Preparations are under way to roll out the next phase of Dubai’s  major transport infrastructure i nitiative focusing on building roads for key residential areas, a senior official has said. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)  has received government approval for the Dh1bn ($272.2 million) plan to develop roads in 16 residential areas in the coming five years, said RTA chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer. Al Tayer told Oxford Business Group (OBG), a leading publishing, research and consultancy firm, that during the last six years, the government had channelled funds earmarked for transport infrastructure into projects aimed at improving connectivity between Dubai’s primary transport centres and boosting the emirate’s road networks. “While RTA’s future plans still include major additions to Dubai’s road network in terms of adding new creek crossings and developing major interchanges and road corridors, our priority is to provide roads within main residential areas,” he said. The interview with Al Tayer will appear in The Report: Dubai 2013, OBG’s forthcoming guide on the emirate’s economic activity and investment opportunities. The Group’s report will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, together with a wide range of interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders, a statement said. Al Tayer said the RTA’s drive to encourage greater use of public transport  was gathering pace, with several projects in the pipeline that would expand the network and increase capacity. In particular, he highlighted the authority’s plans to extend Dubai’s metro lines and bring the Al Sofouh tram project to fruition. “The RTA strategic plan has a clear objective, which is to increase public transport share from 6 per cent in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2020 and 30 per cent in 2030. So far, we have managed to achieve a 11 per cent share in 2011,” he said. “We are working on a number of initiatives regarding the optimisation of the public transport system and attracting more people to use it, including new services, incentives to users, better integration between modes and other policies.