Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa fireworks light up the Dubai sky to welcome New Year 2023. The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai announced its traffic plan to facilitate access to the locations of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai’s Events Security Committee (ESC) on Wednesday announced a comprehensive plan to secure the New Year’s Eve festivities across Dubai.

During a press conference, the ESC revealed details of the security, organisational and service plans for the New Year's Eve celebrations in Dubai. The Committee said that the comprehensive plan, involving a total of 11,972 personnel, including 5,574 police officers, and 1,525 patrols, civil defence and ambulance vehicles, will ensure the smooth management of the New Year's Eve 2024 celebrations.

The Committee also revealed a new security mechanism that divides the emirate into four sectors - North, Central, West and the Maritime sector - to enhance security operations, provide quality services to the public and make optimal use of human resources in collaboration with partners.

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With the aim of ensuring that people across Dubai can enjoy the festivities, the ESC, in coordination with the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai, has arranged several viewing areas for the worker community. Equipped with six viewing screens and food services, these viewing areas will allow viewers to enjoy the fireworks and partake in the festivities safely while helping avoid congestion in the city.

The Event Security Committee, comprising 55 government and private entities in Dubai, said that 32 locations in Dubai will feature fireworks displays, with notable sites including Burj Khalifa, The Beach, Bluewaters (JBR), Palm Jumeirah, Kite Beach, among others.

Roads closures
Al Asayel Street will be closed from 4pm.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard at 4pm.
Burj Khalifa Street at 4pm.
Lower deck Financial Center Street, 4pm
Sukuk (DIFC) Street, starting at 8pm
Upper Financial Center Street starting at 9pm
Sheikh Zayed Road will be closed at 9pm

Burj Khalifa Dubai Metro station will close at 5pm. Dubai Tram will operate from 9am until January 2, for 40 continuous hours, and the Dubai Metro will operate from 8am until January 1, 2024 at midnight.

The press conference was attended by Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi, Assistant Commandant for Operations Affairs at Dubai Police, Chairman of the Events Security Committee; Meshal Jalfar, Executive Director of the Dubai Corporation For Ambulance Services; Major General Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, Director of the General Department of Traffic at Dubai Police, Vice Chairman of the Event Security Committee; Major General Dr. Adel Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Dubai Police Stations Council; Expert Major General Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Assistant Director-General for Fire and Rescue Affairs at the General Directorate of Civil Defence in Dubai; and Abdullah Al Ali, Executive Director of Traffic and Roads at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Chairman of the Traffic Management and Transport Systems Committee, along with representatives from various government and private entities.

Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi, Assistant Commandant for Operations Affairs at Dubai Police, Chairman of the Events Security Committee, said that all 55 entities have been working closely to ensure the maximum security and safety for people enjoying the festivities. He emphasised that the Committee has completed all preparations, which included numerous coordination meetings and site visits to the 32 celebration locations across the emirate.

“A unified security plan has been devised, with each entity contributing according to their expertise, to secure tourist areas, shopping malls and manage traffic during the New Year's Eve celebrations,” he said.

Four sectors

Al Ghaithi explained that the Committee has implemented a new security mechanism, dividing the emirate into four sectors to improve the efficiency of security operations in coordination with partners. These sectors consist of the North, with eight celebration locations, Central, covering 15 locations, West, with 14 locations, and the Maritime sector. Additionally, he noted that seven mobile operations rooms have been strategically stationed across the emirate.

He also urged the public to cooperate with the police, follow traffic instructions to prevent congestion, and reach out to Dubai Police in case of emergencies on 999. For general enquiries, he advised contacting 901 or approaching the nearest police station. He added that several supply tents in downtown Dubai will offer services for lost and found items, first aid, logistical support, assistance for lost children, visitor guidance and more.

RTA traffic plan

Abdullah Al Ali, Executive Director of Traffic and Roads at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Chairman of the Traffic Management and Transport Systems Committee, highlighted the RTA's full readiness to manage the movement of traffic during the New Year's Eve celebrations. He said that a comprehensive traffic plan, especially around the Burj Khalifa area, was developed in coordination with the Executive Committee for Securing International and Local Events and Emaar.

Al Ali stated that teams from RTA, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services will operate from the Unified Control Centre of the RTA, which stands as one of the largest and most advanced control centres. Their role will be to monitor and organise traffic and visitor movement across vital areas in Dubai during the day, particularly around the Burj Khalifa area, he noted.

He added that RTA teams will be active on the field and across all control centres, including the Emaar Control Room and Dubai's Smart Traffic Systems Centre. RTA’s traffic plan for New Year’s Eve covers six focus areas, which aim to ensure smooth traffic flow and prioritise public transport services. The RTA is coordinating with Dubai Police, Emaar and other partners to provide services that ensure the success of the festivities.

Road closures

To prevent bottlenecks during the festivities, Al Ali said that the streets surrounding the Burj Khalifa area and Dubai Mall will see closures implemented by RTA's operational team. The teams will work in cooperation with Dubai Police and Emaar to manage the closures.

According to RTA, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard will be closed from 4pm when parking in the area becomes full. Those with reservations in the Boulevard area or Dubai Mall should therefore arrive before 4pm on Sunday.

The lower Financial Centre Road will also see a closure from 4pm, while the upper Financial Centre Road and Al Sukook Street will be closed from 8pm.

In addition, Al Asayel Street, from Oud Metha Road towards Burj Khalifa, will be closed from 4pm and it will serve as an emergency route and bus layby. Future Street will close from 4pm on the stretch between Za’abeel 2 Street and Al Meydan Street. It will remain closed until the festivities conclude.

Metro and Tram services

Al Ali noted that the Red and Green Lines of the Dubai Metro will operate continuously for 40 hours from 8am on Sunday, 31 December until midnight on Monday, 1 January, 2024.

The Dubai Tram will also operate from 9am on Sunday, December 31 till 1am on Tuesday, 2 January, 2024 for 40 hours.

The extended operational hours facilitate public access to and from the event area. The Burj Khalifa Metro Station will close from 5pm.

Additional parking

Al Ali said that 900 additional parking spaces will be made available outside the event area. Public transport buses will operate from these parking areas, including 500 slots at Al Wasl Club and 400 at Al Jafiliya (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs), starting from 3pm.

Public transport services

Al Ali confirmed that more bus services have been arranged this year due to the expected increase in attendance.

A total of 230 shuttle buses, including 20 double-deckers, will serve Metro stations and taxi stand locations. Bus departing from Sheikh Zayed Road towards Abu Dhabi will ferry people from Burj Khalifa Metro Station to Onpassive Metro Station. Buses departing from the service road on Sheikh Zayed Road will ply to the taxi stands at Al Wasl Club and Al Jafiliya to Deira City Centre. Buses departing from Financial Centre Road will proceed to Al Khail Road, Al Wasl Club, and Al Jafiliya Parking. Additional bus routes on Burj Khalifa Street will culminate at Deira City Centre Metro Station. Buses operating from in front of Business Bay Metro Station (on Sheikh Zayed Road) will also ply to Deira City Centre Metro Station.

Taxi stands will be set up at Al Wasl Club to ferry people away from the major venues.

Directional signage and traffic management

Al Ali said that directional signs would be provided around the Burj Khalifa area to facilitate pedestrian movement to the event area and towards bus locations and Metro stations. Traffic signals on Financial Centre Road and Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard will be monitored and controlled from the traffic control centre to ensure smooth traffic flow during peak hours in coordination with Emaar's operations room.

Smart traffic signs will be deployed to alert road users about necessary closures and direct the public to use alternative routes and parking for vehicles. Pedestrian bridges and elevators on the Dubai Water Canal will be closed to ensure the general safety of the public.

Dubai Municipality’s comprehensive plan

Dubai Municipality also announced a comprehensive plan for the New Year's Eve celebrations, covering health and safety, food safety, supervision of public parks and recreational facilities, management of the emirate's beaches and water channels, and management of waste operations. The civic body confirmed the readiness of its 2,700 executive and field teams that will fan out across all celebration sites in the emirate.

The municipality teams will pay particular attention to key areas such as Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Hills, Festival City, City Walk, Burj Al Arab, Burj Al Khor, Souk Al Bahar, Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), and Palm Jumeirah. The teams will also oversee festivities at the Global Village, Zabeel Park, Dubai Frame, and public beaches, including Jumeirah (1, 2, 3), Umm Suqeim (1, 2), Al Sufouh, Jebel Ali, Al Shurooq, Al Mamzar Beach and Corniche, in addition to the external roads leading to the gathering places for various events.

Waste management

Dubai Municipality has deployed 242 supervisors and monitors and 2,281 sanitation workers to maintain cleanliness around celebration sites and surrounding areas to maintain Dubai's cleanliness and aesthetic appeal. They will manage waste removal and ensure the roads remain spick and span, also providing over 300 waste storage facilities in crowded locations.

Dubai Municipality has contracted 630 private sector sanitation workers for specific sites like industrial and residential areas, besides desert spots. They will be supported by over 500 volunteers from the public.

Public health and food safety

Dubai Municipality's health and safety teams, comprising 63 inspectors and supervisors, will carry out field visits to ensure compliance with health and safety standards for pathways, entrances, elevators, escalators, water systems, floors, indoor air quality, logistics arrangements like electrical extensions and safe storage, besides crowd management plans.

Food safety teams, including 27 inspectors, will carry out checks at shopping centres, hotels, restaurants, and other food establishments across event sites. These visits aim to ensure compliance with food safety and health standards, securing the food sector in the emirate and protecting the community from food-related risks.

Public facilities, parks and beaches

Dubai Municipality has allocated a team of 75 monitors and inspectors to manage public parks, recreational facilities, and fireworks sites. A control centre at Dubai Frame will oversee team operations. The municipality will also ensure warning signs are in place indicating designated gathering areas and emergency exits and that fire extinguishers are readily available at all sites.

A team of 8 monitors and inspectors, in direct coordination with Dubai Police, will secure the emirate's beaches. Lifeguard services and security will be efficiently ensured, especially on night beaches, providing the highest levels of visitor safety.

Dubai Civil Defence

Expert Major General Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Assistant Director-General for Fire and Rescue Affairs at the General Directorate of Civil Defence in Dubai, confirmed the completion of preparations by the civil defence authorities to ensure full readiness for the celebrations.

“Dubai Civil Defence will deploy more than 947 firefighters, including officers and non-commissioned officers, across celebration sites. They represent the elite units and specialised teams with high professional competence. They will be supported by more than 106 modern multi-purpose vehicles and logistical support teams, ready to respond to emergencies around all 24 civil defence centres in Dubai,” he said.

Ambulance services

Meshal Abdul Karim Jalfar, Executive Director of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, stated that the team is prepared to attend to any emergencies that may arise during festivities with 178 ambulances, four boats, 556 paramedics, and 35 supervisors on standby for 46 events across Dubai.

Dubai Ambulance vehicles will be stationed in vital areas, with seven vehicles and 16 paramedics in Dubai Mall, six ambulances and 12 paramedics each in Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, JBR, Bluewaters, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (Burj Khalifa).

The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services has also allocated 18 ambulances, an operations room, 18 support tents for emergency services, five first responder vehicles, six electric bikes, two ambulance buses, and a field support unit.

Additionally, 34 additional ambulance points have been earmarked across various areas like Jebel Ali, Bur Dubai, rural areas, and Deira, plus five ambulances for the Hatta Festival, supported by 12 paramedics and a field support unit from December 15 to 31.