Dubai: Smart screening vehicles in paid parking slots to double by the end of 2023

RTA's smart vehicles can monitor and read the number plates of cars regardless of the type of parking space

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Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 5 Sep 2023, 6:44 PM

Last updated: Tue 5 Sep 2023, 8:44 PM

Around 34 per cent of Dubai's paid public parking slots are covered by the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) smart screening system. These slots are monitored by nine smart screening vehicles, which are set to increase to 18 by the end of 2023.

Once expanded, the smart vehicles will cover around 140,000 slots or 70 per cent of total paid parking spaces in Dubai. Smart screening vehicles can monitor and read the number plates of vehicles in all directions regardless of the type of parking space.

The RTA aims to increase intelligent traffic systems (ITS) coverage from 60 per cent of road networks to 100 per cent by 2026.

This came as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, reviewed the RTA's strategic projects and initiatives.

The Dubai Crown Prince visited the ITS Centre in Al Barsha, one of the world's largest and most advanced traffic control centres. Equipped with an array of traffic monitoring and data-gathering devices, the centre plays a key role in ensuring that Dubai's intelligent traffic management systems are able to effectively manage the rapid expansion of the city's current and future road networks.

Since its opening in November 2020, the centre has significantly enhanced the city's traffic management, leading to a 20 per cent reduction in travel time, a 63 per cent improvement in incident monitoring, and a 30 per cent faster response time.

"Traffic signals and the traffic control system are now 100 per cent interlinked," said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA. "Linking all of Dubai, the system ensures a smooth traffic flow, manages incidents, emergencies and events, monitors the efficiency of operational systems and reports malfunctions. The centre is connected to an 820-km-long fibre optic network and 425 traffic surveillance cameras, including Dubai Police ones.

"It is also equipped with 235 incident-monitoring and vehicle counting devices, 115 travel time measurement devices, 112 electronic display signs, and 17 road weather information systems."

Here are some facts about the centre:


  • Traffic control and management
  • Disseminating information to road network users
  • Ensuring smooth movement on main roads
  • Coordination, support of strategic partners and data exchange
  • Operating the traffic control system for traffic signals
  • Monitoring the operation of operational systems and reporting malfunctions
  • Management of incidents, emergencies and events
  • Planning, studies and development of operational processes

Most important characteristics:

  • %100 - Managing all traffic signals in the emirate with smart systems linking 587 traffic signals
  • 60% - The coverage rate of the main road network with cameras will reach 100% in 2026
  • 425 - Traffic surveillance camera and smart systems integrated with Dubai Police

Most important results:

  • 20% improvement in flight time
  • 30% Improvement in response time
  • 63% Improvement in accident monitoring

Road network expansion

The total length of Dubai's road network has grown from 8,715 lane-km in 2006 to 18,768 in 2022, marking a 115 per cent growth. The number of bridges and underpasses saw a big increase, from 129 to 988 during the same period. Moreover, the number of pedestrian bridges and underpasses increased from 26 in 2006 to 122 in 2022.

The authority pointed out that efforts to ramp up traffic safety standards have contributed to a significant drop in incident-related fatalities, from approximately 22 cases per 100,000 of the population in 2006 to only 1.9 in 2022.

Cycling tracks

Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed the master plan to expand the construction of cycling tracks from 544km to 819 km by 2026.

He also took a closer look at the upcoming cycling track as part of the Hessa Street Improvement Project. This 13.5-km long track, with a width of 5.5 metres, will feature a dedicated width of 2.5 metres for bikes and scooters and 2 metres for pedestrians. It links Al Sufouh and Jumeirah to Dubai Hills via Hessa Street, serving residential communities like Al Barsha and Barsha Heights. Furthermore, it enhances first- and last-mile trips, linking with the Dubai Internet City Metro Station and nearby commercial areas. Two specially designed bridges distinguish this track.


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