How Dubai's roads and transport projects helped save Dh210 billion

Road accident fatalities dropped from 22 to 1.8 per 100,000 population in Dubai between 2006 and 2020

Photo: File
Photo: File

By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 8 Nov 2021, 4:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 8 Nov 2021, 9:41 PM

Massive investments made by the Dubai Government in roads and transport infrastructure helped save about Dh210 billion ($57 billion) in terms of time and fuel that would otherwise have been wasted in traffic congestions between 2006 and 2020.

During this period, the government invested Dh140 billion ($40 billion) in these projects.

This came as Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), delivered his keynote speech to the 18th IRF (International Road Federation) World Meeting and Exhibition.

Road accident fatalities dropped from 22 to 1.8 per 100,000 population in Dubai between 2006 and 2020. Additionally, pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population reduced from 9.5 to 0.5 between 2007 and 2020, Al Tayer added.

He also highlighted how the government realised mega projects within short periods of time. The Dubai Metro project was delivered in just four years, while the Dubai Water Canal was completed in less than three, he said.

“We have more than doubled our road network from 8,715 in 2006 to 18,255 lane-km in 2020 and increased the number of vehicle bridges and tunnels five-fold from 129 in 2006 to 844 in 2020.

“Similarly, we have increased the number of pedestrian bridges and tunnels by four times — from 26 to 125 around the same time. We extended our cycling track network from 9km in 2006 to 463km in 2020, and is expected to reach 668 km by 2025.”

He stressed that RTA projects have “cemented the competitiveness of the UAE, which had consequently been ranked number 1 in road quality worldwide for five years in a row”.

Climate neutrality

The UAE is the first country in the region committed to the climate neutrality strategy 2050. Twenty-two per cent of global carbon emissions directly result from the transport sector.

“Sustainability is an integral part of the RTA’s strategies and initiatives launched to conserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. The RTA developed a roadmap towards zero-emissions public transport by 2050 and its initiatives contributed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 400k tons by 2020,” added Al Tayer.

He also highlighted the Dubai Urban Plan 2040 that aims to make the Emirate the best city in the world.

“According to the plan, 55 per cent of the expected population will live within 800 metres of Metro stations. It adopts a ‘20-minute city’ concept to allow residents to access 80 per cent of daily services within 20 minutes by walking and cycling. About 60 per cent of the Emirate’s total area will be nature reserves and rural areas,” Al Tayer added.



The RTA’s Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre at Al Barsha links all signalised traffic junctions. It raised the percentage of road network coverage with smart traffic systems from 11 to 60 per cent. This is expected to increase to 100 per cent by 2023. It also reduced fatal accidents by 42 per cent, and the delay time at intersections by 25 per cent.

“The RTA manages 190,000 paid parking slots using an integrated centre for parking management. It deployed vehicles equipped with digital cameras supported by artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies capable of scanning more than 10,000 parking spaces per hour, with 99 per cent accuracy, and issuing tickets for violations automatically,” explained Al Tayer.

Taxi waiting time reduced

Talking about its partnership with the private sector, Al Tayer referred to Hala, a joint venture with Careem. The first-of-its-kind e-hailing platform between a government transport authority and the private sector has contributed to reducing customer waiting time for taxis from 11.4 minutes to 3.7.

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