UAE to study new federal highway proposal to ease traffic between Dubai and northern emirates

Minister announces plans for improved road systems and traffic solutions

by

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Published: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 1:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 11:27 PM

The UAE will examine a proposal to construct a new federal highway that would connect all seven emirates. If approved and constructed, this will take the number of pan-UAE highways to four, with the others being Al Ittihad (E11), Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed (E311) and Emirates (E611) roads.

This comes as Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, addressed the Federal National Council (FNC) on Wednesday. He said the ministry would study the proposal submitted by the FNC to construct the new road to reduce traffic woes — especially during peak times.

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Officials will meet local government representatives to assess whether there is a need to construct a new highway or if adding more lanes to existing ones would solve the congestion issue. They will also study if diverting traffic to alternative routes would help ease bottlenecks.

FNC member Dr Adnan Hamad Al Hammadi told the minister that federal roads linking Dubai and the Northern Emirates see severe traffic jams, especially during peak hours. "These roads drain 20 hours per week, 80 hours per month, and 1,000 hours annually from employees' time," he said, urging the minister to find comprehensive solutions.

For employees who live in the Northern Emirates and work in Dubai, this is resulting in delayed arrival to offices and amounts to increased stress and anxiety, he said.

"This affects their commitment and productivity at work. This problem has existed for years without any significant improvement. What measures has the ministry taken to solve the problem of traffic congestion on the federal roads?" the member asked.

The FNC member said that although the ministry has developed many roads, nothing major has been done on federal ones. "The primary highways — Al Ittihad, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed and Emirates roads — currently have fewer than 20 lanes, with about 10 for entry into Dubai. These roads accommodate over 850,000 vehicles commuting between Dubai and the Northern Emirates."

In response to the questions, Al Mazrouei said the ministry is working with local municipalities to enhance the highways. The minister added that the UAE will also implement "new procedures" to ease traffic between Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Solutions include an integrated centre to monitor traffic flow and AI to assess reasons for congestion. Al Mazrouei said these will be rolled out in the second half 2024.

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