Mohammed bin Rashid designates new cycling underpass Houbara Tunnel

February 14, 2021  

In 2017, His Highness had directed rerouting the underpass to avoid disturbing the houbara bustard habitat in the area

Decision reflects Dubai’s and UAE’s commitment to protecting endangered animal species and promoting nature conservation

Cycling underpass adds to Dubai’s efforts to transform itself into a cycling-friendly city

RTA set to increase length of Dubai’s cycling track network to 668 km by 2025

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the cycling underpass at Seih Assalam Road in Al Qudra, near the Last Exit Al Qudra, has been designated as Houbara Tunnel. The move highlights Dubai’s and the UAE’s extensive efforts to protect endangered animal species and promote nature conservation.

The designation of the underpass highlights the special status that houbara bustards have in Emirati culture and its environment. In a touching gesture that reflected His Highness’s concern for the wellbeing of humans and animals alike,  Sheikh Mohammed, during a tour of construction works in 2017, had directed rerouting the cycling underpass at Seih Assalam Road to avoid disturbing the nesting settlement of houbara bustards in the area.

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority said: “The designation of the underpass as Houbara Tunnel underscores HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s commitment to the conservation of wildlife and nature, which reflects the country’s sustainable development policies that balance infrastructure expansion with environmental considerations.”  

The construction of the Houbara Tunnel also highlights another Dubai achievement – the creation of an extensive cycling track network built as part of its efforts to become one of the world’s most cycling-friendly cities. An important element of the cycling track at Seih Assalam and Al Qudra Road, the new underpass facilitates free movement of cyclists in both directions under Seih Assalam Road and links the cycling track parallel to Seih Assalam Road with the cycling track parallel to Al Qudra Road. The underpass has been constructed according to the highest technical and traffic standards to ensure the safety of bikers. The track features public amenities, bike-rental outlets, cycling gear and a fully equipped medical clinic.

“The Houbara Tunnel constitutes part of the 135 km-long Al Qudra cycling track, one of the most important cycling tracks in Dubai. Serving Seih Assalam, Al Qudra, Global Village, and Al Barari communities, the new path provides opportunities to cycle in Dubai’s natural environment. The track is designed to enable people to cycle at various speeds,” noted Al Tayer.

The total length of cycling tracks constructed in Dubai is 425 km as of 2020 end. RTA plans to build more cycling tracks that will increase the length of the network to 668 km by 2025. By constructing new cycling tracks, RTA aims to link Dubai’s hotspots with various mass transit stations. The expansion in the cycling track network supports the Dubai 2021 vision to make the city the most preferred and safest destination for lifestyle, tourism and business.


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