Dubai 'most congested Mideast city'
Dubai , July 1, 2007
Dubai is officially the most congested city in the Middle East, according to the latest survey by GulfTalent.com.
The survey, by the region's leading online recruitment portal, was conducted last month and released just before the launch of Dubai's new road toll system (Salik).
It found that professionals working in Dubai spend on average of one hour and 45 minutes each day in total commuting time to and from their place of work, the highest figure in the region.
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 of two hours and 44 minutes for the daily return journey to and from work, much of it in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic. Many reported high levels of stress and fatigue as a result.
According to GulfTalent.com, many employers in the emirate are becoming increasingly concerned at the impact of traffic-related stress and exhaustion on the productivity of their staff.
Cairo came second in the traffic rankings, with total daily commute time at one hour and 33 minutes on average.
Jeddah, by contrast, saw the lowest reported commute time, with employees spending on average just 46 minutes each day commuting.
The following are some of the findings of the survey in order of the city with the time spend traveling every day within brackets: 1, Dubai (1 hour 45 minutes); 2, Cairo (1 hour 33 minutes); 3, Sharjah (1 hour 8 minutes); 4, Doha (56 minutes); 5, Dammam (55 minutes); 6, Beirut 955 minutes); 7, Kuwait (55 minutes), 8, Amman (53 minutes), 9, Riyadh (49 minutes), 10, Abu Dhabi (48 minutes), 11, Muscat (48 minutes), 12, Manama (48 minutes), 13, Khobar (47 minutes), 14, Jeddah (46 minutes).
Aware of the traffic problem, the Dubai government is taking drastic measures to reduce congestion by introducing an urban road toll system, the first of its kind in the Middle East. It is also building a modern urban rail system, the Dubai Metro, expected to come into service in 2009.
Based on GulfTalent.com's survey findings, Dubai also tops the list as the city with the most acute shortage of parking space, with nearly half the respondents reporting difficulties in finding parking space near their place of work. Many reported having to leave home much earlier than necessary, to avoid the morning rush and to secure a parking space close to their place of work.
Dammam in Saudi Arabia was the easiest city for finding parking space, with only 21 per cent reporting shortages.Trade Arabia News Service