On the quick track from Abu Dhabi


    By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter  www.gulfnews.com  

    Dubai: The Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station on the Dubai Metro’s Red Line is the only station on Shaikh Zayed Road built to provide a dedicated car parking facility to passengers.

    The station located between the Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Ibn Battuta Mall is expected to cater to the needs of passengers coming from Abu Dhabi. Metro users can park their vehicles free of charge in the station’s parking plaza, which offers 3,000 slots.

    This facility will help commuters from Abu Dhabi avoid traffic jams on Shaikh Zayed Road. They will also avoid paying the Salik toll.

    The RTA is building two more parking lots – at Al Rashidiya and Al Ghusais Metro stations – with the capacity to accommodate 2,700 and 3,000 cars respectively as part of its policy to provide ‘park and ride’ facilities to Metro users.

    These parking facilities are free only for Metro ticket holders.

    The Nakheel station and its parking lot will also serve residents of Discovery Gardens on one side of Shaikh Zayed Road and the employees of the power station and the desalination plant of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority on the other side.

    Although there are presently no developments around the station, the area has been earmarked for a mega development project called Nakheel Harbour and Tower, announced by developer Nakheel last year.

    The station has also been named after Nakheel Harbour and Tower after the developer obtained its naming rights for the next 10 years with the start of the Metro operation on September 9.

    The project also includes the world’s tallest tower and the world’s only inner city harbour. However, the fate of the mega project is not clear due to recent global economic crisis which has also impacted the property development in Dubai. But once completed, the station will be beneficial to the area which is expected to become home to more than 55,000 people, a workplace for 45,000 more and attract millions of visitors each year.

    The Nakheel Harbour and Tower project incorporates elements from great Islamic cities of the past – the gardens of Alhambra in Spain, the harbour of Alexandria in Egypt, the promenade of Tangier in Morocco and the bridges of Isfahan in Iran.

    But until the project is built, the station will mainly be used by motorists coming from Abu Dhabi and other nearby areas.