UAE to invest approx. USD4.07 billion in transport projects as 2021 National Agenda aims to establish country as first globally in terms of quality of roads and traffic systems
07 November, Dubai, U.A.E: As part of a Ventures Onsite report that is scheduled to be released at the upcoming edition of the Gulf Traffic Conference and Exhibition, despite the slump in oil prices transportation projects in the GCC have been witnessing unprecedented investment. According to industry experts, the combined government expenditure in the GCC over the next four years is forecast to hit USD 480 billion; a minimum of 60 per cent (Approx. USD288 billion) of which is likely to be invested in infrastructure projects such as transport.
Significant investments in roads and transport infrastructure have managed to offset the effects of congestion to a great extent. Increasing congestion in urban areas and high traffic density are key reasons the GCC governments are focusing on the need for improved road transport to support the emerging economic development. Moreover, driven by rising urban population as well as upcoming mega events such as the Dubai World Expo 2020 in the UAE, the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and increasing number of people travelling to Saudi Arabia (KSA) annually to perform religious pilgrimages, there will be a substantial upsurge in the numbers of passengers to be moved around GCC cities.
Taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on November 13-15, Gulf Traffic is officially in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MoID). Government representatives will be on hand to talk about current and future tenders, projects and innovations. Eng. Ahmed Al Hammadi, Roads Department Director at the MoID, will be officially inaugurating the free to attend Middle East Infrastructure Conference on day one with a keynote speech about project updates and infrastructure development in the country.
Abdelrahman Almahmoud, Head of Road Execution Section – Roads Department at the MoID, will be talking on day two of the conference about ‘Looking for a sustainable development in the UAE Federal Roads’.
As the number of both residents and visitors to GCC countries increases each year, the greater the necessity for local authorities to provide easy, reliable, safe and cost-effective methods of public transport and alleviate pressure on their city’s transport systems. The quality and networks of regional roads in GCC cities have improved exponentially over the past 10 years as it is the primary mode of transportation.
Currently, the GCC states are working towards eliminating traffic accidents, attaining the road safety, as well as achieving the desired road safety objectives. To ease strain on financing of transport projects, the current trend in GCC countries is to opt for Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
The UAE’s 2021 National Agenda aims to establish the country as the first globally in terms of quality of roads and traffic systems. With Expo 2020, there will be an increase in the number of people and companies coming into the country, which is leading to more job opportunities. This in turn leads to increase in the number of vehicles.
To ease traffic and minimise congestion, the UAE government has already implemented advanced travel information systems that complement traffic management. The Intelligent Transport System (ITS) utilises real-time data from traffic sensors to reduce congestion and enhance road safety. These systems provide a wide range of services using information and communications technology.
The UAE has also introduced smart technology to monitor traffic movement in the emirate. The Deira Traffic Systems Control Centre, which operates around-the-clock, comprises a giant screen linked to 356 cameras deployed at main junctions and roads to monitor the traffic movement across Dubai.
The traffic signals control system- known as Scoot (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) is one where 455 signalised junctions are linked with the Central Traffic Signals Control System. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has received approval to construct a new USD 91 million control centre geared towards Expo 2020. The new centre is also hoped to help transform Dubai into a smart city by easing traffic congestions, reducing transit time and cost, fending off traffic accidents and curbing environmental pollution.
The UAE is a highly competitive and mature market for road builders. The road projects scheduled to be implemented by 2017 include a Dubai- Fujairah highway, creating and raising the efficiency of Dibba- Massafi road (Phase II), extending Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (Phase II), extending the road between Al Aqran roundabout -Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah ring road, developing the Masafi – Fujairah road, upgrading the road between Al Tawyeen roundabout – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road – Al Ittihad Road, in addition to the construction and completion of internal roads and links to residential complexes.
The UAE’s Ministry Infrastructure and Development is studying a proposal to lay a new road parallel to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, connecting the Northern Emirates to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There is a plan to expand the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road to seven lanes from three in Sharjah and six in Dubai. The Ministry is implementing these vital projects as part of efforts to deliver the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, which seek to position the UAE as the world’s best in road quality and infrastructure.
In September 2016, fifteen infrastructure development projects worth USD 1.089 billion were officially awarded in Abu Dhabi to nine contractors. The projects were tendered by the Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) to develop roads and residential neighborhood infrastructure on the outskirts of the capital city and in the Western Region. Work has already commenced on few projects, which are expected to be completed by late 2019.
Another major infrastructure transportation contract awarded in Dubai was for the Route 2020 project. In June 2016, RTA awarded the main construction contract to a consortium of French, Spanish, and Turkish firms at a cost of USD 2.89 billion.