x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Motorway to offer quicker path to Dubai

The Dh780 million upgrade of the Al Ain-Dubai motorway is expected to halve travel time when it is completed in Nov 2010.

AL AIN // The Dh780 million (US$213m) upgrade of the Al Ain-Dubai motorway is expected to halve travel time between the two cities when it is completed in Nov 2010. The project, which began in June, will double the road's capacity from two to four lanes and raise the speed limit from 120kph to 140kph. It is the most expensive development project ever undertaken by the municipality.

Dr Mattar al Nuaimi, the executive director of infrastructure and assets at Al Ain municipality, says the upgrade is long overdue because of the increasing traffic between the two cities, particularly at weekends, national holidays and other major events. He said many Al Ain residents commute to Dubai, choosing to live the quieter, more family-friendly life of the oasis city while working in the booming emirate next door.

"People feel that it's easier to get to work from Al Ain than from within the city because of the heavy traffic," said Dr Nuaimi. "At the weekends and during holidays, we see a lot of people come to get away to Al Ain for the peace and quiet and to relax. They see it as a retreat from the busy lifestyle of Dubai." Hyder Consulting are the engineers for the project and Hill International are managing it. The road will be reshaped in many places to remove bends that will no longer be safe at 140kph.

"Eventually, the road will be better quality and safer," said Dr Nuaimi. "We hope that this will, in time, make Al Ain far more accessible and appealing for people in Dubai, residents, business people and tourists." Access and service roads will be improved for residents. Existing bridges and flyovers will be knocked down and rebuilt to accommodate the wider road, which will link previously isolated towns, villages and farms and end in Dubai's Al Faga area.

mswan@thenational.ae