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18 July 2024

Dubai crossroads old and new: A look at 2015 and the future


As the number of vehicles on the roads is increasing, so are the solutions to expand the capacity of these roads.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is continuously on the move adjusting the infrastructure to suit the rising demand.

In 2015 a number of intersections have been taken under the loop and works have commenced to make these junctions more efficient.

These are 5 of the most interesting projects started this year.

Al Badee Interchange

This project is yet to be announced but has already been awarded. It is set to improve traffic flow between Dubai and Sharjah through Emirates Road.

Al Badee Interchange is located on the border between Dubai and Sharjah at the intersection of Emirates Road and Maliha Road.

The project includes the construction of a high capacity directional ramp in both directions and four bridges.

A stretch of about 5.8km on Emirates Road and about 3.88km of Sharjah Maliha Road will be modified.

The completion date is still unclear.

Al Houdh Roundabout

Known to be the largest roundabout in the emirate, Al Houdh roundabout is situated on Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road at the intersection with Al Yalayis Road, serving as a gateway to populous communities such as The Green Community,  Discovery Gardens, Fujan and Dubai Sports City.

In the future it will form as a gateway to the Expo 2020 site. Moreover, Etihad Rail will be added to this junction en route to its Dubai South Station.

With such vital importance it is not surprising that this signalised roundabout has been redesigned to become a multi - tier intersection.

The project was announced in November last year with the notion that it would be completed in two years.

It comprises widening of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in an 11 kilometer-long sector stretching from Al Houdh roundabout up to the intersection leading to Al Maktoum Airport from three lanes to six lanes in each direction.

It also encompasses the construction of a service road running four kilometers on both sides of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from the intersection with Al Khail Road to Al Houdh roundabout to ease the entry to or exit from development projects in the neighbourhood.

Wafi Interchange

Al Wafi Interchange may not be the largest intersection,  but it is arguably one of the busiest junctions in the emirate.

Situated on the intersection of Sheikh Rashid Road and Oud Metha Road, it serves vital places in Bur Dubai such as Wafi Mall, Rashid Hospital, and Healthcare City, while it also links to Trade Center Roundabout and Al Garhoud Bridge.

In the first quarter of 2016 an upgraded interchange is expected to be completed with improved traffic flow in all directions.

A new 700m-long bridge will be constructed stretching from Oud Metha Road (nearby Latifa Hospital) in the direction of  Sheikh Rashid Road, and heading towards Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Saadah Road (elevated bridge leading to the Dubai World Trade Center).

With three lanes in each direction it will provide a smooth link for traffic inbound from Oud Metha Road and outbound eastward to Al Ain exit, while taking off pressure on the junction overall.

Airport Road

On Airport Road not only one, but 4 intersections will be upgraded to improve traffic flow on this vital road.

At the junction with Rashid Road, Nad Al Hamar Road,  Casablanca Road and Marrakesh Road additional bridges will be constructed.

In anticipation of an increasing number of passengers through Dubai International Airport with 92 million in 2020 the RTA has committed to increasing the handling capacity of Airport Road by an extra 5,000 vehicles per hour by 2017.

The improvement of Al Rashidiya Interchange comprises the construction of a bridge on Airport Road of three lanes in each direction, which is expected to reduce the waiting time at the interchange from 13 minutes to less than one minute.

At the Nad Al Hamar Road Interchange an additional bridge of two lanes in each direction will be constructed to serve the traffic coming from Nad Al Hamar Road heading towards Airport.

The upgrading of Marrakech Road — Airport Road Interchange includes the construction of a flyover on Airport Road of three lanes in each direction along with a ramp from the bridge in the direction of Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport bypassing the traffic signal. The project also includes the construction of a two-lane tunnel to serve the traffic heading left from Airport Road in the direction of Marrakech Road, thus reducing the waiting time at the interchange from seven minutes to less than one minute.

The upgrading of the Airport Road — Casablanca Road Interchange includes the construction of an additional single-lane bridge to serve the traffic from Airport Road in the direction of Casablanca Road without waiting at the traffic signal. It also includes the construction of an alternative street for traffic coming from Al Garhoud enabling vehicles direct access to Terminal 1 and 3 of Dubai International Airport, besides increasing the number of lanes of Casablanca Road from three to four lanes.

Al Wasl Interchange

Announced only this week, the improvement of Al Wasl Road Interchange 2.5 is a project that has just commenced, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

While the intersection is not actually on Al Wasl Road but rather on Sheikh Zayed Road, it is to provide access from Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach road to Al Khail Road through bridges crossing the Metro railway.

Between the intersections 2 and 3 on  Sheikh Zayed Road, two bridges will fly over the Metro and one bridge will be pass under the railway, with a total of 5 new bridges intersecting the main highway.

The bridges will form connections from Umm Al Shaif Street in the direction of Sheikh Zayed Road up to Latifa bint Hamdan Street, and from Al Zomorrud Street to the East up to the Sheikh Zayed Road.