20221228 burj khalifa
Dubai transport and security authorities have released comprehensive traffic movement plan for the New Year Eve at Burj Khalifa Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: The city is all set to usher in 2023 on a high note and authorities have laid the ground to ease traffic movement and mobility of people on New Year’s Eve, the Executive Committee for Securing International and Local Events in Dubai announced on Thursday.

Dubai Police, in conjunction with Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) Enterprise Command and Control Centre, will use 10,000 CCTVs across the city to secure the celebrations. Teams from RTA, Dubai Police, Civil Defence and the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services will be deployed on New Year’s Eve to streamline the movement of traffic and visitors during New Year’s Eve in various hotspots in Dubai, especially in Burj Khalifa area, the committee noted.

Major General Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, acting assistant commandant for Operations Affairs at Dubai Police and acting chairman of the Executive Committee for Securing International and Local Events, said they “would deploy all human and technical resources to ensure the smooth movement of all visitors at the celebration locations, which are expected to witness a massive footfall of spectators of different nationalities.”

He also urged the public to cooperate with police and adhere to traffic instructions to avoid congestion and to call Dubai Police on 999 for emergencies and 901 for non-emergencies or approach the officers on site.

“Several supply tents will be erected in the Dubai Downtown area to provide several services, including lost and found, first aid, and logistical support, as well as dedicated tents to receive and aid lost children, and assist the visitors,” he added.

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How to reach Burj Khalifa via Metro

The traditional fireworks and laser show at Burj Khalifa will once again witness a massive number of spectators and there are three routes for the public to reach the area using Dubai metro:

First is from Burj Khalifa Station, which is divided into two paths – one for families that leads to the Island Park and the area behind the Tower View, and the other is dedicated to other groups, heading towards South Ridge where viewers can enjoy the fireworks.

Second route is from Financial Centre station, with a path dedicated to families heading to the Boulevard area; and another for groups going to the South Edge area.

The third route is for those coming from Business Bay station.

Authorities explained the specific paths will ensure better movement from specific routes with clear exits for emergencies.

Station closure

Burj Khalifa Station and the metro link connecting to Dubai Mall will be closed at 5pm on Saturday, or when the numbers exceed the capacity of the station, noted Al Mazrouei, adding: “specific routes have been determined for shoppers and spectators inside the Dubai Mall.

Traffic Management

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency and deputy chairman of the Transportation Systems Management Committee during Events, identified the “five key pillars aimed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic at Downtown area. “We encourage those holding reservations in the Boulevard area or at Dubai Mall to arrive before 4pm on Saturday,” he added.

First pillar: road closure and timings

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will be closed at 4pm or upon reaching capacity in the parking area.

The lower deck of the Financial Centre Road will be closed at 4pm and Al Sukook Street will be closed at 8pm. A closure of Al Asayel Road, extending from Oud Metha Road and leading to Burj Khalifa district, is scheduled at 4pm for the exclusive use of public buses and emergency vehicles.

Al Mustaqbal Street will gradually shut down between 2nd Za’abeel Road and Al Meydan Road starting at 4pm.

Second pillar: Metro and tram services

Dubai Metro will operate for 43 hours, starting from 5am on Saturday until 12am on Monday. The tram will run from 6am on Saturday until 1am on Monday.

Third pillar: additional parking

Bahrozyan said “the public will have access to approximately 1,500 parking spaces outside the event area for moving to and from the site of the event via the commuter bus service, which will be in operation starting at 3pm. A total of 1,000 parking spaces will be available at Al Wasl Club, while 500 will be allocated at Al Jafiliya’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.”

Fourth pillar: public transport services

Bahrozyan added that 210 buses would be deployed to lift visitors’ exit from the event venue especially to the nearby metro stations and parking lots. The bus service will be free of charge for commuters on the following designated routes:

•Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of the Financial Centre to lift the public from Burj Khalifa Metro station to Al Wasl Club, MAX Fashion Metro Station, and Deira City Centre.

•Sheikh Zayed Road heading to Abu Dhabi to lift riders from Burj Khalifa Metro station to Al Safa Metro Station.

•Financial Centre Road to the parking area of Al Wasl Club, Deira City Centre and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

•Burj Khalifa Street heading to Deira City Centre Metro Station.

•Business Bay Metro Station along Sheikh Zayed Road to Deira City Centre Metro Station.

Fifth pillar: taxi Services

Parking lots for taxis have been designated at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Al Wasl Club, where the public can be transported to and from the event site.

Sixth pillar: Smart traffic systems

There are directional signs to guide the public within Burj Khalifa District to ease the movement of pedestrians to and from the event venue. “The light signals on the Financial Centre Road and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will be monitored during various peak times in coordination with Emaar Control Room to streamline the traffic flow. The Virtual Messaging Signs will be used to alert road users when closures are made and direct them to the alternative parking areas provided,” noted Bahrozyan.

He added: “For public safety, pedestrian bridges on the Dubai Water Canal will be closed, as well as the associated lifts. The pedestrian walkway on the Sheikh Zayed Road above the Water Canal will also be closed.”

Civil defence preparations

Brig Expert Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, assistant director-general of Dubai Civil Defence for Fire and Rescue Affairs, confirmed the readiness of the Dubai Civil Defence on New Year’s Eve.

He said DCD teams have divided the festivities sites into three main sectors (Deira, Bur Dubai, and Jebel Ali & the Waterfront).

“We conducted numerous drills with our key partners. Potential threats were also analysed based on the nature of the location, and emergency plans for all structures and facilities were received,” he noted.

Mishaal Abdul Karim Julfar, executive director of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, added: “This year we allocated 1,200 competent staff and deployed 287 vehicles over 30 activities in four sectors. Our technical equipment include ambulances, rapid responders, bicycles, boats, air ambulances in cooperation with the Dubai Police Air Wing Centre, and the supply vehicles for field support. Through its quality services, the Corporation is keen to raise the readiness of ambulances such they become equipped to tackle the most difficult cases.”

Toll-free number

The public can make inquiries through RTA’s toll-free number (800-9090). “Community members are urged to be more patient, observe the guidance of RTA and Police personnel, and use alternative roads as shown in the directional signs,” authorities noted.