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Dubai metro system on schedule

Dubai’s metro system is on schedule for completion and contractors for the project are being paid, the country’s transit authority has insisted.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said construction is proceeding “according to the planned schedule” as it sought to quieten questions on the future of one of the most prominent projects in the cash-strapped emirate.

Media reports said the project’s Japanese-led consortium planned to delay work on the Arabian Peninsula’s first rapid transit line because of a dispute over late payments.

Dubai opened about a third of the initial line’s stations in September, publicising the metro system as a vital part of the infrastructure that could revitalize a city hit hard by the global economic downturn.

The metro’s first two lines are expected to cost at least $7.6 billion, about 80% more than originally planned.

An extra station at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, opened with the skyscraper this week. The other stations on the 52km long red line are due to open by February and a second line is expected to be finished in June.

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