Dubai: If you think traffic jams in Dubai are among the worst in the world, think again.
Motorists in the emirate spent, on average, 29 hours stuck in rush-hour traffic last year, a new research found – that’s lower than what other motorists wasted in queues in many cities around the world.
Across the UAE, a typical driver spent 24 hours in congestions at peak times, ranked 21st out of more than 30 countries, according to traffic information provider Inrix.
The company analysed last year the traffic flows and their economic impact in over 1,360 cities across 38 countries, said to be the largest ever study of road congestion.
The study found that, on average, sitting in Dubai traffic ate 10 per cent of the total time that drivers spent on their daytime commutes and 12 per cent during peak hours.
Dubai’s road users, in general, had it easier than many of their peers worldwide. The number of hours spent in traffic in the emirate was a lot lower than what millions of drivers spent in London, Paris, New York, Istanbul, Bangkok and many other commercial centres in Europe, United States and Asia.
Overall, the city with the world’s worst traffic jams was Los Angeles (LA), where each driver spent an average of 102 hours in rush-hour traffic in a year and suffered $2,828 in financial losses as a result.
The roads in Moscow were the second-most congested, followed by those in New York, Sao Paulo and San Francisco in the top five.
10 Most congested cities in 2017 (Hours spent in congestion)
Los Angeles: 102
New York City: 91
Sao Paulo: 86
San Francisco: 79
Compared to Abu Dhabi, however, drivers in Dubai spent more time stuck in traffic, with road users in the UAE capital wasting only 13 hours in queues during peak hours.
Roads in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) cities also appear to be less congested than Dubai, with drivers in Jeddah spending 23 hours in traffic and Kuwait registering 22 hours.
Traffic jams are a huge burden both to the commuting public and the economy as a whole. In Los Angeles, the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all motorists in the city amounted to $19.2 billion.
Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, while indirect costs relate to freighting and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic that are passed on to the household bills through higher prices.