Transport-rich communities play major role in region's eco-future

Changes in urban design to enhance mobility will boost economic, environmental and social sustainability in the UAE, says master developer Limitless.

Traffic congestion, fuel consumption, personal stress and unnecessary costs to business can all be reduced by rethinking the network and design of roads and encouraging more people to use public transport.

“A traditional street and road grid with greater connectivity would make it quicker, easier and cheaper to get around,” said Doug Kelbaugh, Limitless Executive Director Design and Planning, speaking at the MEED Green Building Middle East Summit in Abu Dhabi.  “At present, it can be difficult to get from one point to another, because there aren’t enough intersections or places to turn left.  This means longer journeys, wasted fuel, more pollution and lost productivity. ”

Kelbaugh added that the growing number of companies and institutions using private vans and buses for transporting people are significantly helping to improve air quality and cut congestion on UAE roads. In 2009, more than 200,000 of these were registered with the RTA, compared to 1,000 public buses in operation in the same year.
 “Tens of thousands of labourers, shop workers, hotel staff and office employees travel to and from work in privately-registered buses and van, most of which are provided by the companies they work for.   They are the unsung heroes of our transport system, as without them our roads would be even more congested, our journey times even longer, and our air and ground more polluted.”

“The goal now is to encourage even more people to follow this example by taking the Metro or the bus for some trips.”

Limitless research in 2009 into transport use in Dubai showed that cars outweigh any other form of transport in the emirate, though car dependency will reduce as more Metro stations open.  Around 80 per cent of those questioned for the study said they had travelled by car in the last seven days, compared to 42 per cent by taxis; 20 per cent by RTA buses; 8 per cent boat and 6 per cent bicycle. 
Limitless’ flagship project, The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali, is a mixed-use, walkable community where mobility and public space are as important as the buildings themselves. 

Conveniently located for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, The Galleries is now directly accessed via the new Interchange 8 on Sheikh Zayed Road, and is served by its own Metro station, which, according to the RTA, will open later this year. 

The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali includes A-grade offices, retail space, residential units and a 20,000 square metre landscaped outdoor Plaza.  For leasing enquiries, call Limitless on 04 435 7868 or visit


Media contact: Rebecca Rees
on +9714 435 7956 or
Note to editors:   Interviews and media site tours of The Galleries are available.