Abu Dhabi launches solar-powered rest areas for delivery riders

Initiative aims to protect riders from the summer heat and promote sustainability

Abu Dhabi has established solar-powered rest areas for delivery riders. Photo: Joint Committee for Traffic Safety
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Three solar-powered rest areas for delivery riders have been launched in Abu Dhabi to offer crucial respite from the intense summer heat.

The emirate's Joint Committee for Traffic Safety has joined forces with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and food delivery company Talabat to provide shelter for workers while supporting the county's green goals, under the Summer Together campaign.

The shelters – built locally by Smart Energy Solutions – are air-conditioned and include seating, water dispensers and mobile charging facilities.

They operate 24 hours a day and are equipped with rechargeable batteries, aiming to reduce carbon emissions, as well as featuring a shaded parking area for bikes and an air pump to check tyre pressure.

Air-conditioned mobile buses offering transport to riders will also be rolled out under the scheme.

“The implementation of such initiatives that provide a safe and comfortable work environment for delivery riders positively impacts traffic safety for road users," said Abdulrahman Al Shizawi, head of the safety committee.

"We encourage community members to be patient and kind when dealing with delivery riders on the roads, especially during summer."

Susanne Stulemeijer, Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility at Talabat, said the partnership aimed to bolster rider safety while encouraging sustainable practices.

“With the UAE spearheading sustainability efforts in the region, we are grateful to build on our ongoing collaboration with the Joint Committee for Traffic Safety and become the first-movers to explore and adopt sustainable solutions for rider safety and wellbeing," Ms Stulemeijer said.

“It is through such joint efforts between the public and private sector that we can set the benchmark and introduce innovative and eco-friendly alternatives. At Talabat, we believe that creating shared value for our communities is a collective responsibility. That is why our rest areas and summer buses are open to all delivery riders.”

In March, Dubai announced plans to establish similar rest areas for delivery riders.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) issued a tender for the construction of three integrated rest stops in the emirate.

The stations will be on Sheikh Zayed Road near the Festival Plaza at Jebel Ali Village, at Port Saeed next to Al Muraqabat Street 22, and at Ras Al Khor Industrial Area 2 near Al Manama Street.

The aim is to provide basic services for riders such as maintenance, refuelling, rest areas and restaurants.

The RTA will provide educational material about public safety and quality regulation at these sites, it said in a statement.

Boosting rider safety

In June, Abu Dhabi brought in new rules barring delivery bike riders from occupying the left-hand lane – often referred to as the fast lane – on some Abu Dhabi roads.

The Joint Committee for Traffic Safety said that riders must stick to the right-hand lanes on any roads with a speed limit of 100kph or higher, in an effort to boost safety.

In May, Dubai launched the Riders’ Corner Initiative, a welfare scheme to improve the working lives of delivery bikers, offering free periodic health check-ups at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC).

In collaboration with Clemenceau Medical Centre, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai and Al Manara Pharmacy, motorcycle delivery riders will be offered health screenings, eye tests and vitamin supplements.

Workers can call in to the Al Razi Medical Complex in Building 64 of DHCC to access the services, receive free water and charge their mobile devices.

Hundreds of riders were expected to use the service over the summer months.

The initiative follows a Dubai Roads and Transport Authority scheme to encourage riders to take regular breaks when on shift, particularly during the hot summer months.

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Updated: July 04, 2023, 8:06 AM