Accumulated economic benefits of Dubai Metro during its first seven years of operation reached AED66 billion ($18 billion) against AED41 billion in costs, according to a new study by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The study, carried out in collaboration with the UK's Henley Business School at University of Reading, analysed the direct and indirect economic benefits of the metro from 2009-2016.
It concluded that the benefit-cost ratio of the Dubai Metro during this period was 1.6, that is for every dirham of cost it produces 1.6 dirhams of benefits.
The study also estimated that the accumulated benefits by 2020 and 2030 would be AED115 billion and AED234 billion with respective costs of AED45 billion and AED54 billion, leading to a cost-benefit ratio of 2.5 and 4.3 respectively.
The study examined the capital and operational costs of the metro and matched them to the financial benefits of the project in the form of tariff revenues, increase in operational jobs, and appreciation in the value of properties in the surroundings of the metro stations.
Material benefits also include increasing consumer surplus of metro users, raising foreign investment, reducing mobility and vehicle operation costs, curbing carbon emissions, decreasing traffic accidents, cutting road maintenance costs, and boosting employment prospects.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the RTA, said: "At a time when RTA celebrates the ninth anniversary of Dubai Metro, this study underlines Dubai’s keenness to invest in improving and widening its infrastructure, since it is the backbone of driving the competitiveness of cities and countries... As a result, the emirate’s investments in roads and transport infrastructure have touched AED100 billion.
"Such a trend has been rewarded with clear dividends that have propelled the competitiveness of the emirate and the UAE in general, making Dubai a global benchmark for the quality of infrastructure."