The local office of Aurecon and the UK’s Arup has won the consultancy contract to prepare the surface transport master plan for the city of Al-Ain in Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region.

Known as the Al-Ain Area Surface Transport Master Plan, the study is led by the Department of Transport (DoT) together with Al-Ain Municipality and the Urban Planning Council.

The study will map out the future development of transport and infrastructure in Al-Ain region over the next 20 years and will be carried out in phases.

It includes the inception and design of traffic congestion solutions, safeguarding of transport corridors, identification and assessment of transport options and modelling of transport options including rail, tram, bus and taxi. The DoT says it plans to finish the study in the first half of 2011.

Al-Ain’s plan will aim to reduce the number of people using private cars by providing a fast and more convenient public transport system with an adequate number of links that will connect to feeder services, such as buses.

Al-Ain’s transport network will eventually link up with public transport networks in Abu Dhabi, the rest of the UAE and Oman.

The master plan is part of the Plan Al-Ain 2030 urban master plan and will involve upgrading the transport infrastructure so that it can accommodate the expansion of the city and the expected growth in its population.

Abdullah Rashid Al-Otaiba, chairman of the DoT says that the population of Al-Ain is expected to reach over one million by 2020.

Abu Dhabi is already spending $68bn on executing its own transport master plan. This plan involves the construction of 130-kilometre high-speed urban metro, 340km tram routes and 1,500km of road improvements (MEED 11:11:09).