Accelerated demographic growth and rapid economic development have led to increases in population and traffic in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Government is implementing various initiatives to develop surface infrastructure to enhance quality of life in the city.

The Al Salam Street Project is an initiative by Abu Dhabi Municipality to transform the existing Al Salam Street (renamed as Sheikh Zayed Street in December 2012) alignment into an uninterrupted traffic corridor. The project has a series of tunnels, surface roadways and junctions to ease traffic congestion. The Abu Dhabi Municipality is financing the AED5bn ($1.36bn) contract.


The project involves four sections running from Al Salam Bridge to Al Mina Street and consists of five tunnels, a bridge, bypasses, surface and service roads.

The Sheikh Zayed Street Improvement Project consists of four construction contracts for grade-separated interchanges, tunnels, road widening and other improvements.

Contract one involved the construction of a tunnel from Dalma street to Corniche and Mina Port. Surface roads were also widened. The cost of contract one is AED 3.1bn ($843.7m) and was opened to traffic in December 2012. Contract one stretches from Hazza Bin Zayed Street to Mina Road intersection.

“The Abu Dhabi Government is implementing various initiatives to develop surface infrastructure.”

The 3.6km tunnel, the longest tunnel in the Middle East was opened in December 2012. The tunnel has four lanes in each direction and reduces the travel time from Sheikh Zayed Bridge to Mina Street to 20 minutes. The new tunnels offer connectivity to Mina port and Corniche through Zayed bridge. The tunnel can accommodate 8,000 vehicles in each direction. The tunnel is equipped with several latest facilities for effective operation of the tunnel. The Sheikh Zayed Street was opened to public in December 2012.

The first tunnel of the project was opened along the Sheikh Zayed Street close to Khalifa Park in February 2010. The 850m long tunnel has four lanes and can carry around 6,000 vehicles per hour in each direction. Sea Palace tunnel which runs along Sheikh Zayed Street and the Eastern Ring Road in the area of Al Saada Bridge was opened in April 2010. The 711m long tunnel has four lanes and can accommodate around 60,000 vehicles per hour in each direction. Delma-Sea Palace Road and Al Salam-Sea Palace intersection were opened in June 2010.

The surface roads of contract one were opened by November 2011.

The AED 830m ($225m) contract two involves an underpass close to Khalifa Park and second underpass close to 31st Street. Part of contract two, the upper intersection close to Khalifa Park of Sheikh Zayed tunnel was opened in September 2010. Contract two involves the 4,102m long road between Al Salam Bridge and Sheikh Zayed Street No. 31 intersection and has includes tunnels of 850m length.

The AED 820m ($223m) worth contract three involved two underpasses and a bridge connecting to Reem Island. Contract three runs from intersection of Al Saada Street intersection to Hazza Bin Zayed Road intersection and includes an 850m long tunnel and a bridge to Al Reem Island.

Sheikh Zayed tunnel which runs from Sheikh Zayed Street Interchange to Hazaa bin Zayed Street was opened in December 2012. It is 3.6km long and has eight lanes in each direction.

The AED 67m ($18.2m) contract four involved expansion of Sheikh Zayed Street to four lanes until 19th Street intersection. It runs from Sheikh Zayed Street’s street no. 31 intersection to street no. 19 intersection of Al Saada Street.


“The Al Salam Street Project consists of four construction contracts.”

The Louis Berger Group is the programme manager and Parsons International is the design and supervision consultant of contracts one and two. Contract one, worth AED3bn ($816m), was awarded to a joint venture of Samsung and Saif Bin Darwish.
Contract one began in May 2008.

Contract two was awarded to MA Kharafi and Sons. Work on the AED807m ($219m) contract began in May 2008.
Nurol won the AED620m ($168m) contract three. The Louis Berger Group is the programme manager and De Leuw Cather International is the design and supervision consultant.

Contract three began in October 2007 The AED68m ($18.5m) contract four was assigned to Hilalaco (Hilal Bil Badi and Partners). The programme manager is the Louis Berger Group and the design consultant and supervisions consultant are Dr Ahmed Abdel-Warith and Parsons International respectively.