Explained: New Salik toll gates to reduce traffic on key Dubai routes by up to 42%

Existing toll gates helped slash travel time by 6 million hours annually, and traffic volume on major highways by 24%


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 19 Jan 2024, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jan 2024, 4:24 PM

The two new toll gates announced on Friday – one located at Business Bay Crossing on Al Khail Road, and the other one at Al Safa South on Sheikh Zayed Road between Al Meydan Street and Umm Al Sheif Street – will be operational by November this year.

According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the new toll gates will “streamline traffic flows on Dubai's roads by rerouting traffic to alternative traffic corridors such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Dubai - Al Ain Road, Ras Al Khor Road, and Al Manama Street."

At a glance, here are the effects of the new toll gates, according to RTA:

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Salik on Business Bay Crossing will contribute to:

  • Rerouting traffic from Jebel Ali to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Emirates Roads
  • Alleviating Al Khail Road’s congestion by up to 15 per cent
  • Reducing Al Rebat Street's traffic volumes by up to 16 per cent
  • Reducing Financial Centre Street's traffic volumes by 5 per cent
  • Cutting the total travel time on Al Khail Road's congested segment between Al Rebat and Ras Al Khor Streets by 20,000 hours daily in both directions

Al Safa South Salik will result in:

  • Reduction of right-turning traffic from Sheikh Zayed Road to Al Meydan Street by 15 per cent
  • Reducing traffic volumes from Al Meydan and Al Safa Streets to Sheikh Zayed Road by about 42 per cent
  • Reducing traffic volumes on Sheikh Zayed Road between Financial Centre and Latifa Bint Hamdan Streets by 4 per cent
  • Optimising the use of First Al Khail Road and Al Asayel Streets by 4 per cent.

Supporting road infrastructure

“Toll gates are part of transport policies aimed at supporting roads infrastructure and public transport projects by distributing traffic across the entire road network,” noted Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.

“The existing toll gates contributed to reducing the total travel time in Dubai by 6 million hours annually, decreasing traffic volumes on the Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud bridges by 26 per cent, reducing travel times on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Ittihad Street by 24 per cent, and increasing the number of mass transit users by 9 million riders per annum,” he added.

Traffic toll policies also encourage the public to shift towards mass transport means. The RTA said it has completed mega road projects totalling more than Dh146 billion from 2006 to 2023, including Dubai Metro, the world's longest driverless metro network, which has transported over 2 billion riders since September 2009.

539 million journeys

Salik, which means ‘seamless mobility’ in Arabic, is Dubai's automatic road toll collection system put in place in 2007 by the RTA.

In June 2022, Salik was transformed into a public joint stock company (PJSC). That year, around 539 million journeys were recorded through Salik’s eight toll gates located at strategic junctures — especially on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is considered as the city's main arterial highway.


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