Dubai has announced the official opening of the road linking Al Ain following the completion of revamp work at a total cost of AED2 billion ($544 million).

The scope of the Dubai-Al Ain Road Improvement Project spans 17 km from the intersection of Emirates Road to the intersection of Ras Al Khor Road along the Dubai-Al Ain Road.

Construction works included widening the road from three to six lanes in each direction, and constructing six main interchanges along with bridges and ramps stretching 11.5 km.

Undertaken as part of Dubai’s master transport plan, the project affirms Dubai’s efforts to accelerate its economic development with major projects, said a statement from Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Speaking the opening ceremony, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said: “Dubai continues to advance the implementation of infrastructure development plans aimed at enhancing human welfare and catalysing sustainable economic growth.”

The government, he stated, has always placed the highest priority on constantly improving Dubai’s road infrastructure, since it plays an important role in raising the emirate’s competitiveness in addition to creating an attractive business and investment environment and providing a high quality of life for the community.

He pointed out that by expediting the pace of its infrastructure development, Dubai has put itself at the forefront of global economic recovery and created a strong foundation for sustained development in the next phase of the emirate’s growth.

Sheikh Hamdan was later briefed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at RTA, on the project.

The new road will help ease traffic flow and improve links with the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road, and Emirates Road, besides serving the current and future development projects on both sides of the Dubai-Al Ain Road.

“The project will benefit a population of 1.5 million living or working in the neighbourhood on both sides of the road. It also serves 25 universities and colleges where a total of 27,500 students are enrolled. The improvements will double the intake of the road from 12,000 to 24,000 vehicles per hour in both directions,” he stated.

“It will also slash the travel time on the Dubai-Al Ain Road from the intersection of Ras Al Khor Road to the intersection of the Emirates Road by 50% from 16 minutes to eight minutes during peak time. Furthermore, it will solve traffic snarls that used to extend about two km,” he added.