A new Salik gate is being installed on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road, the Roads and Transport Authority confirmed on Wednesday, and it will begin operating on October 24.
Located on the Sheikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali and before the intersection of Yalayis, the new gate will start operating after the completion of two major road projects – the seventh interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road and the Al Yalayis Road improvements, both due to open on September 15.
The seventh toll gate will generate hundreds of thousands in annual revenues as drivers are charged Dh4 each time they pass through.
“The new toll gate will reduce traffic flow to Sheikh Zayed Road by 25 per cent and encourage residents to use public transportation,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors at the Roads and Transport Authority.
The transport authority aims to redistribute traffic movement and divert some of the traffic flow to alternative routes, including the Emirates Road, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road and Al Khail Road.
Not everyone was happy about the announcement. Yousef Salim, 42, from Syria, lives in Ajman but works in Dubai. He said: “Working in the sales industry requires you to visit different emirates and I am usually stuck in traffic. Efforts have been made to reduce traffic, but the roads are usually very busy.
"However, the new Salik gate will be a financial burden — I do my best to avoid routes where Salik gates are installed."
On the other hand, some people were delighted by the plans and their potential to ease traffic. Nour Mohammed, a 30-year-old housewife, said: “So many of my friends live in Jebel Ali and I am happy to hear the roads will be less congested."
Al Yalayes Road is being constructed over six kilometres extending from the seventh interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road at Al Houdh Interchange. The Al Asayel Road is being constructed over five kilometres, linking with JAFZA, Jumeirah Islands and Emirates Hills.
Al Asayel Street will provide additional capacity to parallel roads and manage to take up to 12,000 vehicles per an hour in both directions. It will also increase the capacity of Al Yalayes Road to 20,000 vehicles per an hour in both directions, and cut drivers’ journey time between Sheikh Zayed Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to about four minutes.