Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority is seeking more than $2 billion to finance a 15-kilometre extension of its above-ground metro train line to the World Expo site, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The company is in talks with banks and contractors to extend the line from the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro station to the Expo 2020 site located in the south of Dubai, the people said, asking not to be named as talks are private. Funding will probably include bank loans and export credit, they said.
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 $8bn on infrastructure mega-projects including hotels, new metro rail links and more shopping malls.
It’s also expanding its second hub at Al Maktoum International 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, signaling more interest in attracting private investment to develop projects and ease the burden on government budgets.
The RTA did not immediately comment when contacted by phone and email.
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