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Serco Middle East celebrates decade-long partnership with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

Published: 10 Sep 2019

Providing operational and maintenance services to Dubai Metro since 2009

Serco Middle East, a leading support services provider to public sector entities, recently celebrated its decade-long partnership with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The collaboration between RTA and Serco began after the latter was asked 10 years ago to operate and maintain (O&M) the Dubai Metro, which was launched on September 9, 2009.  

Phil Malem CEO, Serco Middle East, said: “We are delighted and proud to be part of this journey in partnership with RTA. By combining Serco’s expertise in managing large-scale railways with RTA’s drive and vision, we have been able to deliver a bespoke public transport system that has become an icon for the city of Dubai. I look forward to future collaborations with the Authority to continue delivering outstanding customer experience.”

Serco provides full operations, maintenance, and integrated facilities management for the automated Dubai Metro rail network, which consists of 75 km of track, 47 stations, 79 trains and the operations control centres (Rashidiya, Qusais and Jebal Ali). Serco delivers first-class customer service to its growing patronage that now exceeds 650,000 passengers per day and have maintained 99.9 percent train service availability and 99.7 percent train punctuality for the Dubai Metro.

Alex Rentier, Managing Director of Serco Transport in the UAE, said: “RTA partnered with Serco after an intense, detailed, and highly competitive process and we are very proud to be part of this milestone. As we celebrate our decade-old ties built on world-class services, we continue to be RTA’s partner of choice. This is so because our ethos is built on trust, innovation, and the quality of service we provide. We look forward to more fruitful collaboration with the Authority.”

“Under our partnership, Serco’s core responsibility is to ensure safe operation and maintenance services of all assets of the Metro system, in addition to offering high standards of service to our passengers and communities we serve. Serco also recruits and trains UAE nationals, achieving a designated Emiratisation percentage of 15 per cent of its total workforce,” Rentier said.

In 2007, following a period of intense competition with international rail operators, Serco was appointed by RTA to provide full operations and maintenance services to the Dubai Metro. In 2008, Serco was appointed as the Operations and Maintenance Concessionaire covering the duration up to operational launch on 9th September 2009 and a further five years.

“Our success required us to recruit, train, and mobilise a brand-new team to operate and maintain the Metro - including the delivery of competency training and assessments in preparation for the successful service launch of the red line on 9th September 2009. The green line was added to the original red line following its opening in September 2011,” Rentier said, adding:  

“The O&M services we provide to RTA are extremely diverse, covering everything from cleaning of stations and other facilities like management of ticket office and operation of the control centre to complex engineering activities. These include train overhaul when it is lifted from its bogie and stripped down, in addition to unit line replacement when a train is serviced, re-built, tested, and placed back into service.”

In December 2013, Serco secured an extension to the original five-year concession until 2019 with an option to 2021 to cover Expo 2020; an option which has since been awarded to Serco.

As of 2019, between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Serco Middle East has more than 1,700 employees in the transport sector alone, making it an employer of choice when it comes to rail management.

Serco’s other achievements include the following:

  • Trained the first UAE female train driver in the region.
  • Received the International Safety Award from the British Safety Council in 2014 in recognition of its health and safety commitment in the Middle East.
  • Won the ‘Best Company Project in the field of Nationalisation’ in the Middle East in 2016 at the 33rd Council of Ministers of Labor for Gulf Arab States for its ongoing efforts to attract and retain UAE nationals.
  • Awarded Energy and Green Economy Award in 2016.
  • Awarded the Medal of Excellence and the Lion’s Award from the U.K. City and Guilds.
  • Awarded the TISSE 2012 5-Star award for customer service, the first company in the region to receive the recognition.