Dubai: If you are a daily commuter and have been taking the free right exit from Dubai’s Al Asayel Street to Financial Centre Street towards Al Khail Road, you would probably feel the difference that the exit has made with its capacity increasing from one lane to two. No doubt, the traffic flow has also increased, but the travel time from the Business Bay area to the Financial Centre Street has also decreased: From a good five minutes to just one minute.
As Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) released this data today, it said a series of traffic improvements in 14 areas across Dubai last year helped bring about a sizeable change for the better. In fact, they helped cut travel times by up to 50 per cent at certain locations and enhanced the vehicular capacity of roads by 25 per cent.
So which are these roads?
Apart from the upgrade of the free right exit from Al Asayel Street to Financial Centre Street towards Al Khail Road, substantial improvements on Al Fay Street added several lanes leading to the roundabout and utilised the existing bridge to ease congestion and enhance traffic circulation. It has resulted in halving the travel time for both entering and exiting the Dubai Production District and Dubai Sports City District by 50 per cent, according to RTA.
Similarly, the introduction of a free exit from Al-Saba Street towards Garn Al Sabkha Street in the direction of Dubai Marina has resulted in easing congestion and cutting travel times in the vicinity by around 60 per cent.
Additionally, a traffic solution was implemented at the intersection of Umm Suqeim Street and Al-Asayel Street by expanding the free right exit from Al Asayel Street to Umm Suqeim Street and creating a dedicated U-turn on Umm Suqeim Street for traffic inbound from Al Khail Road. These measures reduced the travel time for exiting Al Barsha to Umm Suqeim Street enroute Al Khail Road, from 15 minutes to just five minutes.
Measures taken also included widening the right-hand exit from Al Rebat Street to the Business Bay Crossing from one lane to three and fitting it with traffic lights to increase capacity and improve the level of traffic service in that direction.
These changes have eliminated vehicle queues on Al Rebat Street, minimised traffic overlapping and elevated traffic safety standards. The exit on Emirates Road towards the Maliha Street intersection (Exit 71) was widened from two lanes to three, as a result of which the exit’s capacity has increased from 4,000 vehicles per hour to 6,000 per hour.
Next set of changes
These projects are part of RTA’s Quick Traffic Improvements Plan aiming to implement 45 traffic changes across various locations in the emirate.
Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA, said, “The improvements are set to continue throughout 2024. The plan includes executing multiple projects aimed at enhancing traffic flow across 31 sites in the emirate. Main areas include Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Al Awir Street, Abu Baker Al Siddique street, Al Rebat Street, Al Khail Road, and Al Meydan Street.”
He said, “Carrying out these improvements is a testament to RTA’s commitment of executing the directives of our leaders. Our efforts are geared towards accommodating the emirate’s demographic and urban expansion through continual advancements in the infrastructure sector. Our objective is to expand the road network’s capacity and align with Dubai’s sustainable growth, which would ultimately ensure the happiness and well-being of the population and make Dubai the best city for living.”
According to him, “The selection and enhancement of roads are conducted through a comprehensive system beginning with monitoring road network performance and pinpointing real-time traffic congestion using four primary sources: Traffic studies, traffic control centres, the public suggestions and complaints system, and on-site monitoring by RTA’s teams.”