Big transportation news as Abu Dhabi’s Salam Street expressway finally reopened! Well…only from Hamdan (5th) to Al Falah (9th) Streets. Still, traffic has been running smoothly, and businesses and residents are happy, per The National.
The AED 5 billion megaproject — 2 km of surface roads, 3.1 km of tunnel — is slated to fully open early next year, after four years of construction. I’m eager to see if Salam will become a “complete street” with lanes for buses, trams and bikes.
High-speed rail could help transport people too, but curiously financing it is the main problem in the GCC, according to a Construction Week, citing a report by media group Terrapinn. It’s probably more difficult to change car culture, but Saudi Arabia is building light rail and high-speed rail so it can be done.
Dubai, which already has an incredibly efficient metro, now will be getting a master plan for 2020 plus a new planning commission. (Construction Week) Perhaps they’re taking notes from Abu Dhabi’s Plan 2030, which we looked at yesterday, as the capital hosted the Spanish city of Marbella to talk about urban planning. (Zawya)
Elsewhere in the region…
There are tons of new infrastructure projects in Iraq. Baghdad’s new metro is in the early planning stages, funding for reconstruction of the historic city of Babylon and the Dutch are helping rebuild the country’s ports. (Construction Week)
In neighboring Iran, could neighborhood cinemas close? The government may end electricity subsidies. (The National) Another neighbor, Turkey, is hosting a cool photo festival in Bursa, attempting to bridge West-East divides. (NYT Lens)