Dubai: Salik, the Dubai road toll-gate operator, will be adding two more locations - Business Bay Crossing on Al Khail Road, and Al Safa South on Sheikh Zayed Road - to optimise 'traffic flow and reduce congestion' on key routes within Dubai.
The two locations were selected after extensive traffic movement studies by the RTA. These are the first new toll-gates from Salik after its hugely successful IPO and listing on DFM.
The new gates will open by November 2024.
The two new locations can help with 'reducing traffic congestion by up to 15 per cent on Al Khail Road' and up to '16 per cent on Al Rabat Street'. It could also help with reducing 'right-turn traffic volume from Sheikh Zayed Road to Meydan Street by up to 15 per cent.
According to RTA, the new project will lead to the construction of five intersections and braided ramps, along with the introduction of rapid traffic solutions at two key points along Al Khail Road. (It also includes enhancing the surface intersections of First Al Khail Road with Al Meydan and Al Zumurrud Streets.)
On DFM, the Salik stock started strong, trading 2.5 per cent higher within the first few minutes.
“The addition of new toll gates in two increasingly busy locations marks the latest milestone in the growth plan that we set out at the time of Salik’s IPO," said Ibrahim Sultan Al Haddad, CEO of Salik Company.
New revenue paths
Indeed. Salik's top officials had spoken about creating multiple new revenue streams, organic and otherwise. Recently, it had announced quite a path-setting tie up with Emaar, to provide its services at The Dubai Mall.
Now, the confirmation of more toll-gates in the city extends the revenue possibilities. Business Bay Crossing and Al Safa South are two of the most prominent 'gateways' into and out of the city's major locations.
The traffic toll policies also encourage the public to shift towards mass transport means such as the metro, buses, marine transport, and soft mobility options.
A '6 million hour' reduction
According to Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, “The existing toll gates contributed to reducing the total travel time in Dubai by 6 million hours annually, decreasing traffic volumes on Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud bridges by 26 per cent, reducing travel times on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Ittihad Street by 24 per cent, and increasing the number of mass transit users by 9 million riders per annum."
On what sort of lift the two gates will provide, Salik said it will update the markets and investors in due course.
"Details concerning the required upfront valuation and funding mix for the introduction of the new gates - as well as guidance on the generated revenues, EBITDA and balance-sheet impact - will be communicated to the market after the completion of detailed traffic studies and agreement with the RTA," the company said.
"Our partnership with RTA in launching these new gates is another important step in our journey to enhancing Dubai’s transport infrastructure with smart and sustainable mobility solutions," said Al Haddad.
"These two new gates aim to improve overall mobility throughout the city, facilitating smoother and more efficient travel for road users.”