Dubai - Dubai inaugurated on Tuesday phase one of the first tram in the Gulf region, a delayed project built by French and Belgian companies at a cost of about R14 billion ($1.25 billion).
Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum attended the opening of the ultra-modern, air-conditioned tram in the emirate where summer temperatures rise to 50 degrees Celsius.
Opening of the 10 kilometer light rail system was delayed for three years due to linked to the 2008 global financial crisis.
Fireworks lit up the sky on Tuesday across large areas of the luxurious Dubai Marina as well as other business and tourist neighbourhoods, which will be connected by the new rail system.
Dubai media have reported that traffic fines for accidents involving the tram could reach R92 000 (30 000 dirhams).
Construction of phase two is expected to begin in 2015, extending the tram line to other neighbourhoods.
Dubai, which has established itself as a regional business center and tourist destination, has enormous investments in infrastructure as it prepares to host the 2020 World Expo.
The city, home to over two million inhabitants, inaugurated its metro rail network in September 2009.
This is what the new tram looks like: