A new highway in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region aims to provide faster and safer traffic flow – and has special underpasses for camels.
The Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed highway was inaugurated on Wednesday by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, with a number of royals and government officials in attendance.
The Dh5.3 billion highway has increased the number lanes from two to three in the area between Barakah and Ghuwaifat, which covers 64 kilometres, and introduced four lanes in the area between Mafraq and Baynounah Forests, which stretches over 182 kilometres.
A convoy of race cars helped inaugurate the opening of the four-lane stretch of road.
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Each lane accommodates up to 2,500 cars per hour, said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed during the inauguration.
Al Dhafra is well known as a hub for camels, and their safety has also been taken into consideration. Underpasses have been set up near Al Sila and Ghuwaifat so that farmers and camel owners can ensure safe passage for their herds.
The road upgrade has been designed in a way that significantly eases weather hazards and congestion, Sheikh Theyab said.
The highway is now fully lit with LED lamps to increase visibility and reduce fog-related risks. The asphalt level of the road has also been raised, and its drainage improved in order to prevent standing water.
For motorists' convenience, lay-bys and hard shoulders have been established, and there are petrol stations at two new locations, near Barakah and Mirfa, in addition to 15 new interchanges.
Meanwhile, the existing interchanges at Mafraq, Hameem, Abu Al Abyad and Madinat Zayed have been enhanced