Dubai is planning to build two new bridges that will connect Nakheel’s offshore Deira Islands development with mainland Dubai.

The bridges will connect Deira Islands with the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek in the Shindagha area.

“There will be two links from the Dubai side,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, chairman of Nakheel on 26 March. “It [Deira Islands] will be very accessible.”

Nakheel and Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) are working on the project together. “The RTA will accelerate the project. We are working in coordination with them,” says Lootah. “We took our time [preparing this development] so that we could coordinate with the relevant authorities.”

Work is still ongoing on bridges connecting to Deira Islands that were originally planned as access bridges for the Palm Deira project, which in 2013 was rationalised and became Deira Islands.

In 2008, the local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct was awarded a AED300m ($81.7m) contract to build the access bridge by the RTA. The bridge will be 400 metres long with six lanes in each direction. US-based Parsons International is the consultant. Bel Hasa Six Construct’s contract is understood to be nearing completion. Nakheel provided the funding for the bridge, while the RTA managed the design and the construction.

The RTA is working on a series of new bridges in Dubai. In October 2013, Turkey’s Gunal was awarded a contract that involves building a 16-lane bridge. The bridge will take traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road across the proposed Dubai Water Canal project, which will take water from the Dubai creek at the Business Bay area to the Gulf. The contractor is providing funding for the works.

The RTA also recently approved a new AED7bn budget for 2014 that allocates AED3.6bn for construction projects. One of the schemes is a major bridge across Dubai creek.

Al-Ittihad Bridge will be a 12-lane (six in each direction) bridge that will replace the existing Floating Bridge. The 61.6-metre-wide crossing will feature an arch that rises 100 metres, enabling non-stop traffic movement and safe passage of bulky ships on Dubai creek beneath. The bridge will also have a footpath in each direction.

The RTA plans to award the construction contract for the bridge by the end of 2014. The consultant is US-based Parsons International.