News | UAE

Salik takes a heavy toll on Al Nahda residents

Amman Street in Dubai sees massive spurt in traffic thanks to motorists avoiding new toll gates on Ittihad Road

  • By Abhishek Sengupta, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:27 July 10, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: XPRESS/Abhishek Sengupta
  • Agony on Amman street: This was a non-existent sight before the Al Mamzar Salik gates became operational
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Dubai: The worst fears of Dubai’s drivers are coming true - the Salik after-effect.

Residents in Dubai’s Al Nahda and surrounding areas are blaming the two new Salik gates on Ittihad Road for causing a gridlock they claim is crippling traffic flow on an important stretch of road.

Motorists evading the Al Mamzar toll gates end up clogging the parallel running Amman Street which they use as an alternative route, say the ‘original’ regular users of the road.

“We have been living here for long and have been using this road everytime we go somewhere, but the Salik evaders have made our lives miserable since the toll gates started [on April 15],” complains a long-time resident of Al Nahda requesting anonymity.

Rage against the gridlock

Amman Street (D97) merges with Al Nahda Road at the intersection of the Al Ahli football club, the Stadium Metro Station and Lulu Hypermarket and people claim the logjam there nowadays isn’t just a rush-hour affair.

“The Amman Street is clogged everytime I pass by, not only during office hours but also on weekends,” angry Egyptian expat Abu Nechim told XPRESS.

“I have been using this road even before Salik was installed and have often encountered slow-moving traffic, but it’s got worse ever since the toll gates became operational. The traffic just stops nowadays,” says irate Kritika Mathur Ghosh, adding she spent an hour on a Friday evening recently getting on to Al Nahda Road that leads to the Al Mulla Plaza signal.

The Amman Street stretch that originates in Al Muhaisnah and snakes through Al Qusais Industrial areas before eventually dissecting Nahda I and II had always been used even by nearby Sharjah residents.

“We go to Al Qusais Lulu Hypermarket for our regular grocery and occasional jewellery shopping and have been using this road for years without seeing this kind of traffic. But of late, since Salik, it’s become nearly impossible to use this road,” says Sunil Singh, an Indian expatriate living in the Sharjah side of Al Nahda.

The new toll gates have had a telling effect on several of Singh’s fellow Sharjah residents’ daily travel plans as well.

In order to avoid Salik, previous Ittihad Road users now enter Dubai via the first exit on the Sharjah Ring Road (S102), eventually joining up the stranded traffic during rush hour on Amman Street. (See map)

Albeit a long drive, many who are paid by their company for their fuel but not for Salik end up using this route.

“It takes double the time than before and it is a longer route, but I can’t be spending from my pocket every day on Salik. I have unlimited provision for fuel but the company won’t pay for Salik,” explains Zubair Mohammad, a 45-year-old marketing manager, who lives in Sharjah but, like hundreds of thousands, works in Dubai.

The second Salik gate to open along with the Al Mamzar toll gates earlier this year - the Airport Tunnel Gate – has had a similar impact on the adjoining streets.

“Mornings are better than before, but there has been minimal impact on Beirut Street in the evenings.

“People were using this road even before Salik and it’s got worse now because there are both kinds of traffic – those using the Salik (after the airport tunnel) and those evading it. Both eventually merge on Beirut Street, making most evenings a real nightmare,” says Wilbur P., who uses that road every day on his way back home in Muhaisnah 4 near Madina Mall.

A comment from the RTA was not immediately available.

Comments (42)

Your comments
  1. Added 13:00 July 11, 2013

    I am living on Damascus Street. Situation is worst after Ittehad Salik. I dont understand what's the use of salik and paying 4 AED while we have merge into non-Salik traffic after Airport Tunnel Before Damascus street was free to go but now it takes me 20 min to reach from one stop to another in Public bus.

    Junaid, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:40 July 11, 2013

    yes the two salik on the itihad road which are both for mamzar toll gate is causing pain and trouble for Nahda 1 residents. we Residents of Nahda 1 are facing many problems like even there is paid parking in front of our building where as it is purely residential area. then other problem is that we are having 2 salik as we are heading towards the Nahda 1 because there is one entrance to nahda 1, then third problem is that behind sahar centre due to sharjah residents, they are parking there cars in our areas and due to which there is too much traffic due to RTA buses and taxis so there is no benefit for us to live in expensive nahda 1 buildings. Pls authorities help us in this situation.

    unknown, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:33 July 11, 2013

    guys dont worry, RTA have done a long enough study on roads to fix salik gates on specific routes. SALIK means clear.... but clear where......?? i am still searching.....

    K.H, SHJ, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:03 July 11, 2013

    I have been driving Sharjah to Dubai and back since past 5 years. The Ittihad Toll gates havent reduced the Ittihad traffic. The number of users of this road remain as before - meaning to say - the traffic is tight - despite people having to pay salik. So i believe that Salik hasnt been successful in reducing the traffic jam on this road, it has added to choking of nearby free exits, + has become a toll fee.

    Maya, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:29 July 11, 2013

    Ittihad road is still very much jammed after the introduction to salik. Without any proper parallel road, it is a bad move to put salik there. Works well for maktoum and garhoud bridge because they have floating and business bay. But no proper alternative for ittihad road and emirates road is not an alternative, it is always jammed as well.

    Prakhar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:55 July 11, 2013

    I don't mind paying the Salik if it brings us motorists respite from the Traffic Blocks. Introducing Salik in Mamza has caused havoc in the entire Al Nada area which builds up from Gharoud/Karama/Creek Park during evening peak time. This week saw 2 days of total Gridlock - 7th and 9th to be precise. On 7th It took me 2 hrs 20 minutes to get from Floating bridge to Beruit street with the hope of getting into Al Nada 1 avoiding the Al Mulla Intersection and Amann Street block. There was no hope..... every single Traffic intersection was blocked. At 8.00 pm I will still easily another 30 minutes from reaching home and had to ask my family to pick me up rather than waste another hour as they were already waiting for me over an hour. Mind you I left Al Quoz Industrial area 1 at 5.40 pm and it only took me 20 minutes to get to the new Rashid hospital underpass from where the nightmare began. Fine, set up more radar Cameras at all the intersections, record all the violators creeping in to regular traffic flow with heavy fines and give us more peace on the road. Can you imagine how many inconsiderate drivers were out there going to any extent to push their way in and frustrating us disciplined drivers. Nedra.

    Nedra, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:24 July 11, 2013

    I request the RTA to consider this issue and eradicate the Ittihad Road Salik as it is not giving any benefit but only troubling the motorists.

    Muhammad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:19 July 11, 2013

    I stay in Al Nahda-1 Dubai since last 5 years, but never faced this kind of traffic situation. It is horrible now. We are even avoiding going out due to such traffic jams. Even after crossing airport tunnel salik gate, it is not an easy task to reach upto Al Nahda-1 Dubai. There is always traffic jam immediately after airport tunnel. Once, I am out of that traffic, again it is on Amman Street due to vehicles who are travelling towards Sharjah but avoiding Al Mamzar salik gate by diverting thru Amman Steet - Al Nahda Dubai. RTA might had a good intention to reduce traffic on these routes. However, it is totally other way - I would say in one word " it is WORST '. Authority to sincerely look in to this matter for possible improvement in life of residence of Al Nahda-Dubai and surroinding areas who are affected by these changes.

    Dipak, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:04 July 11, 2013

    Rather than Salik breaking down traffic, it is indeed reducing it as and when new Salik toll gates are being introduced. To begin with, it was Dubai and now the same is being seen in Sharjah. Instead of using toll gates, people are using alternative routes which means in order to avoid Salik, traffic jam builds up on alternate routes. Its simple! They dont want to pay! I really cannot understand how RTA is trying to reduce traffic with Salik, when its on increase every day ! Tolls are making the flow of traffic miserable

    Suman Shafi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:58 July 11, 2013

    Commute has become a sickness and pain after Ittihad and Airport Tunnel Toll Gates. It has made no difference except Late at night, which logically the toll should be turned off. During rush hours, it is so frustrating, every road is jammed no matter where you go, including the Toll routes. I am really tired..

    MSA, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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