As quiet and tranquil living on Palm Jumeirah can be during weekdays and nights, during weekends the man-made island turns host to thousands of fun-seekers, heading towards the popular Nasimi Beach, located at the very end.
As a result, traffic onto the island becomes a menace, say residents and commuters to and from the island.
“It is the same case every Thursday evening; when I finish my work it is hardly possible to get off the island. The traffic jam starts at Atlantis, and reaches all the way to Al Sufouh Road. It sometimes takes 40 minutes to reach that street,” says Tom Grainger, a British resident whose office is located on Palm Jumeirah.
Nasimi Beach, which belongs to Atlantis Hotel, has become a popular party venue, with a space to host over 30,000 visitors. Most notorious is DJ event Sandance, which takes place every month and for which tickets are often sold out weeks in advance. In addition, the beach venue regularly hosts performances of some of world’s famous artists, and that is not where the agenda stops.
As much as the scene is preferred as the place to be in weekends, getting is another thing.
Visitors to the beach and to surrounding locations alike find out that the single strip of 6-lane highway is not enough to support the flow of island guests.
However, that is why alternative transportation is encouraged, argues master developer of Palm Jumeirah Nakheel.
“All requisite studies, including a Traffic Impact Study, were undertaken, reviewed and approved by the regulatory authorities when developing Palm Jumeirah. The Palm Monorail was one transport solution developed for Palm Jumeirah and subsequently, the RTA ferry services were introduced directly to Atlantis The Palm and the Rixos hotel. One & Only The Palm also has its own ferry service,” said a Nakheel spokesperson.
“Traffic management is considered at the planning stage as well as during the event for every major event with the organisers and authorities such as the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Police. For every major event, anticipated crowd numbers, timings and the available transportation options are considered and evaluated.”
According to the spokesperson, event organisers are encouraged to promote the use of the Palm Monorail service to reduce the number of vehicles on the Palm and avoid traffic congestion. “Event organisers can buy Monorail tickets in bulk and include these as part of their event package for guests,” she said.
In addition, the Nakheel spokesperson noted that, for big-ticket events, the Monorail timings could even be extended to suit the hours of the event. "Palm Monorail hours can be extended to meet demands of late events," she said.
When Atlantis was contacted by this website to inquire how the flow of visitors coming to Nasimi Beach is dealt with, a spokesperson indicated that Atlantis could not contribute with a comment.
According to Nakheel, the responsibility lies with the commuter too. “Just as Nakheel proactively promotes traffic solutions, we encourage the community and guests attending events to play their part in traffic solutions by using alternative transport, such as the Palm Monorail.”
At the time Palm Monorail is not connected to other public transportation stations. Its first connection will be to Al Sufouh Tram, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. However, parking options at the entrance of the island are available for 1600 cars, and the train stops in front of Atlantis hotel.
The stations are open from 10am until 10pm 7 days a week, and tickets are Dh15 for a single trip, and Dh25 for a two-way trip.
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