Abu Dhabi Executive Council has approved funding for the Mafraq-Ghweifat and Dubai-Abu Dhabi motorways.

The Dubai-Abu Dhabi road will be a 327km second motorway between capital and Dubai and is expected to cost $2.72bn. It will be built next to an existing road on a public-private partnership (PPP); it will link Mafraq, near Abu Dhabi island, with Ghweifat, on the border with Saudi Arabia.

A preferred bidder for the project was selected by Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT) in January last year. The project is expected to be complete in four years and is part of the surface transport master plan (STMP), which aims to meet Abu Dhabi’s increasing transportation needs, as well as reduce congestion and improve road safety.

The Mafraq-Ghweifat motorway will provide the only access route to the Western Region, including the industrial centre of Ruwais and several tourist destinations.

The department of transport is offering a 25 year concession to upgrade, operate and maintain the Mafraq-Ghweifat Highway. It will be expanded to eight lanes up to the al Ruwais junction, and six lanes to the Saudi border.

Two consortia had prequalified for the final stage of the bidding process, these include Irtibaat and Motorway Group (MMG).

The DoT is yet to release details about the design of the project, although the deadline for the completion is 2014. The other DoT projects securing funds include a metro and light-rail transit system, as well as additional projects to alleviate Abu Dhabi’s traffic congestion.