Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced a raft of new developments to take place during the coming year.
Taking centre stage will be the organisation's Water Canal Project, which is set to link the Business Bay area with the Arabian Gulf. The scheme will extend to three kilometres in length and officials estimate it will cost a total of AED 2 billion (£326 million).
Meanwhile, another development on the horizon is the Al Ittihad Project, which is anticipated to cost over AED 1 billion. In addition to this, the authority's upgrade to the emirate's tram network is expected to be completed in the final quarter of the year.
Speaking at the organisation's eighth anniversary conference at the Meydan hotel, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director at the RTA, thanked the many contributors who had enabled the group to go from strength to strength. The most notable recipients of gratitude were the vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and rule of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the emirate's crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Additionally, the organisation reflected on a successful year, which saw it receive five awards in the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart Government programme. The most prestigious of these accolades came in the publically-chosen 'best category' for its Express Metro initiative. On top of that, the authority was able to fly the flag of the Smart Government project at its headquarters for the entire year.
Last year saw the completion of numerous developments, including the opening of all intersections on the Al Khail Road, which cost AED 1.9 billion. Other high-profile construction initiatives included the AED 722 million Rashid Hospital Tunnels, the AED 719 million World Trade Centre bridges and the widening and improvement of Umm Suqeim Road.
The authority also launched a number of online services, which enabled users to complete the majority of their transactions via their smartphones and other mobile devices.