The 325 kilometre highway will cross the emirate’s Western Region and links Mafraq, near Abu Dhabi island, with Ghweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia.

The scheme has been divided into four sections.

Preliminary designs for the rehabilitation and widening of sections one, three and four are currently under way. The detailed design, construction, maintenance and operation will be the responsibility of the successful concessionaire. The detail design and construction is expected to start in late 2009.

Detailed designs for section two, which involves a 54km long bypass around Ruwais and 20km of road rehabilitation, are currently being finalised.

No tolls are expected to be introduced on the roads.

UK-based Mott Macdonald is the project manager and carried out the feasibility study for the scheme. The consultants that have prepared the designs for the highway are Otak, Louis Berger, both US-based, Cansult Maunsell, part of US-based Aecom, and Italy’s Italconsult (MEED 31:03:08).