By Sharmila Dhal, Chief Reporter XPRESS www.gulfnews.com
DUBAI: The celebrations are over. The world’s largest fireworks have exploded. And Dubai has rung in the New Year with the biggest bang. Now that’s a tall precedent for the UAE to begin 2014 with, but the year ahead has lots more to look forward to — the impending rent hike notwithstanding.
From mandatory health cover to smart cabs, tram service and a 120-hectare safari park, here’s looking at 14 developments taking shape in the city and how they will impact you in the months ahead.
Travelling in a Dubai taxi will be easier as passengers are being introduced to an all-new “smart” experience. What that means is that they can do everything from “shaking” down a taxi and checking flights on board to making payments by NoL cards, even credit cards. All that a passenger will need to do is download the Smart Taxi app on a smartphone. The free application allows people to book and track taxi orders in real time. The NOL cards can be topped up with credit to pay for other public transport as well, besides parking.
Dubai Tram, the world’s first tram system that can ensure zero danger, will change the way in which residents of several New Dubai areas will commute. Phase one of the project will see 11 stations being completed by March. It will span 10.6 km starting from Dubai Marina and go along Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and Al Sufouh, before finishing at a depot next to Dubai Police Academy. The project will be fully operational by November.
Many new roads will come about in 2014. They include the Umm Suqeim Road, two new links between Shaikh Zayed Road and SMBZ Road, Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road, Yalayes Road and link between Business Bay and Al Khail Road and Jumeirah Lake Towers and SMBZ Road. The Al Asayel Road will also be extended to Oud Metha. More info