Traffic Management Plans for New Years to ease rush: RTA

Sheena Amos

UAE 28 December 2017: The Roads and Transport Authority (The Traffic Movement Management and Operational Plans Handling during Official & Annual Events Team) in coordination with the Dubai Events Security Committee and Emaar, has finalised preparations for managing the traffic movement for the New Year’s event. A well-rehearsed traffic plan has been put together for the area, especially in Burj Khalifa District.

Engineer Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency cum of Head of Traffic Movement Management and Operational Plans Handling during Official & Annual Events Team, said, “All public transit means in Dubai will be monitored through the Enterprise Control & Command Center (EC3) of the RTA. The Center will be in direct coordination with the Main Traffic Lights Control Center and the Operation Rooms of Dubai Police, Emaar. RTA’s team will be at site as well as the control centres.

“The Plan comprises five pillars oriented to ensure a smooth traffic flow, and focus on RTA’s public transit means as well as other services. The Plan will be managed in full coordination with the Police, Emaar and other stakeholders with the aim of making concerted efforts towards the success of the event,” continued Maitha.

First Pillar: Road Closure and Timings

The Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will be closed between 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm (once the parking area is full). Holders of bookings at the Boulevard area are required to come before 05:00 pm.

The Financial Center Street and Al Sukuk Street will be closed at 08:00 pm. Al Asayel Street will be closed (from Oud Metha Street to the Financial Centre Street) starting from 04:00 pm for the exclusive use of public transport and emergency vehicles.

Al Sa’ada Street will be closed as follows:

  • At 06:00 pm: Closure of the intersection of Al Murooj Rotana leading to Burj Khalifa and the tunnel
  • 08:00 pm: Closure of Emirates Towers intersection

“These closures will be made through RTA’s operational teams at site in all locations and will be fitted with the required logistics for closure operations in collaboration with the Dubai Police,” said Maitha.

“The metro riders may please note that Burj Khalifa Station will be closed at 10:00 pm and two crossing points will be specified for pedestrians to properly cross the Sheikh Zayed Road nearby the Burj Khalifa MS, and the Business Bay MS. The crossing will be conducted under the supervision of police officers and RTA’s operational team to ensure an orderly crossing of the Sheikh Zayed Road and fend off jaywalkers,” she added.

Second Pillar: Public transport service

Maitha said that 170 buses would be operated to lift visitors from the event venue to the outside, specifically to the metro stations to facilitate their exit. This bus service would be free of charge to commute the public on specified routes as follows:

  • 90 buses on Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of the Financial Center to lift the public from Burj Khalifa Metro station to Al Jafiyia Station and Mankhool Prayer yard.
  • 20 buses on Sheikh Zayed Road heading to Abu Dhabi to lift riders from Burj Khalifa Metro station to Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station.
  • 35 buses to lift riders from the Financial Center Street to the parking lots of Al Wasl Club, Jafiliya and Deira City Center.
  • 20 buses on Financial Center Street to lift riders to the parking of Al Jafiliya Station and Al Mankhool Prayer yard.
  • 5 buses to lift riders nearby Dubai Water Canal to Noor Islamic Bank Metro station.

Maitha anticipated that about 23,100 riders would be lifted during the departure time, between 00:00 (midnight) and 4:00 am.

Third Pillar: Additional parking slots and Taxi Services

Around 4000 parking slots outside the event area will be provided to the public to use when moving from and to the site of the event through commuter buses in operation as follows:


Number of Parking slots Parking Location
1000 Al Wasl Club parking
500 General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs at Al Jafiliya
1500 Al-Eid Prayer at Mankhool
1000 Water Canal
4000 Parking slots Total


Taxis are expected to make about 18,000 trips during the event lifting about 38,500 passengers.

Fourth Pillar: Metro and Tram Services 

The Red Line will be operational from 5:00 am, Green Line from 5:30 am on Sunday 31/12/2017 and continue running until 1:00 am on Tuesday 02/01/2018 in order to facilitate the entry and exit of the public to the venue of the event. The projected number of the metro and tram riders is as follows:

On Sunday 31/12/2017: 900,000 riders Projected number of Metro riders
On Monday 1/1/2018: 480,000 riders


On Sunday 31/12/2017: 28,000 riders Projected number of tram riders
On Monday 1/1/2018: 19,500 riders


Fifth Pillar: Directional Signage and Intelligent Traffic Systems

“The RTA will provide 62 directional signage guiding to the alternative parking mentioned. Signs will also be installed for the use of internal roads at the Business Bay leading to the Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road to ease the pressure on the Financial Centre Street. 67 directional signs will be installed to guide the public within Burj Khalifa District to ease the movement of pedestrians to and from the venue of the event,” said Maitha.

“The light signals on the Financial Centre Street and the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard will be monitored during various peak times in coordination with Emaar Control Room. The Virtual Messaging Signs will be used to alert road users when closures are made and direct them to the alternative parking areas provided.

“Pedestrian bridges on the Dubai Water Canal will be closed, as well as the associated lifts, for the public safety. The pedestrian walkway on the Sheikh Zayed Road above the Water Canal will also be closed,” added Maitha.

The RTA, Dubai Police and Emaar will run a joint service for responding to inquiries about the details of the proposed plan via social media channels. The public can also make inquiries through RTA’s toll-free number (8009090). Community members are urged to be more patient, observe the guidance of RTA and Police personnel, and used alternative roads as shown in the directional signs.

  1. 1.     What is the expected number of public transport riders during the New Year’s event in the Emirate?

About 2,000,000 riders are expected to use public transport means in this year’s event, compared with 1,793,691 riders lifted last year.


New Year’s Eve

Breakdown of Public Transport Means Use in the Emirate of Dubai in 2017

Number of riders Transit Means
769,817 Metro
32,850 Tram
393,763 Buses
53,932 Marine Transportation
543,329 Taxis
1,793,691 Total









  1. 2.     What are the new procedures for this year?

Based on the lessons learned from last year, an integrated plan has been mapped out to move the public from the event site to their destinations at the emirate as follows:

  • An additional ad hoc pedestrian crossing will be established on Sheikh Zayed Road near the Business Bay Station to facilitate the movement from and to the other side of the Road such that there will be two temporary crosswalks on Sheikh Zayed Road.
  • An additional directional signs will be provided to inform the public of alternative parking slots and guide pedestrians to the available transportation services at the time of departure.
  • Buses will be better distributed to facilitate the lifting of riders to their destinations (Sheikh Zayed Road and the Financial Center Street).
  • Using Al Asayel Street (New Bridge) at departure time from the Financial Center Street to Jebel Ali.
  1. 3.     Any tips or guidelines for road users?
  • Use public transport to access the event venue.
  • Use alternative routes according to the directional signs provided.
  • Be patient, cooperative and follow the instructions of RTA and Dubai Police personnel.
  • Vehicles should not parked on the streets around the event’s venue, especially on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road, in order to maintain traffic safety and open the way for emergency vehicles.
  • Individuals who have reservations in the Boulevard or at the Dubai Mall have to come before 5:00 pm
  1. 4.     What is the role of the RTA in the New Year’s event?
  • Streamline the traffic to reduce congestion in the area as follows:
    • Provide public buses to lift the public
    • Provide taxis
    • Continuous operation of the metro on New Year’s Eve
    • Provide alternative parking slots and public transport from and to the event venue
    • Provide directional signs for road users (motorists and pedestrians)
    • Monitor all intersections and roads network in the Emirate and control traffic signals to streamline the traffic flow.
    • Provide temporary pedestrian crossings on Sheikh Zayed Road to facilitate public exit.