Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Tecom zone road

I won't go as far as saying it's been a pleasure to drive on Dubai's roads over the last week or so, but it's certainly been easier than usual.

It started with the Eid Al Adha holiday of course, then into Christmas, New Year coming up and weekends in between. A lot of people seem to be away, companies have been closed for the festivals and the effect on our usual jams and gridlock has been dramatic.

There's a new road to access Media City too, which hopefully will relieve the awful jams morning in and evening out. It's impossible to say how much effect it's having because it opened at the beginning of the holiday period when there's much less traffic anyway, but it gives an alternative to and from Media City, then on the internal road system to Internet City and Knowledge Village.

The new road is actually where there was originally access to the Tecom zone, but it was closed off months & months ago so that the new road & tunnel could be built. Bad planning yet again, it should have been part of the free zone original plan. However, after months of unnecessary chaos and frustration, it's open.

The new road has a tunnel out of Media City leading onto a new stretch of road that runs parallel to Al Sufouh Road past the barracks and onto the Madinat Jumeirah/Mall of the Emirates road. It gives an alternative to Al Sufouh Road for drivers going on to Al Wasl or Beach Roads, onto SZR avoiding the Salik gate by MoE or across to Al Barsha and the developments beyond.

Here it is last week:

Give alternatives and spread the load is the way to plan roads and this new road does just that.

By the way, I see from this morning's papers that in spite of the lighter traffic the standard of driving didn't improve over the holidays.

Dubai Police report that during the five days of Eid Al Adha, patrols issued 26,937 traffic offences tickets, radars caught 17,057 people speeding and 138 cars were confiscated.


i*maginate said...

I used to defend Dubai's infrastructure when people complained about the roads: I always believed, at the time, the roads were excellent for the rate of expansion of the city, which was undoubtedly unpredictable at the time.

Now, however, the growth of Dubai is not only predictable to a degree, but specifically planned.

Although the infrastructure was suitable a few years ago, poor planning in current times can be avoided. Again, it is only in the interest of Dubai, esp. economically, to get it right the first time.

Your posts shed a lot of light on problems on the roads, with potential solutions and preventative measures, which I hope will be taken into account - for everyone's benefit.

Seabee said...

i*maginate, Dubai's future is tied up totally on it being economically successful. The lack of planning is jeopardising the very economic future of Dubai - not only the roads, which the RTA already (under)estimate as costing business 4.6 billion a year, but also the lack of parking for business people, the TRA with rules such as no VoIP, Etisalat with its unbelievably slow speed and lack of bandwidth. And of course the government needs to get on top of the inflation which is making doing business in Dubai too expensive compared to other cities in the region. The dollar/dirham peg is very much part of that problem because it reduces the control we have over our own economy.

It's all adding up to being a serious threat to the vision for Dubai. I must get around to posting a series of rants about it all!

i*maginate said...

"It's all adding up to being a serious threat to the vision for Dubai."

I personally wouldn't go so far as to think that the threat is "serious" - in my opinion, is it more of a deterrent to rapid growth.

If you think it's a serious threat, what do you think the ramifications will be, and what are your thoughts on what changes Dubai will see in 5 years time?

I would hope to see more fair rental laws, stricter law enforcement, justice improvement, and more organised "departments" - a general improvement to international standards.

At the end of the day, seabee, many more people than not find Dubai lucrative, regardless of the current "problems" the common man faces. It's evidenced by the current growth of Dubai.

On a related point, luxury hotels are still full even with dredgers in their back yards.

Seabee said...

Agreed, but I'm not talking about these problems in relation to the 'common man', but from a business perspective. They're making Dubai a less attractive location for operating a business than some of the alternative places. They're making companies think seriously about alternatives to setting up in Dubai, or existing Dubai-based companies moving to Qatar, Bahrain or other emirates - even RAK is pushing ahead aggressively as a competitor to Dubai. Companies needing a regional office don't have to be in Dubai.

i*maginate said...

seabee, I also meant it partly from a business perspective.

Substitute the word "people" with companies, and I guess it makes more sense: 'many more *companies* than not find Dubai lucrative, regardless of the current "problems" the common man faces.'

Money will keep pouring into Dubai no matter what, I think - from private investors and corporations alike. If a global oil company can relocate its HQ in Dubai, it says a lot about the long-term strategy of existing companies, and the prospect of new companies setting up shop here.

Even if the areas which I refer to do not see a significant improval in the next few years, I doubt this will be a hindrance to the expansion of the economy.

Neither do I see the northern emirates as serious competition for Dubai.

I wonder what the future holds!

Seabee said...

If only we could see into the future we wouldn't have any problems!

i*maginate said...

Well, seabee, that is to be debated from a philosophical angle :P

I suppose many Dubai residents (not me, though) will be entering the NY with zilch Salik fines, so there's one problem less for a couple of thousand hehe.

Happy New Year, seabee, I've really enjoyed reading your posts over the year. Very much looking forward to the next. All the best for now! :)

Seabee said...

Thanks, and Happy New year to you too.

i*maginate said...

I think some ppl were reading this blog: so dictates specific traffic to mine. Time to pour the gahwa, my friend ;-)