Special arrangements for Eid Al Adha include extended hours for the Metro which will run between 5am and 3am starting from Tuesday till Saturday. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Preparations are under way to serve more than 1.2 million commuters per day during the Eid holidays who are expected to throng Dubai as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) deploys additional buses, trains and taxis catering to the anticipated Eid rush.

Special arrangements for Eid Al Adha include extended hours for the Metro which will run between 5am and 3am starting from Tuesday till Saturday, additional parking spaces around malls as well as shuttle bus services.

While police have deployed special patrols to control traffic, the RTA has set up special teams to oversee the preparations, such as coordinating with Dubai Police and other authorities for the smooth movement of traffic around the city and particularly at busy locations like Downtown Burj Khalifa and Dubai Festival City as well as parks and amusement centres.

“Our major focus during Eid is to ensure smooth movement of traffic around the city and more particularly around Dubai Mall, Festival City and other busy areas where people flock during holidays not only from all over the UAE but also from neighbouring countries. We are coordinating with different managements to control traffic flow by rearranging the sequence of traffic lights so that the entries and exits are well coordinated,” said Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic at RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, who is heading RTA’s special team.

Tourist hotspots like Zabeel Park, Creek Park, Deira City Centre, Dubai Mall, Al Seef Road, Heritage Village and Dubai Festival City are expected to see a huge number of visitors and motorists are advised to keep an eye on signs and follow directions on constantly updated information boards.

Al Banna added that new road diversions have been designed around Dubai Mall and other tourist areas and motorists will be directed through special signage.

“Once the parking is full at Dubai Mall, traffic will be diverted to the parking lots opposite the Trade Centre, from where a shuttle bus service is being provided. We are also providing shuttle service to the Trade Centre for taxi users to avoid a rush at Dubai Mall,” Al Banna said.

Anticipating high demand for taxis during the Eid holidays RTA will be deploying additional taxis including limousine services which will offer normal taxi services to people.

As many as 1,000 additional taxis will be working during Eid, while 16 additional public buses have been deployed for the Dubai Mall area, which normally sees a huge rush during holidays.

Express shuttle bus services have been arranged from all alternative parking areas to the respective entertainment destinations. As many as 108 buses will ply on 23 feeder bus routes serving tourist destinations.

Starting from Tuesday, the first day of Eid Al Adha, Dubai Metro will run for 22 hours with trains operating every 3 minutes on the Red Line and every 5 minutes on the Green Line.

Authorities are expecting as many as 150,000 people per day to visit Dubai Mall, urging residents and visitors to use public transport in order to avoid traffic jams.

“We urge more and more people to use public transport so that there is less rush on roads. We have made all preparations and are ready to take additional loads. We are also deploying more trains to cater to the demand,” added Al Banna.

Water taxis will be available for 24 hours from Dubai Festival City station and Dubai Marina station, while water buses and ferries will continue with their normal timings.