x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Dubai braces for increased traffic during Eid weekend

Extra parking, taxis and public transport will be available during the holiday weekend, transportation chiefs assure the public.

DUBAI // Free parking, extra parking spaces, boosted public transport and thousands of taxis around the clock will ease traffic woes in Dubai over the Eid Al Fitr holiday weekend.

Transport chiefs' first target is the busy Dubai Mall area, where parking areas opposite the cinema and in the Trade Centre's yards will be used if all mall car parks are full.

Shuttle buses will take passengers to the mall and signs will guide drivers to less congested routes in the Business Bay area.

"Junctions will be monitored to ease traffic snarls, especially during evening rush hours," said Hussain Al Banna of the Traffic and Roads Agency.

Officials will also keep a close eye on traffic around Deira City Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Marina Mall.

Mr Al Banna advised using the Dubai Metro to avoid traffic jams and the hassle of finding a parking space. Services will run from 5.30am to 2am on Thursday, 9am to 2am on Friday and 5.30am to 1am on Saturday and Sunday.

About 8,000 cabs, 95 per cent of the emirate's fleet, will be on the road over the holiday, with extra staff ensuring the booking and dispatch centre is working around the clock.

"We mainly focus on providing vehicles in vital areas, such as tourist attractions and shopping malls, especially the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard area," said Adel Shakeri of the Public Transport Agency.

All paid-parking zones will be free except at the fish market and multi-storey car parks.

Bus stations at the Gold Souq and Ghubaiba 1 and 2 will be open from 6am to midnight and substations at Satwa, Al Qusais, Al Quoz Industrial and Jebel Ali will open from 6am to 10pm.

For commercial buses and intercity transport, main stations such as Ghubaiba will offer services around the clock and substations, such as Sabkha and Union Square, will offer services from 6am up to midnight. Deira City Centre and Karama stations will work until 10pm.

External bus stations such as Sharjah (Jubail to Bur Dubai) will offer non-stop services, Sharjah (Jubail to Deira) and Abu Dhabi will offer services to midnight and Fujairah, Ajman and Hatta stations will close at 10pm.

The Water Taxi service will be available from 9am to 10pm and the Water Bus from 7am to 10pm on Thursday and Saturday and 10am to midnight on Friday.

malkhan@thenational.ae