Abu Dhabi, November 20 December 2015 – In its pursuit to achieve sustainable transport solutions according to the best standards and practices, the Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi announced today the launch of its Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP) in the Western Region (Al Gharbia). The main elements of the plan, which will be implemented in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada), include construction projects and other transport network enhancements that will cover three sectors namely, main roads, public transport and rail projects mainly related to Etihad Rail.
The updated STMP plan aims to increase the capacity of the main roads of Al Gharbia through a series of expansion projects and new roads and intersections that will serve major cities in the Western Region such as Madinat Zayed, Ruwais, Ghayathi, Sila and Baynunah. The plan is also designed to enhance public transport through projects aimed at improving transportation by buses and taxis in the Western Region.
Eng. Badr Al Qamzi, the Director of Integrated Transport Planning stated: “The Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi has developed this plan in line with the Government's continuous efforts to maintain well-oriented and sustainable growth in Al Gharbia while preserving the unique characteristics of this region”.
Al Qamzi added that the Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP) in the Western Region is a strategic plan developed to envision Al Gharbia suitable transportation that would be integrated in the extensive strategy for all transport systems in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision.
It is noteworthy that Al Gharbia has a diverse urban structure that includes world-class industrial facilities, residential communities on its islands and distinctive desert societies. Al Gharbia population is growing rapidly and its area covers 60 thousand square kilometers, approximately 83% of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It also contributes with 40% of Abu Dhabi GDP, being a home for the Emirate petrochemical industry that is concentrated in the city of Ruwais.
Al Gharbia is a vital linking region for the movement of freight from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. All freight vehicles use the route across the Western Region towards the international borders with Saudi Arabia, making it a vibrant and important doorway to trade in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Moreover, the first phase of Etihad Rail network will link the gas fields in Habshan and Shah to the port of Ruwais, while the second phase will connect the Western Region with Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, in addition to linking Abu Dhabi city to Saudi borders. Therefore, the two phases are decisive and essential in supporting the transport infrastructure and facilitating the surface trade movement.
In this regard, Eng. Al Qamzi explained that some challenges of public transport network, such as traffic congestions and points with high level of traffic accidents, have been identified, and conceptual plans has been developed for immediate improvements. According to him, these improvements will include road networks, bridges, tunnels, and signage in order to achieve sustainable and environment friendly transport system.
In collaboration with a number of stakeholders especially Musanada, the DoT has prepared a well-timed schedule for projects to improve the road network in the Western Region. This schedule divides project into categories namely, projects that will be implemented in the short term by the year 2017, projects that will be carried out in the medium term in the period between 2017 and 2030 and other projects that will take place in the long-term after 2030.
“Musanada is a strategic partner of the Department of Transport in implementing road and infrastructure projects in the Western Region. Furthermore, we are currently working on various projects in coordination with the DoT, including the most important development project of Al Mafraq - Ghuwaifat Road. We, in Musanada, strive to make this road rise to the level of international highways in terms of its capacity and lightning facilities”, said Eng. Omar Al Mansouri, Acting Director of Roads Department at Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada). He also added that this project is also one of the dynamic endeavors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as it will be introduced at six different sections, and will interconnect the cities of Al Gharbia, while contributing to the facilitation of trade movement regionally.