Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently opened a 4-directional pedestrian bridge considered the first of its kind in Dubai. Located at the intersection of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street with Al Gharbi Street at the entrance of Dubai Marina (nearby the JBR), the bridge has four escalators linking the four sides of the junction. The bridge boasts of a unique design echoing the urban architecture of the neighbourhood and coastal areas. It stretches 75 metres and handles about 8000 people per hour in all directions.

“This pedestrian bridge features an iconic architectural design that adds to the appeal of Dubai Marina area, a key destination for visitors and sea-goers that offers a unique experience for residents and visitors of Dubai. The design of the bridge frontage is inspired by the urban nature of the area with a shape and colour that fit well with the pattern of surrounding buildings and the curved shape of the bridge emulates coastal areas. The bridge enables pedestrians to move freely between the four sides of the junction, thus avoiding any stop at light signals,” noted Al Tayer,  Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority.

“Constructing a footbridge of this magnitude at the Marina has been prompted by a host of considerations. The junction is used by as much as 2300 people and 2000 vehicles during peak hours in each direction. More than 1000 people cross the junction to head to the JBR during weekends. Moreover, Dubai Tram crosses the intersection every six minutes. The area accommodates two Tram stations and one bus stop, and there are no pedestrian crossings nearby,” explained RTA Director-General and Chairman.

The number of footbridges constructed in Dubai soared from 13 bridges in 2006 to 129 bridges by the end of 2020. RTA plans to build other 36 footbridges during 2021-2026; which will bring the total number of pedestrian bridges to 165 bridges. In 2018 and 2019, RTA constructed three footbridges at the Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street, Al Khawaneej Street and Al Maraabi Street. In the following two years (2020 and 2021), RTA will complete the construction of nine footbridges at vital locations in Dubai. It remains to be said that RTA efforts to improve pedestrians’ safety contributed to reducing pedestrian fatalities in Dubai by 76.6% between 2007 and 2019.

“The construction of pedestrian bridges in Dubai is a manifestation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to move to a sustainable transport model characterised by minimal pollution to the environment. It also echoes the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, to make Dubai a bicycle-friendly city. Some footbridges are fitted with bike racks and cycling lanes. The construction of such bridges is also part of the traffic safety strategy targeting zero-fatality rate to rank Dubai amongst the world’s safest cities in traffic safety by 2021,” Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority.