By Elsa Baxter
The 327km Al Mafraq - Al Ghowaifat road, linking UAE to Saudi, is singled out as worst.
Abu Dhabi authorities have launched a AED40m ($10.8m) safety programme for the UAE’s most dangerous road.
The 327km Al Mafraq - Al Ghowaifat highway, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia, accounted for 14 percent of all road accidents in Abu Dhabi last year, according to the Department of Transport (DoT). The safety scheme, run in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Police, aims to improve traffic safety on the road to bring it in line with international standards.
By the end of the year, the DoT said it will close dangerous U-turns, install signage and speed humps as well as improving road markings and pedestrian crossings. Police have also installed 20 solar-powered automated speed cameras on the entire highway, a statement released on Wednesday said.
“We realise the importance of the Al Mafraq - Al Ghowaifat highway,” said Faisal Al Suwaidi, executive director – Highways, at the DoT.
“We are also aware of the dangers that exist on this road. We are adopting critical measures to enhance safety, and reduce the rate of accidents.”
Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, director of the Traffic Engineering and Road Safety Department, Abu Dhabi Police, said: “We intend to install speed signs and speed radars and intensify police patrols, and to issue on the spot fines to those who violate traffic laws.”
The scheme is part of a four-year plan to develop this major road link. Work to expand the highway to eight lanes – four in each direction – is currently underway, the DoT said.
For those who have never made a trip down this road, imagine driving down a modern highway, then suddenly going onto a 3rd world country road, with potholes, no street lights with 2 lanes, in which the trucks going to Saudi Arabian border are joining you. After you enter Saudi Arabia, the road is just as bad. If the 2 countries want to give a good impression about there countries, why all the focus at the International Airports with lack of attention to such a major highway used by families. I am a western person, but enjoy the trip, which for safety can only be done during the day, otherwise hitting a pothole about 6inches deep at 140km is fatal.
What you are describing reminds me of one of the roads between Sharjah and Ajman. But I would imagine that the fault is not on the Emiratee side but rather on the Saudi side.
Why does ghe fault have to be on the Saudi Side! Your not reading the article properly as the UAE has commitied $10B on this project in order to create a highway system leading to the border. FYI, we had highways when other surrounding countires were still under foriegn rule!
To be honest, UAE is improving the rood and it will be greate if they do it 4 lanes, for KSA also they are imporving. u have to consider the long distance inside KSA. UAE highway around 400 KM, Meanwhile KSA highway around 1900 KM. Wish both will enhance it to the best of all.
I had a trip to Liwa yesterday to see the date festival and in all our way we were discussing about the said highway. Being the most important as well as the main conjunction with other states the present condition of this highway is not enough. The road should have more lines and some curves to be staStraighten. To avoid the reckless driving it is recomended to have poilce posts in each 70 - 100 Kilometers. More over the trucks must be proviced with sepearate lines.