No Escape from Roads Leading to Cityscape

DUBAI — The beginning of Cityscape 2008 brought with it more traffic chaos on Monday with people complaining of being stuck in traffic for many hours in areas around the Dubai International Exhibition Centre (DIEC).

By Afshan Ahmed, Joy Sengupta?and Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 8 Oct 2008, 1:29 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:29 PM

All roads leading to Cityscape venue were blocked since 9.30am, a time when on a normal day, smooth traffic resumes. The spillover traffic clogged adjoining roads too, delaying commuters from reaching offices.

“I am driving towards the Dubai Airport and I have been stuck for the last two hours on Shaikh Zayed Road,” said Ahmed Ali who was heading from Emirates Towers.

Officials at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said that they had made necessary preparations to ease traffic flow and provide help to the visitors to the Cityscape exhibition.

Traffic was not the only trouble faced by visitors. The shortage of taxis and parking spaces added to the chaos.

“I must point out that organisation of the event is very poor. I will be late for my appointments,” said a furious Hakim Al Hasan who was trying to get out of the parking arena of the DIEC. “Initially, traffic was managed by barricades which enabled mobility but now with their removal, the situation has worsened,” he added.

Bondi Lahori, another visitor, said at exhibitions, the management should refuse entry of vehicles near the entrance. “There should be more bus pick-up points so that individuals can park outside and commute to the centre in buses.”

With the parking spaces near the centre filled to the hilt, many visitors had to park their vehicles near other buildings and walk to the exhibition centre in the morning heat. “After getting stuck for almost two hours in traffic, I now have to walk another mile to get to the exhibition,” said Ahmed Khadir whose 10-minute drive to the DIEC was gruelling.

The shortage of taxis in the area bothered many attendees who walked long distances in search of a cab. “I have been looking for a taxi for quite a while but have had no luck yet,” said Epharim Cooper.

Hala Kotb, senior media relations manager at the Dubai World Trade Centre, said they, in coordination with the RTA, have taken steps to help the people visiting the exhibition.

“There are shuttle bus services for the visitors as well as extra number of taxis. Also, buses are running specially on two routes just for the exhibition. The exhibition area has got dedicated taxi stands so that there are no traffic snarls. Every possible step is being taken to ensure that people don’t face any problems,” she added.,,

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