Dubai Metro (Red Line)

Commendation for

Highway or Railway Bridge Structures - 2010

Client Name

Government of Dubai Roads and Transport Authority


Stretching 53km long and constructed in only 4½ years, the Dubai Metro Red Line ranks among one of the largest recent infrastructure projects in the world. The scheme includes railway tunnels, bridges, underground stations and depot facilities, as well as the 23 over-ground stations which are celebrated in these awards.

The stations have distinctive shell roof structures which are perhaps the most iconic element of the entire Metro project. In order to meet the challenging programme, the designers, Atkins, had to proceed on several fronts at once, so the number of design variants was reduced to only three in order to maximise design efficiency.

The Type 1 roof extends a length of 108m, and the structure consists of 700mm deep steel box arches at 6m centres, spanning across the tracks. However, only the central 42m section is supported by the foundations so the 33m section at each end is cantilevered to form dramatic curved canopies which give the buildings their distinctive shape. The Type 2 stations are similar, and Type 3 is wider to accommodate an additional rail track passing through the station. Dynamic behaviour played a significant part with special measures being required to deal with earthquake and other effects.

A high degree of standardisation and component repetition across the different station types helped to keep costs down and also aid buildabilility. A key design requirement was for the parts of the roof to be fabricated remotely, outside Dubai, and transported to site and erected as quickly as possible.

Judge's comment:

"These elegant station buildings have been made possible by first class structural engineering design, resulting in an economic and elegant solution in the context of an enormous new mass transit rail system."