By Anil Bhoyrul
New strategy for DWTC.
Visitors to the Dubai World Trade Centre need worry no more - the DWTC's nightmare parking scenario has ended.
On the eve of Arabian Travel Market, the region's largest hospitality and tourism exhibition, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced the development of a new parking and traffic management strategy.
The strategy will see the creation of two new temporary car parks (B+C) at the back of Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), capable of accommodating an additional 1,833 cars. This free parking will join the existing free car park (E), opposite Za'abeel Hall, which has space for 599 cars.
In addition, DICEC will continue to offer paid parking space in its multi-storey car park and in the space in front of the main halls (A), designed for short-term visitors. Under this scheme, the total number of spaces increases, and the parking areas are spread over a wider area to reduce traffic build-up.
Each of the new parking areas will be supported by full-time stewards and regular shuttle-buses, for those who require transport to get to the venue.
In addition, DWTC has extended its dialogue with Dubai's taxi firms, to encourage high availability of taxis during major exhibitions.
DICEC is set to attract the highest number of visitors ever for a Middle East venue in 2007, and - coupled with its position alongside Sheikh Zayed Road, one of the world's busiest motorways - it faces a challenge in accommodating such a high volume of cars and people.
Management at DWTC, which operates DICEC, has invested significantly in a short- and long-term traffic management study, designed to pre-empt future parking needs and also to reduce bottlenecks around the site.
Working in close coordination with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), DWTC is currently planning the creation of new slip-roads, to make access and exit easier. These new roads are planned to open in time for the 2007 autumn exhibition season, set to be the busiest on record.
"Our comprehensive traffic management strategy will provide significant benefits for visitors, exhibitors, tenants and residents, as well as for neighbouring developments," said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre.
"DWTC is working closely with authorities like the RTA and Dubai Traffic Police and continues to listen to the needs of our stakeholders, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to minimise the build-up of traffic and provide ample parking. Our integrated approach is a key element of maximising the experience of everyone who uses our facilities," he added.
DWTC continues to conduct traffic flow analysis around its venues and has also benchmarked its strategy against some of the busiest exhibition sites in the world, in order to incorporate best practices into its approach.
In the longer-term, many of the lessons learned are being built into the development plan for Dubai Trade Centre District, the major development which will transform the current site into an advanced business quarter.
In addition to a highly-developed traffic flow system, the District will offer four levels of underground car parking, significantly improving the parking situation for the area.