UAE News Today : Politics

Are new Salik gates being planned to handle the growing traffic?

Eight toll gates were installed in the city’s main corridors, especially Sheikh Zayed Road, recording 293 million trips in the first half of this year.

There is a need for new salik toll gates from the perspective of traffic management, as toll gates play an important role in city traffic management, Ibrahim Al Haddad, CEO of Salik Company, he said in an interview Tuesday.

However, he stressed that the decision to install new tolls falls on the Highways and Transportation Authority (RTA)Dubai, and is subject to the approval of the Dubai Executive Council.

The RTA introduced toll gates in 2007 as part of a traffic management plan, as well as to increase new sources of revenue for the government. Eight toll gates are installed in the city’s main corridors, especially on Sheikh Zayed Road, recording 293 million trips in the first half of this year, an increase of 9.8 percent during the January-June 2022 period. Each step through the toll costs four dirhams.

“Right now, of course, new gates are needed from a traffic point of view. But the decision from a technical perspective remains in the hands of the RTA, which studies and puts forward the recommendation and then finally passes it to the Executive Council of Dubai. “Once we receive official confirmation and instruction, we have the right to operate eight existing gates and any future gates.”

saying Al Haddad.

The toll operator launched its initial public offering (IPO) last year, registering unprecedented interest from investors. It raised almost 3.7 billion dirhams ($1 billion), while total subscriptions reached 184.2 billion dirhams ($50.2 billion). Salik shares are also in high demand and are one of the most actively traded shares in the Dubai financial market. Trading at Dh3.16 per share on Tuesday, it is almost 60 per cent higher than its offer price of Dh2 per share.

It reported the highest quarterly revenue from toll usage in the second quarter of 2023 since the start of its operations, recording a 13.8 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to a record Dh455 million.

“Today, all I can say about the new gates is that the city needs to take more measures (for traffic management) and one of them is a new gate. We are having a discussion with RTA and this may be a very detailed discussion about when and where. However, it is an RTA mandate because it is one of the city’s traffic management tools. The government will take a final decision in this regard.”

Al Haddad he said during the interview.

Traffic growth revised upwards

Dubai’s roads have witnessed a steady increase in traffic since the pandemic as more businesses and people flock to the city, attracted by its high quality of life, world-class infrastructure, safety and better opportunities. This led Salik Company to revise its traffic growth forecast for this year.

“Traffic is growing and we changed our traffic growth guidance for investors from the expected 5-6 percent to 9-10 percent for this year after the first half of 2023 figures. We are communicating to the market that the growth “It exceeded our expectations.”

He explained.

He salik The CEO added that the company has the right tools, competence and capacity to secure any new project whenever it is approved.

The Dubai-based company is looking to grow organically before considering inorganic growth prospects.

“We expect growth due to the increase in population, visitors and the number of travelers passing through and to Dubai. “We are looking at other avenues, such as digital and physical advertising and data monetization from the volume of traffic that passes through Salik’s doors.”

Al Haddad saying.

Salik has four million cars registered in his database that use the toll.

“You may see some advertising on the door, given the technical and commercial feasibility. We are considering a long-term collaboration with one of the strongest advertising operators in the city. “We approach new businesses when it suits our DNA.”

Solar panels on toll gates

As part of its sustainability initiatives, it exempted electric vehicles from reference prices and also adopted a paperless strategy. It recently carried out a full internal ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy which will be launched very soon.

“We have installed solar panels at Jebel Ali Gates that supply 15 percent of the energy. We intend to expand this experience to other existing doors and any other future doors.”

saying Al Haddad.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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