Dubai: Over 500 bus shelters equipped with ATMs and snack and soft drink vending machines to be built across Dubai in the next 18 months, officials said.

The prototype of the world's first air-conditioned bus shelter - futuristically-designed, crescent shaped shelters with modern metallic finish and sliding doors - was launched in Dubai on Tuesday.

"The air-conditioned bus shelters have been designed keeping the comfort and requirements of commuters in mind. Waiting for buses in the scorching heat can be hard and tiring for the people, and these modern bus shelters with an array of amenities will prove extremely beneficial to the large number of commuters," said Abdul Aziz Malik, Director of Public Transport.

Mattar Al Tayer, Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority, said the bus shelters "will complement Dubai's rapid pace of development and progress".

The ultramodern bus shelters will have a range of facilities such as ATMs and vending machines for newspapers, snacks and soft drinks. They will also have garbage recycling units.

"We will be making an investment of over AED 210 million over the coming decade in this project, and we hope to see more and more people to travel by bus," Malik said.