Transport timings, road closures and patrols: Dubai Police reveal New Year's Eve traffic plan

Dubai Metro will operate from 5am on December 31 until 1am on January 2

A comprehensive traffic and safety plan has been drawn up as Dubai prepares to ring in the New Year with its world-renowned fireworks displays.

With thousands of people expected to attend the main celebrations at Burj Khalifa, strict safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

While the volume of in-person revellers will be decreased from last year, special considerations for traffic and public transport are still required.

From increased police patrols to an expanded public transport schedule, Dubai Police, the emirate's Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Civil Defence and Emaar have come up with a detailed plan to ensure revellers are kept safe and traffic stays smooth throughout the night.

DUBAI - JANUARY 4,2009 -  Motorist parked their vehicle to watch the fireworks on Burj Khalifa  that cause traffic along Sheikh Zayed road in Dubai. ( Paulo Vecina/The National ) *** Local Caption ***  PV Burj Khalifa 13.jpg

Traffic management and road closures

Al Asayel Road will close to regular traffic from Oud Street to Al Meydan Street from 4pm on Thursday, December 31, to be used as a dedicated road for public transport and emergency vehicles.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard street will also close from 4pm. Anyone with reservations in the area should arrive before 4pm to avoid being turned away.

Financial Centre Road will close at 4pm and Al Sukook Street from 8pm. Al Mustaqbal Street will close between Business Bay street and Financial Centre street in phases from 6pm to 8pm until the end of the event.

All roads will reopen once the event ends.

Increased patrols

Lt Gen Abdullah Al Marri, commander-in-chief at Dubai Police, said patrols would be deployed across the emirate to ensure the safety of all revellers and to enforce Covid-19 safety measures.

Maj Gen Rashid Al Matroushi, director general of Dubai Civil Defence, said more than 585 civil defence officers would be deployed on New Year's Eve. "They represent an elite of specialised units," he said.

Maj Gen Al Matroushi said  21 civil defence stations would be set up near celebration sites with 71 fire and rescue vehicles on hand.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A. Standalone. General View of the metro in Downtown Dubai. Monday, August 24th, 2020. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Public transport

Police have drawn up a plan to manage traffic and public transport near Burj Khalifa and 23 other areas of the city on New Year's Eve.

Mattar Al Tayer, director general of RTA, said a plan for the emirate's public transport system, focused around Burj Khalifa, was prepared using an integrated traffic system to ensure cohesion.

“The [Dubai Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre] will enhance the efficiency of traffic movements and quick response to accidents," he said.

"The RTA plan will focus on the public transport system as well as implement precautionary measures such as maintaining social distancing and wearing of masks."

Dubai Tram will operate from 6am on Thursday, December 31, to 1am on Saturday, January 2.

Dubai Metro's Red Line will run from 5am on Thursday to 1am on Saturday, while the Green Line will operate from 5.30am on Thursday and end its service at 1am on Saturday.

Burj Khalifa station will be closed from 5pm on Thursday until 6am on Friday.

A pedestrian crossing zone will be set up on Sheikh Zayed Road near Burj Khalifa metro station to let people cross the motorway safely.

At least 200 free buses will operate to transport revellers from various celebration areas to different parts of the city, such as Metro stations, to help get people home.

How to get close to the action as 2021 is ushered in

Developer Emmar, which is managing the celebrations, said access to Downtown Dubai will be limited to five gates erected around the area. All guests must show a QR code to access the viewing areas in Downtown Dubai.

There are five different colours of QR codes for different categories of people in Downtown Dubai on the night. For hotel guests and restaurant visitors, the QR code is gold and blue, respectively.

For hotel restaurants, the QR colour is light blue while Dubai Opera can be accessed with dark red QR code. For the public area – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard – the QR code is black.

People can register through the U By Emaar App.

The family viewing areas on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard will provide spectacular views of Burj Khalifa. The boulevard will be divided into zones to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Guests are asked to adhere to the advice of the Emaar NYE 2021 safety stewards on duty, who will assist visitors in making the event as safe and enjoyable as possible. The zones will open at 3pm on New Year's Eve.

Those who book to watch the free show, will be assigned a particular zone and gate from where to access.

Health and safety

A field hospital will be set up before New Year's Eve with at least 122 ambulance stations across the emirate. At least 78 emergency stations will be established near popular areas.

Another 200 ambulances will be deployed at celebration sites with almost 700 paramedics and other medical staff on duty.

Ambulances and medical stations will be routinely sanitised to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety measures.