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Preserving History: Maintenance of Dubai’s Oldest Bridge

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The Al Maktoum Bridge: A Testament to Dubai’s Engineering Prowess

Al Maktoum Bridge, the oldest bridge in Dubai, remains a critical crossing over the Creek, linking Bur Dubai and Deira. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai ensures the bridge’s safety and longevity through a rigorous maintenance routine.

Comprehensive Maintenance Strategy

The RTA’s maintenance of Al Maktoum Bridge involves a multi-faceted approach, conducted in five distinct phases:

  1. Daily Preventive and Routine Maintenance: This includes checking key components like the main electric generator, brake pedals, and hydraulic pipes, as well as visual inspections of pedestrian lanes and traffic signal lamps.
  2. Weekly Maintenance: Activities include cleaning and inspecting the hydraulic switches of the bridge’s locking system and ensuring the proper functioning of the diesel engine for emergencies.
  3. Monthly Maintenance: Focuses on inspecting and maintaining air conditioning units in control rooms, checking the integrity of expansion joints and gaps, and lubricating mechanical connections and bearing plates.
  4. Quarterly Maintenance: Involves checking oil levels in the main electric motor, inspecting the condition of fender shackles and ropes, and examining metal curtain wall fasteners.
  5. Annual Major Overhaul: An international team inspects all civil and structural components of the bridge’s movable parts, complemented by skilled divers ensuring the safety of the metal curtains surrounding the underwater foundations.

Safeguarding the Bridge’s Functionality

Abdulla Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, highlighted the 104 routine and corrective maintenance operations conducted on Al Maktoum Bridge in 2023, totaling approximately 5,222 working hours. Major maintenance works between 2014 and 2022 included replacing the main hydraulic cylinder, conducting structural evaluations, and applying anti-slip paint.

Strategic Timing for Minimal Disruption

Most maintenance activities are scheduled during the bridge’s closure, post-midnight, twice a week. This strategy minimizes traffic disruption while allowing thorough inspections and repairs.

The Bridge’s Unique Features

Al Maktoum Bridge, equipped with hydraulic pumps, opens and closes to facilitate maritime navigation in Dubai Creek. This unique functionality necessitates specialized maintenance to ensure operational efficiency and longevity.


The meticulous maintenance of Al Maktoum Bridge underscores Dubai’s commitment to preserving its infrastructure. The RTA’s efforts ensure that this historical landmark continues to serve as a vital link within the city while reflecting Dubai’s engineering excellence.

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