Palm Jumeirah developer pledges road safety review after drag-racing complaints

Nakheel said it is looking at measures to slow vehicles down

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A road safety review on the Palm Jumeirah is under way after residents complained about late-night street racing on the Golden Mile.

Developer Nakheel said it was working towards “a permanent solution” to stop performance cars racing along the lengths of the Palm's straight roads.

“The safety and well-being of residents and visitors at Palm Jumeirah is paramount,” a Nakheel spokeswoman said.

“We are aware of the situation and, working closely with the appropriate Dubai authorities and the stakeholders involved, are exploring options – such as traffic-calming measures – for a permanent solution.”

We are aware of the situation and working closely with the appropriate Dubai authorities

Briton Mandy Sanger has lived on the Palm for 18 months with her husband, 3-year-old daughter and four-month-old son.

“Every single night we are woken up,” said Ms Sanger.

“The cars are in competition, racing and revving their engines. It is driving us crazy.

“My husband is exhausted when he goes to work, and I’m getting no sleep either so it is affecting all of us."

Vehicle speeds on the island are limited to 80 kilometres per hour but, with no cameras acting as a deterrent along the trunk of the Palm, night racing has become a recurring issue.

Residents have been out recording cars to hand evidence to Dubai traffic police and the Roads and Transport Authority.

They have been told corrective measures are the responsibility of Nakheel.

Jordanian resident Mohammed Shanabla said his young daughter was often woken up by the noise.

He said that drivers frequently revved their engines as they approached a U-turn in the road, adding that "drivers are going so fast in this area".


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Call for more speed cameras

For most of Dubai, the permitted noise level between 7am to 8pm is 40-50 decibels, while at night acceptable decibel levels are 30-40.

Passing cars typically produce around 50 decibels, but cars racing on the Golden Mile have been clocked by residents at 66 decibels at 1am.

Sophie Miller, from the UK, moved into the Shoreline apartments at the end of March.

“I know there have been a few close calls with accidents, but most of the racing happens at night,” she said.

Mandy Sanger, a resident of the Golden Mile on The Palm, with her four month old baby boy Devan who is constantly kept awake by super cars racing on the Golden Mile road on The Palm on June 3rd, 2021. 
Antonie Robertson / The National.
Reporter: Nick Webster for National

“Some residents are taking matters into their own hands by blocking the road to stop cars racing.

“Hourly rental firms [for cars] should be stopped after midnight to limit racing at unsociable hours when people are trying to sleep.”

Supercar rentals are a booming business in Dubai.

Some short-term leasing companies offer a Ferrari Portofino for Dh1,200 an hour, while a Lamborghini Huracan can be rented for Dh1,000 an hour, or Dh2,700 per day.

The Five Palm Jumeirah hotel runs adjacent to the road where many vehicles speed. Chief executive Aloki Batra said more speed cameras would halt the problem.

“We know about the issue with supercars,” he said.

“The Palm is an ultra luxurious residential destination and people have these kind of cars."

There is a stretch of road between Five and the Golden Mile where speeding is a problem, he said.

“We have hotel rooms facing the street, so it is not something we are happy about either," Mr Batra said.

“It is not continuous, but there have been complaints.

"For the safety of people and to reduce noise pollution, cameras would deter people from these antics.”

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