Monday, November 09, 2009

Money wasted by lack of planning

Back in March/April there were several press reports of the billions owed to UK contractors by Dubai government-related companies, discussions at ministerial level etc.

Inevitably it isn't just UK companies owed money and The National has now reported that unsurprisingly Japanese builders are in the same position with billions owed to them.

I've made the point several times in the past that it's a disaster for Brand Dubai, for Dubai's reputation as a reliable place to do business, a threat to Dubai's commercial plans for the future, so I won't repeat myself.

But I will repeat myself about the huge wastage of money caused by a lack of planning. If so many billions weren't wasted there'd be more money available to pay bills.

Yesterday for the first time in a few months I drove onto Road 611 from Al Sufouh Road, over the interchange which crosses SZR.

611 is a new road, this section was finished not very long ago.

Now it looks like this:

A big section being dug up, diversions in place, a road junction being replaced by a flyover.

Population projections, tourist arrival projections, traffic density and projections were all available yet must have been ignored because what was obviously an inadequate road plan was created, approved and built.

Not only billions wasted but it causes unnecessary extra pollution, traffic jams, lost productivity and driver frustration.

All because not enough competent thought was given to planning.

And this is just one of many examples all over the city.

Japanese contractors owed billions by Dubai firms.


EyeOnDubai said...

It's not rocket science, is it? I'm sure other brighter minds than mine are in in charge, supervising all of this, but there does seem to be a lack of forward thinking inherent in many of the projects. In the few short years I'v lived here, I've seen the same thing happen several times - a good, well-built road system proving to be insufficient for the demand placed upon it by the amount of residential property construction permitted in the vicinity. The Marina access roads come to mind...

Why is it not possible to calculate the population density, car ownership and traffic flows based on the amount and type of accommodation constructed, and then build sufficient capacity to serve that. Let's just skip the intermediate stage and build what the city will inevitably need.

Or does that need too much forward thinking?


Anonymous said...

If all of it has been based on speculations and uncertinity how do you expect it to be calculated correct from the first place?
I disagree with the common sence that you are talking about here SeaBee.
This location and many of what was so called the new Dubai projects did consider the factors you mentioned in a very low profile.
The road infrastructures which were built all around the new drawn and allocated projects were done to facilitate the short and mid term uses of the area since they could not risk spending alot unless it was prooven to be crowded -at a later stage- this land has alot to do with "lets see how it develops in the future" rather than "oh lets think how it will look like in the future" the rule here is that we will rescue when it comes to a certain injury and if that does not happen then no need to worry :)

I don't want to sound so pessimistic and I know that what I have just said is subjective so arguments have room in this context.

Yes money goes waste in this manner I agree.

Lack of planning, and this is what alot of the middle east nations have in common along with some other neighbours and distance neighbours, but needless to say there is not much signage of learning from the past mistakes that is shown in action so far.

I will anticipate that positive change will come and even if it does not then I will cry or shout alone and inside an empty solid bottle, later I will seal it and through it away in the sea for the waves to take it far far away.

ghoonk said...

Another excellent example -- The Springs. Have you seen what the RTA have done to it after everything was nicely built and settled in?

Massive jams going in and out of The Springs every morning -- did someone wake up one day and decide to build a highway through a mature residential community?

Anonymous said...

International City. 150,000 people. One road in and one road out. Huge queues in the morning, can take up to 45 minutes just to get out. Huge tailbacks on the Hatta Road in the evening - the one road in goes through a petrol station. And gues what, no feeder buses to the Metro at Rashidiya and only two bus routes (one of which just goes to Silicon Oasis) for the whole area. Name me anywhere else in the world that designs a town/city of 150,000 people served by two roads and two buses. Oh and just to add to the congestion plonk it next to "The world largest dragon-shaped shopping mall". Good planning.

Anonymous said...

By the way did anyone notice this in Gulf News the other day...


Dubai: Typing centres across the country will be forced to shut down in the near future giving place to comprehensive service centres to be run solely by Emiratis, a senior official from the Ministry of Labour said.

Humaid Bin Deemas, acting Director-General at the Ministry of Labour, said all typing centres that offer to public labour ministry services would be closed soon.

"We have more than 5,000 typing centres in the country and we have noticed that some of them are abusing the ministry's service in [one] way or another. So we decided to shut them all down," he said.

Full story here..


So because some typing centres are misbehaving all 5,000 are to be shut down? Talk about sledgehammer to crack a nut. All be run and staffed by Emiratis in the future? I can see the queues now for UAE Nationals to apply for jobs as typists...

Keefieboy said...

I knew a few traffic engineers when I lived in Dubai: they all did their jobs as well as they could - analyses of traffic flows in different directions, projections of future traffic based on existing/under construction/soon to be be built developments. And frequently the Sheikhs (the ultimate clients) would say 'no, let's build feeble option 1' for now, and if it turns out to be not good enough, we'll look again in five years' time.

Grrr. I don't know quite what goes on in these guys heads: when I moved to Dubai, about 17 years ago, the Golden Sands area was just a load of tower blocks in the desert. About seven years ago they designed and built roads to serve these buildings. I don't know anywhere else on the planet that operates this way. Surely, you build the infrastructure ahead of, or maybe at the same time as the buildings, not five or ten years later?

Dubai Information said...

you have got to wonder sometimes. a theory for why this happens is because of poor business continuity/sustainance plans and high turnover rates in civil engineering capacities