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Thu 17 Jul 2008 02:48 PM

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Bus users set for sweltering summer

EXCLUSIVE: Air-conditioned bus shelters in Dubai hit by delays, not ready until after summer.

Bus users set for sweltering summer
HOT AIR: Thousands of bus users in Dubai will have to wait until after the summer before they can cool down in new air-conditioned shelters. (ITP Images)

Thousands of bus users in Dubai will have to wait until after the summer before they can cool down in new air-conditioned shelters around the city that have been hit by a series of delays.

The delays come as temperatures have topped 50 degrees Celsius in July.

Just a quarter of the shelters are operational and now some have been boarded over and turned into advertising hoardings while they wait for power connections to the grid.

The shelters were launched in December 2006 as part of a plan to encourage greater use of public transport during the hot summer months. However the scheme has been delayed as the developer has been forced to wait for power connections.

“The process is taking longer than we anticipated,” Raman Multani, CEO of Right Angle Media, the firm behind the project told Arabian Business.

There are currently 700 bus shelters with air conditioning units across the city, but only 25 percent are operational according to LG Electronics, the company responsible for installing the air conditioning units.

“Unlike traditional [forms of] advertising which is drawn from street lighting, power for [these stations] has to be drawn from sub power stations. First you have to do a survey based on the location of the station, then find out which is the nearest sub-station and how much power can be drawn,” said Multani

Projects across the UAE are facing setbacks as utilities come under pressure to keep pace with rampant development.

“I don’t think it’s a problem of lack of power. There might be some other reasons – I think they are looking for alternatives to provide power,” said Eng Abdullah Al Hajri, senior manager – corporation communication and occupational health and safety for Dubai Electricity Water Authority.

In May Dubai-based Tameer delayed its $8.2 billion Al Salam City project claiming a shortage of water and electricity while last week a senior official at the Federal Electricity and Water Authority countered that real estate projects in the northern emirates could be left without utilities because developments were not being properly planned.

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Sam 11 years ago

Pls note that the ones ready also do not cool inside, We travellers feel sitting outside or standing outside is better. Some units have water leaking from top, pls use good quality air conditioners

michael 11 years ago

Another RTA delay, roads, bridges, water taxis,etc

Stephen B Gomes 11 years ago

Solar power is the way to go.

cHeZca 11 years ago

"wait until after the summer before they can COOL down..." this really sounds like a line in a comedy show!? Who would want to cool down when it's WINTER??? Good old RTA!!!