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Are notorious traffic jams back in Dubai?

Al Ittihad and Emirates roads worst affected as gridlock misery returns to haunt motorists

  • XPRESS Report
  • Published: 22:17 October 10, 2012

  • Image Credit:
  • 6am Tuesday: Motorists moving at snail’s space on Al Ittihad Road towards Dubai
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DUBAI: The city’s notorious pre-recession traffic jams are back and nobody seems to know why.

Of late, motorists are once again complaining about bumper-to-bumper traffic, reviving horrific memories of 2008.

Even streets that were a breeze until recently are plagued with snarl-ups and tailbacks. Al Wasl and Jumeirah Beach roads used to have free-flowing traffic. Not anymore. The situation in Bur Dubai and Karama is no better. Several residents here said they’re experiencing unusually long commuting delays because of heavy rush on the arterial streets and the Sanaa signal area.

But the worst affected are Emirates and Al Ittihad roads where the gridlock misery starts as early as 6am and doesn’t ease until late evening.

“I don’t know what’s gone wrong. Until last month, it used to take me 45 minutes to reach my office on Shaikh Zayed Road. Now, the same journey takes well me over an hour,” said Sharjah resident Ghufran Ahmad.

“On the way back, it’s even worse. It took me two hours to reach home last Monday. I thought there was an accident or something, but there was nothing, I think it’s 2008 all over again,” the software technician added.

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Muhaisna resident Nisha, 29, who works in Dubai Media City said she dreads to take the Airport Tunnel before 7pm. “There’s no point because you will invariably get stuck. So I hang around in office until 7.30pm and wait for things to ease down slightly. I don’t know what’s causing the bottlenecks.

On Wednesday morning traffic on all key roads was reduced to a crawl because of low visibility. But some residents reckon fog alone was not responsible for the congestion.

“There are many factors, one of them could be the fact that Dubai is back on the road to recovery. Several projects have been revived and there are a host of new ones in the pipeline. We are not back to boom time, but it seems we are getting there,” said Jumeirah Lakes Tower resident, R. Asthana.

Another Dubai resident attributed the traffic chaos to the rise in the number of car sales across the country. Car sales across the UAE have accelerated by almost 30 per cent this year, the biggest rise since 2005. Over 200,000 cars were sold in the UAE between January and August this year, according to industry figures.

Traffic congestion cost Dubai Dh5 billion annually. In 2011, the total number of vehicles registered in Dubai was 1,052,891.

Comments (33)

Your comments
  1. Added 12:39 October 11, 2012

    Of course Dubai is booming. However the actual reasons for traffic increase can be attributed to different reasons and can be predictable only after detailed study and analysis. The traffic in Sharjah-Dubai route has been drastically increased in last 2 months and it gives me a general presumption that there are more outflows of residents from Dubai to Sharjah recently because of the strict requirement of tenancy contract for resident visa issue/renewal by Dubai Residency Department. Though this rule is prevalent, it is made strict since 2-3 months before. While some residents prefer to have flats under their name in Dubai, some/ many prefer to migrate to Sharjah because of lower rents.

    Rajesh, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 10:38 October 11, 2012

    I think Dubai has done quite a lot to ease the traffic flowing towards Dubai, but the Sharjah authorities need to look into the traffic coming inbound in the evening.

    Ahmed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:34 October 11, 2012

    travelers are spending about 4 hour per day in traffic between dubai and sharjah. This all comes with a heavy price in terms of wasted productivity and fuel. All the gas burned as we crawl along clogged roadways could fill 400,000 wehicles, from dubai to Sharjah. simple solution: instead of a luxirious metro running only in dubai a tram with speed of 20KMPH between dubai and sharjah or connecting the entire emirates.

    Jameel Ahmed, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:32 October 11, 2012

    The traffic is really getting nasty recently. Surprisingly, just around 12:30 pm the traffic starts building up in the opposite direction and continues till 10 pm. Unbelievable! One of the factors could be the onset of winter season when most of the major Trade Shows and Exhibitions are being held on a daily basis.

    R. K., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:17 October 11, 2012

    Traffic jam means improved business. More and more activities or projects are on and thats why there is traffic jam. Well at least we are slowly coming out of recession.

    Ranjish, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:16 October 11, 2012

    Todays weekly poll has more than 10% people suggesting motivational classes for teachers.It sounds so ridiculous .Even after reading all these stories it seems like its is the teacher who is at fault and needs a motivational class! ! ! In an era where even the uneducated people earn more than teachers ,how do they feel this is going to help.I am a teacher who has been working in this profession for almost 2 decades. But now I feel it is better to sit at home and continuing with this thankless profession.Even in India and in almost all the countries ,teachers are well paid and so they are respected. Why only an Asian teacher and her family should suffer? This particular teacher has written the absolute truth .Even with this salary ,poor teachers have to face the politics inside the school -among the qualified and less qualified teachers.Ultimately the qualified teachers leave the school.We feel pity for parents.But parents seem to be happy if their child gets full marks and gets a good comment from the teacher.The parent is unaware of the fact that every child in the class is given the same comment -that is the policy of every school to attract students (customers) .Make the customers happy and you get more business - this is the open policy of all schools.WE FEEL SORRY FOR THE POOR PARENTS .HOPE THEIR EYES WILL OPEN TO WHATEVER IS HAPPENING IN THIER CHILD'S SCHOOL.

    ANONYMOUS TEACHER, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:16 October 11, 2012

    i just pray that 2008 shouldnt be back, i reach office in 1 hours time which is okay for me atleast, it was horrible in 2008, where nearly takes 2 hours, leaving at 645, reaching at 9. RTA should plan to reduce this congestion.

    nazeer, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:05 October 11, 2012

    A metro runing along Emirates road and Ittihad road from Sharjah all the way to Dubai and connet to the red and green lines would be the ideal solution. .

    ms, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:05 October 11, 2012

    Most of the arterial routes don't actually go anywhere, and the feeder roads slow the flow to a grinding halt. The authorites try to solve the symptoms; not the problem. The trick is to keep the traffic flowing.

    Anthony Wilkinson, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:59 October 11, 2012

    Nearly 50% traffic jams are due to the parents dropping their children to schools. They don't obey the traffic rules, drive like crazy because they are late and block the roads unnecessarily causing long tailbacks. Its not that they can't afford school bus for their children because majority of these parents drives luxurious SUVs and Saloon cars. Either these parents have so much time to spare out of their work-life or theyjust wants to show-off their cars they own to other parents or the non-working mothers who have all the time in this world to spend in traffic.

    Rizwan Kazi, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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