DM to pump billions into roads, rail and drainage

Dubai Municipality alone is making investments worht US $6 billion to further fuel the construction boom

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By  Eudore Chand Published  June 5, 2004

Dubai is making sure that its on-going construction boom does not run out of steam, with just the Dubai Municipality alone planning to pump in some US $6 billion in various infrastructure projects to keep the construction sector busy. Funding will be required to cope with the fast-paced development of the emirate on various fronts, according to Matar Al Tayer, assistant director general at the municipality for Roads & General Projects Affairs. He said the municipality has earmarked $500 million for roads and bridges, $4.5 billion for the Rail Project, another $300 million drainage and irrigation projects and an additional $700 million for general projects. Al Tayer, briefing delegates at the recent Dubai-Germany Economic Partnership Forum in Munich, said Dubai has undergone phenomenal economic and demographic growth transforming itself from a small trading port to a major economic, trading and financial centre with a 20-fold increase in its urban area. “Dubai Municipality must stay abreast of this continuous on-going growth by providing the necessary infrastructure and facilities and related services. Today, the total annual budget of Dubai Municipality exceeds $350 million with approximately 90% of it allocated to infrastructure development. The scope of infrastructure services and facilities covers the transportation network, the sewage and drainage network, environmental protection projects, parks, sports clubs, educational facilities and public libraries,” he said. Dubai’s road network is one of the most efficient road networks in the world with a total length nearing 10 000 lane-km. This required a total investment of $2.5 billion, he added. Al Tayer noted that the road network is under continuous expansion and development with over 20 major new projects costing $500 million in the works, including an 8-lane tunnel under the airport and a new 12-lane bridge across Dubai Creek. “To further improve transportation efficiency, we are developing a Light Rail Transit System with a total length of 70 km, 55 stations and a total budget of $4.5 billion. Construction of this important project will start in 2005 and the first phase will be operational in 2010 and the second phase will be completed in 2017,” he said. Dubai’s sewage and drainage network covers the total area of the emirate and includes separate networks for sewage, storm water and irrigation. Dubai’s Sewage Treatment Plant is one of the most modern in the area and its effluent water is recycled and used in irrigation. Investment in sewage, irrigation and drainage exceeds $1.5 billion. “To improve performance we are building a new treatment plant and undertaking more than 40 projects costing $300 million in the next five years,” Al Tayer said. “Our eco-environmental projects have yielded both environmental and economical dividends and we are currently planning more than 50 environmental projects with a total overall budget of $20 million including a project for the recycling of domestic solid waste and another for the recycling of building and construction waste,” Al Tayer added. “Our contribution to the development of Dubai does not stop at building roads and sewage networks but also extends to providing different public facilities including educational buildings such as schools, colleges and universities, government and public buildings, convention centres, sports facilities, public libraries and parks. We are also responsible for the conservation and rehabilitation of historical sites and buildings. Over 89 public facilities projects are currently under design and construction with a total budget of over $700 million. Examples of these projects include a university and a technical college". Al Tayer noted that one of the most important mandates of Dubai Municipality is to provide plots for private investors. “To further enhance the efficiency of service, we have privatised several of our services and are currently working to privatise many other services in order to improve the overall quality,” he said.

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