Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dubai and congestion: Gulf Talent press release

Just in advance of a road toll system in Dubai Gulf Talent has issued a release. Some excerpts:
Dubai is officially the most congested city in the Middle East, according to the latest survey by, the region’s leading online recruitment portal.
The journey times are particularly long for those commuting to Dubai from neighbouring Sharjah, home to many expatriates working in Dubai. Although just 15 km away and connected to Dubai via two express highways, Sharjah residents working in Dubai reported spending on average 2 hours and 44 minutes for the daily return journey to and from work, much of it in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Cairo came second in the traffic rankings, with total daily commute time at 1 hour and 33 minutes on average.
A core underlying problem remains that, across much of the region, the development of support infrastructure is lagging behind more prestigious mega-projects such as airports, business parks, and high-rise towers – leading to continuous bottlenecks and disruptions in traffic.
Commuting of course does not stand alone from the decision on where to live. The lengthy commutes are chosen in part because of the differences in rent between Dubai and Sharjah. Given that congestion within Dubai even for those who choose to live there the option of living in Sharjah becomes all the more attractive.

It's ironic that a city like Dubai whose road and transport system could have been designed for the start (the early 1970s) to work well now has commuting times that exceed those in an old and massive city like Cairo. It says something good about the Dubai economic model, but raises questions at the same time about the quality of urban planning.

But why should I criticize? I claim to be a libertarian after all.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clearly in a recruiting agency's interest to present potential job-changers with information on traffic conditions, but isn't that sort of "involved" for a recruiting agency in Dubai?

11:03 PM  

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