How new road projects in Dubai saved residents' time, money

Dubai - The savings in time and fuel in 2019 amounted to Dh24.42 billion, “which is equivalent to Dh7,400 of savings per resident.


A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 14 Nov 2020, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Sat 14 Nov 2020, 2:28 PM

The construction of roads and public transport networks in Dubai not only helped ease traffic congestions, but also resulted in savings for its residents. According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), savings in time and fuel in 2019 amounted to Dh24.42 billion, “which is equivalent to Dh7,400 of savings per resident”.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said the total value of time and fuel wasted in traffic congestions would have reached Dh248.8 billion if the RTA had not undertaken projects.

“For instance, the travel time from Dubai International Airport to Bur Dubai would have increased from 20 to 40 minutes ... Equally, the travel time from Jumeirah 3 to The Dubai Mall would have increased from 21 to 55 minutes. Moreover, the travel time of long journeys, like Khawaneej or Mamzar to Mall of the Emirates, would have increased more than six-fold, should those projects not have been implemented,” said Al Tayer.

This came as the authority released a statistical analysis of how new road projects in the emirate have increased traffic safety and reduced congestions and harmful emissions.

Traffic safety

Traffic fatalities in Dubai decreased from 21.7 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 2.3 in 2019, thanks to the government’s investments in transport infrastructure. The Dh130-billion investments contributed to savings of Dh193.3 billion in terms of time and fuel saved.

“The probability of being involved in a fatal traffic accident in Dubai has decreased by 10 times,” said Al Tayer. “The RTA’s efforts in the field of traffic safety in Dubai from 2007 up to now contributed to limiting the escalating financial losses due to road accidents. The amount of savings from 2007 to 2020 is estimated to be Dh46 billion.”

Harmful emissions

Carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 661,000 tonnes per annum from 2016 to 2019, the authority said. “(This) is equivalent to a blanket of 39cm in thickness covering the entire urban space of Dubai.”

Travel time index

The RTA chief said that the globally acknowledged congestion metric is the travel time index (TTI). This measures the ratio of travel time in the city during peak hours to the travel time during off-peak hours.

“Thus, the smaller the index, the lesser is the congestion level. The roads and transport projects accomplished by the RTA ... contributed to a TTI of 1.23 in 2019, which is superior to the TTI of 1.33 in 10 metropolitan cities with population numbers similar to Dubai such as Los Angles, Berlin, Montreal, Sydney and Rome.”

Roads drive economy

Al Tayer said investments in infrastructure are the “main driver of the economy of any city in the world”.

“Earlier, the RTA conducted a benefit-cost study of the Dubai Metro and several road projects in collaboration with a British University. The study found that the rate of benefits to costs of the Dubai Metro reached 1 in 2016. The rate was projected to reach 4.3 in 2030.”

A recent study concluded that the benefit-cost ratio of improving Umm Suqueim Street was Dh8.8 (Dh8.8 of benefits per Dh1 of cost). The ratio of improving the Airport Street was Dh3.8, Al Tayer added.

Transport infrastructure of Dubai

> 18,000 lane-kilometres

> 119 pedestrian bridges and underpasses

> 425km of cycling tracks

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