Dubai announces futuristic urban projects

Dubai could be poised for an even more futuristic cityscape, as plans have been unveiled for a suspended transit system above the emirate's main road and for a sky garden (AFP Photo/KARIM SAHIB)

Dubai (AFP) - Dubai announced a series of futuristic urban projects on Tuesday, including a 15-kilometre (nine mile) cable car system above the emirate's main road.

The projects -- approved by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum -- also include a bridge with a garden, bicycle lanes and walkways suspended 60 metres (65 yards) over a creek, state news agency WAM said.

The 380-metre long Sky Garden, with an area of 3,422 square metres, will be "a new tourist destination", said WAM.

The "Skypods" project -- consisting of cable cars above Sheikh Zayed Road -- will include 21 stations and will move up to 8,400 people an hour in each direction, according to WAM.

There is also a five-year plan to develop roads in the emirate, WAM reported.

The news agency said Careem -- recently acquired by global ride-hailing giant Uber for $3.1 billion (2.8 billion euros) -- will provide 3,500 bicycles at 350 stations across the emirate, in cooperation with the Roads and Transport Authority.

The total cost of the new projects -- and the completion timeframes -- were not disclosed.

The emirate of Dubai has a population of approximately three million, most of whom are expatriates.

In 2018, the Expo 2020 host welcomed nearly 16 million tourists.