The Impact of Light Rail Transit on the Urban Development in Dubai, UAE

Dhabia Alefari, Mahmoud Haggag

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen significant growth in urban development over the past two decades. To overcome the implication of this development, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has called for sustainable transport development at all levels, including the Light Rail Transit (LRT), which is a friendly mass transit system to satisfy the requirements of urban mobility, environmental sustainability, and green power efficiency. The shift towards sustainable mass transport systems has become the ideal choice to overcome the challenges accompanying the growth and development facing cities such as Dubai and to convert them into sustainable environmentally friendly places. Dubai is arising an extraordinary development of urban projects and strong attention targeting infrastructure and transportation systems. Therefore, the most sustainable transport system used to enhance the rabid development is the light railway system that plays a major role in shifting the city toward sustainability. Consequently, the Metro and Tramway systems are recognized as optimal provisions of public transport mode for high-capacity public transport systems in Dubai. This helps to improve the infrastructure by promoting connectivity, economy, and a sustainable environment. The paper investigates the impact of Dubai Metro in accelerating the Urban Development in Dubai. Urban transformation pattern around the main Metro Stations is studied. Population densities, connectivity, and land use pattern are examined. Three main Metro Stations have been selected for this study, namely: Jabal Ali, Al Barsha First, and Business Bay. To achieve this aim, the following objectives are covered: to investigate the needs of the sustainable transport system to cope with the urban development requirements; to examine the population density, connectivity, and accessibility around Metro Stations; and to analyze the impact of Dubai Metro on urban land use. The research methodology focuses mainly on qualitative analysis of the use of a light railway transport system. GIS and Spatial Maps, interviews, case study analysis, and land use investigations have been used to reach the finding of this research. The study indicates an overall positive impact of Dubai Metro on commercial and residential land uses on one hand, and connectivity and accessibility on the other hand.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZEMCH 2021 - 8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsKheira Anissa Tabet Aoul, Mohammed Tariq Shafiq, Daniel Efurosibina Attoye
PublisherZEMCH Network
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789948310006
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Oct 26 2021Oct 28 2021

Publication series

NameZEMCH International Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2652-2926


Conference8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Dubai metro
  • Light rail transit
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Urban development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture


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