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New taxi service launched in Abu Dhabi suburbs

As part of their efforts for the revitalization of Shahama and Bahia, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) and the Emirates Foundation announced the launch of local taxi services for the Abu Dhabi suburbs of Shahama and Bahia. Rahba, Shilaila and Samha are also included in the new service area. The taxi service is in response to a community workshop last month that focused on the revitalization of Shahama and Bahia, located along the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. Residents of the communities cited transportation as a key challenge. The UPC and the Emirates Foundation took the residents’ concerns to Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport and TransAD, the organization that monitors taxi services in Abu Dhabi. TransAD launched the services and will continue to oversee them. Taxi franchises are offering regular metred taxi services dispatched from Shahama’s bus station, with a telephone number available to the public for convenient booking of taxis. The UPC’s Revitalization Plan for Shahama and Bahia will be completed this winter and will outline goals ranging from housing and community facilities to transportation, hospitals, schools, and infrastructure. The revitalization project is in step with the principles of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, a comprehensive plan for the development of Abu Dhabi that the UPC launched last year. The UPC’s General Manager, Falah Al Ahbabi, said: "The UPC is pleased that the taxi services are being implemented so quickly in these communities. The residents have told us what they need for revitalization, and we agree that improved transportation is central to our overall objectives." Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 is driven by the task of developing responsive solutions. As mentioned by the UPC’s General Manager, Falah Al Ahbabi: "It’s important to keep in mind the full respect and integration of our communities expectations. We have demonstrated our commitment to this principle by managing our first community consultation with residents of Shahama and Bahia at the beginning of June. ’’And, now, a month later, we are answering to one of the specific requests with a concrete solution. I am pleased that we were able to react so quickly by implementing dedicated taxi services able to improve transportation opportunities in this area ". The Emirates Foundation, one of the UAE’s leading philanthropic institutions, supports community-based initiatives, engages the community and works with other organizations to meet community needs. The Emirates Foundation’s Managing Director, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, said: "The Foundation recognizes that the advice of local and international experts coupled with the voice of the communities will guide us in the revival of this area. The transportation need was apparent, and we’re hopeful that the community residents will immediately reap the benefit of the enhanced services." Peter Cleaves, CEO of the Emirates Foundation, commented: "The Foundation joined with the UPC on this revitalization plan as part of our continuing effort to improve the quality of life for all people in the UAE. The new taxi service is an important first step towards the goal of renewing the Shahama and Rahba communities." Falah Al Ahbabi, UPC General Manager, concluded : " Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 is designed to manage the Emirate’s development through a long term vision. Nevertheless, it does not prevent the UPC from developing and promoting urban development solutions that offer immediate viable benefits to answer residents’ concerns. The new taxi service is a concrete example that speaks for itself ".

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