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Sun 25 May 2008 05:20 PM

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RTA earmarks US$54.5 million for beautification projects in 08

Work on Sheikh Zayed Road set to start next month.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is set to spend more than US$54.5 million on beautification projects this year, a representative of the RTA said today.

Speaking with Commercial Outdoor Design at the Garden and Landscaping Middle East trade show, which opened today in Dubai, Rashed Abdulla Al Falasi, landscaping manager, roads department at the RTA, said that spend this year on beautification was likely to be "more than US$54.5 million (200 million UAE dirhams)" in comparison to approximately US$16.36 million to US$19 million last year.

The funds will be spent on a range of projects, including metro beautification, he said.

"We are expecting the metro will be a very big project. Underneath the pillars, we have a good concept design landscape still under approval. We will have very big places, green spaces, [with areas for] cyclists, and jogging," he said.

Another large project for the RTA this year is the previously announced beautification of Sheikh Zayed Road. Approximately US$23 million will be spent on the beautification of the main artery of Dubai, the RTA has previously stated.

The transformation, work on which is expected to start next month and to last eight months in total, will include the widening of the pedestrian area as well as the addition of water features.

"From a landscape or urban design perspective, I think it will be one of the most beautiful roads after one year. It is a very prestigious road," Al Falasi commented.

The RTA expects to appoint a landscape contractor on the Sheikh Zayed Road project shortly, he said.

The RTA is expected to carry out about 130 projects in total in 2008, with landscaping in some 26 different locations.

The RTA's road landscaping beautification division was established in the fourth quarter of 2006.

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