital Abu Dhabi, and on a rail link between the city and the Gulf coast.
The country’s National Investment Authority (NIA) announced on Wednesday that it had submitted a bid for the project, which it described as a first-of-its-kind initiative.
The plan would see the construction of a new Metro line from Dubai’s Gwedar Al-Nahda Airport to the UAE’s capital, the NIA said.
Dubai’s Grand Hyatt hotel will be built on the land of the proposed Metro line, the agency said, adding that the land will also house a new shopping centre.
The UAE has been keen to expand its metro system, which is being touted as the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.
Its metro system is already the third-largest in the Gulf, and has been credited with helping to reduce the travel time between the UAE and the rest of the Gulf region by 20 minutes, the United Arab Emirates Times reported.
Dubay airport has already been connected to the metro system and is also home to a shopping centre, according to the Nia.
The UAE has also launched a public-private partnership with Saudi Arabia to build a metro line that will connect the capital with Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport.
The new metro line will be connected to a new station that will have the capacity to handle 1.3 million passengers per day, according the UAE.
Dubaya, in particular, has been seen as a key transit hub for the UAE, and the proposed metro line has attracted some interest from Dubai-based construction firm BVI, which will build the new station.
The NIA did not say how much it was seeking for the Metro project, but the agency’s director general, Ahmad al-Otaiba, told Reuters news agency that it was the first time that the UAE had sought such a large amount for a metro project.
The project will be overseen by NIA deputy director general Ahmad Al-Jubeir, the same office that oversaw the UAE government’s bid to build the Al Makkah International Airport, according a UAE news report.