Dubai’s Infra Projects Saved Dh220 Bn: RTA

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The total investment in the improvement of roads and transport during the same period was AED140 billion…reports Asian Lite News

Massive investments of the Dubai Government in improving the infrastructure of roads and transport saved nearly AED220 billion (about US$60 billion) in time and fuel wasted through traffic congestions from 2006 to 2020, according to Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

In contrast, the total investment in the improvement of roads and transport during the same period was AED140 billion (about $40 billion).

Dubai

Al Tayer made these statements in his keynote speech to the 18th IRF (International Road Federation) World Meeting and Exhibition, titled “Roads to Tomorrow: Dubai’s Pathway to Sustainable Mobility”. Attendees at the session included several high-ranking officials as well as representatives of concerned entities.

MATTAR MOHAMMED AL TAYER, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS OF THE ROADS AND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY: “Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the RTA has achieved mega projects in a record time highlighted by the Dubai Metro project, which had been delivered in just four years, and the Dubai Water Canal project that had been completed in less than three years.”

“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 5 folds 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 and extended our cycling track network from nine km in 2006 to 463 km in 2020, and is expected to reach 668 km by 2025.

“The RTA’s projects have cemented the competitiveness of the UAE, which had consequently been ranked No. 1 in Road Quality Worldwide for 5 years in a row. RTA’s joint efforts with the General HQ of Dubai Police have reduced road accident fatalities from almost 22 cases to 1.8 cases per 100,000 between 2006 and 2020, and reduced pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population from 9.5 to 0.5 between 2007 and 2020,” noted Al Tayer.

“Environmental sustainability is a key pillar of the agenda of the UAE Government, which is the first government in the region committing to the climate neutrality strategy 2050. Some 22 percent of global carbon emissions directly result from the transport sector. To support the UAE’s efforts to conserve the environment, the RTA has revamped its vision to fit with the future directions of Dubai to become ‘The world leader in seamless and sustainable mobility,’” he commented.

“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. 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,” Al Tayer added.

In his speech, Al Tayer touched on the efforts of the Dubai Government to achieve sustainable urban development in the context of the human-centric Dubai Urban Plan 2040 aimed to improve the wellbeing of people and make Dubai the best city for living in the world. According to the plan, 55 percent 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 percent of daily services within 20 minutes by walking and cycling. 60 percent of the Emirate’s total area will be nature reserves and rural areas.

Al Tayer reviewed the RTA’s role in adopting innovation to cope with the challenges of designing and constructing mega projects to ensure their timely delivery. Such projects are highlighted by the Dubai Metro project, which has been accomplished in four years, and the Dubai Water Canal, which has been completed despite the complex challenges such as the that the route of the channel crosses over three busy roads comprised of 28 lanes in an area with completed infrastructure and a massive network of utility lines. It required moving 2.2 million cubic metres of the excavated material which was used to create a man-made island at the end of the canal near the beach. The RTA adopted an advanced technique in digging the canal and reinstalled the utility network underneath the canal. The canal contributed to improving the quality of Dubai Creek water by 33 percent.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer

“The RTA is a key partner in the smart city initiative aimed to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. It leads the smart mobility drive and undertook a portfolio of projects in support of digitisation. It adopted an artificial intelligence strategy, as manifested in the Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre at Al Barsha, one of the most sophisticated traffic control centres in the world in terms of using smart technologies. The centre raised the percentage of road network coverage with smart traffic systems from 11 percent to 60 percent, which is expected to increase to 100 percent by 2023. It also reduced fatal accidents by 42 percent, and the delay time at intersections by 25 percent.”

“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% accuracy, and issuing tickets for violations automatically,” Al Tayer explained.

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In his speech, Al Tayer reviewed RTA’s efforts to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to convert 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai to smart journeys on driverless means by 2030. “In this regard, RTA signed a partnership agreement with General Motors–Cruise to operate GM’s autonomous vehicles to deliver taxi and shared mobility services by 2023, which would make Dubai the first city in the world, outside America, to operate these vehicles,” he said.

“RTA expanded the scope of partnership with the private sector to provide innovative services and new opportunities in the mobility and finance sectors. For example, RTA established Hala, a joint venture with Careem considered the first of its kind e-hailing between a government transport authority and the private sector. It contributed to reducing customer waiting time for taxis from 11.4 minutes to 3.7 minutes.”

Al Tayer concluded by emphasising that Dubai’s journey of excellence in the field of roads and transport is underpinned by key success factors, the most important of which are effective leadership, clear vision, making the right and timely decisions, to build a sustainable model to boost the wellbeing of Dubai’s residents and visitors, as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, “We are building a new reality for our people, a new future for our children, and a new model of development.”