Dubai: A brand new network of roads will be ready on schedule for the more than 70,000 spectators expected to watch the Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse.
"We have completed more than 80 per cent of the Al Meydan roads development project and are working at full throttle to finish the first phase of the project well before the Dubai World Cup race on March 27," a senior official at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) told Gulf News on Sunday.
Officials said that once completed the new road network will ensure smooth flow of traffic and easy access to the iconic racecourse and surrounding areas.
The project which is to be completed over several phases provides for several new crossings and bridges besides the expansion of existing roads and the construction of new roads. The new infrastructure takes into account the heavy traffic flow in the area during the racing season.
The first phase of the project includes access roads and bridges allowing entry and exit to and from Meydan racecourse. It also includes a special road providing fast access to VIPs from the Dubai-Al Ain Road on to Al Meydan Road.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had approved the project in September 2008.
The project spans Al Meydan Road (earlier known as Muscat Road), Dubai-Al Ain Road, Al Khail Road and an extension of Al Manama Road.
The second phase of the project also includes a canal passing across Al Meydan Road, Dubai-Al Ain Road, Al Khail Road and Al Manama Road.
The second phase will be completed gradually keeping pace with the development in the Al Meydan project and covers the construction of crossings over an area of 2,860 metres. This phase includes a 440-metre crossing to elevate a section of the Dubai-Al Ain Road to allow for the passage of a four-kilometre canal.
It also includes a crossing on Al Khail Road as well as inbound and outbound roads to Meydan City extending 2,110 metres. A direct lane branching out of the Dubai-Al Ain road towards Ras Al Khor Road extending 310 metres will also be constructed.
The project also includes distinctive landscaping of all main roads.
"The project of roads leading to Meydan is one of the key projects undertaken by the RTA. Its importance stems from the iconic Meydan project, which includes the biggest racecourse in the world with parking spaces for more than 10,000 cars and seating capacity for some 70,000 horse racing fans," the RTA official said.
Facilities built with the Dubai World Cup in mind will however continue to offer services even after the end of the racing season. The facilities will be used to host conferences and corporate meetings while the restaurants will cater to visitors.
The project is a landmark tourist destination attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Al Meydan project also includes more than 10 restaurants, a relocated Godolphin gallery, the Dubai Racing Club and a museum. The canal running from the Dubai Creek to the racecourse will come up at a later stage.
- Development: Al Meydan Roads Network Development Project
- Developer: Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)
- Location: Meydan Racecourse and Nad Al Sheba
- Cost: Dh1 billion
- Estimated completion date: March 2010 (first Phase)