Shortlisted consultants are still waiting to be informed of the results for the design competition for the double-decking of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The large-scale infrastructure project is one of the most ambitious in the emirate and could cost more than AED10bn ($2.7bn) to build.

The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) shortlisted three consultants in July. They are:

The RTA received bids for the design competition in April, after inviting firms to take part in January. The first prize is AED1m, second is AED750,000 and third prize is AED500,000.

The scheme will aim to alleviate congestion on Sheikh Zayed Road, which, as the main highway through Dubai, frequently experiences heavy traffic for up to 10 hours a day.

The study comprises two main parts. The first is a feasibility study for the double-decking of Sheikh Zayed Road, which will run from the Dubai creek area and Sheikh Rashid Road all the way through to Jebel Ali Port – a distance of up to 35 kilometres. The second part of the competition involves submitting a fee for the design and construction supervision of the new elevated roadway.

It is understood the elevated roadway will be for long-distance traffic travelling across the emirate and the number of entry and exit ramps will be limited. It could be delivered using private finance if tolls are charged for using the road.

Dubai already operates a toll system, known as Salik, on Sheikh Zayed Road and other key roads and bridges across the emirate. Part of the study involves exploring various financing options, including bank loans and traditional forms of equity, public-private partnerships (PPPs), build-operate-transfer (BOT), and the initial public offering (IPO) of a project/operating company.