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A 13,067-piece puzzle and two years to solve it.

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The case

In two decades, Dubai has exploded into the bustling desert metropolis it is today. Catering to its rapid expansion, the city was in need of a new metro line. The 47.4-kilometer line had to be completed within a two-year timeframe. Mammoet was contracted to plan, coordinate and execute the delivery of 13,067 concrete elements that had to be placed in a specific order and on a strict schedule. Facing difficult delivery locations ranging from busy highways to areas without road access, Mammoet solved the complex puzzle and successfully delivered all pieces within the 24-month timeframe.


The biggest challenge was maintaining a constant stream of up to 40 concrete elements per day - in the right order - for two years. Any disruptions in the supply or change in the order would impact the overall production schedule of the metro line. To make matters more difficult, the deliveries had to take place at night in order to minimize interference with Dubai’s busy everyday life. But being one of the most congested cities in the world, even nighttime operations could be seriously hindered by local traffic and vice versa.

Delivering thousands of pieces to connect a city.

Dubai metro United Arab Emirates

Before transporting any element, Mammoet engineers surveyed the entire route to every location. Not only to assess that safe delivery was in fact possible, but also to check if any precautions were needed, such as reinforcing existing roads or building temporary new ones to accommodate the heavy loads. The metro line’s concrete pier caps and viaduct segments couldn’t be safely transported with existing equipment at all. Therefore, Mammoet’s engineers created especially designed saddles for transportation.

Aug '06 / July '08 Transportation of 1,215 pier caps along the metro line...

Aug '06 / July '08 ...and 11,852 viaduct segments

Aug '06 / July '08 Coordinate for 24 months

Aug '06 / July '08 And deliver a tunnel boring machine (TBM)

At the peak of the operation, an average of 20 trailers made two trips each night for an entire month, during which Mammoet delivered 877 viaduct segments and 84 pier caps along the metro line. When the metro went underground, Mammoet delivered a tunnel boring machine 25 meters below the surface. For two years, Mammoet worked non-stop to ensure timely delivery of all elements and, as a result, contribute to a solid connection between the far corners of the vast city of Dubai.

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