Traffic on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. Car dealers in Dubai and Sharjah said that sales this year have increased by as much as 40 per cent over last year. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Traffic jams in Dubai and Sharjah could be here to stay as new vehicles are hitting the roads in droves.

There has been an increase of at least 10 per cent in the number of new vehicles registered in Dubai this year compared to figures from 2012, impacting traffic both in Dubai and Sharjah.

According to figures released by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) 1,137,748 vehicles were registered in Dubai by the end of last year. The overall number of vehicles saw an increase of 103,183 vehicles by the end of October this year, taking the total number to 1,240,931, which also includes heavy vehicles, motorcycles, buses and heavy mechanical equipment.

The number of cars alone increased by 8.9 per cent, with 89,031 new cars hitting the roads in the first 10 months of 2013.

The Drastic increase in the number of vehicles on Dubai roads has meant more traffic jams in the emirate as well as in the neighbouring emirates, as almost a quarter of Dubai registered motorists live in Sharjah and Ajman.

“There are obviously more cars on the roads now compared to last year. It is clear from the traffic on roads in most parts of Sharjah and Dubai. It reminds of me of the peak traffic of last decade, I think it is slowly getting to that level,” said Abdul Mannan, a long-time Dubai motorist.

The increase could be estimated from the number of new models seen, with most dealers launching new-look models and attractive promotions.

“I bought a new car early this year and I see [an] army of new cars on roads. It looks as if there is a sudden deluge. I think this has added to the traffic jams but there are other factors as well,” added another motorist.

Car dealers in Dubai and Sharjah confirmed to Gulf News that sales this year have increased by as much as 40 per cent compared to last year.

“People are getting a good bargain so they are taking it with both hands. Our Toyota Corolla model has seen a 44 per cent increase in sales this year,” said a sales representative at Al Futtaim Motors, the Authorised Dealer of Toyota in UAE.

“I think there is no one reason behind the increased sales. It’s a combination of factors ranging from new people coming in with more money, attractive offers, reasonable pricing and easy financing. I feel it’s just the beginning of a new boom in car sales, the trend is likely to continue next year,” said Ali, a sales executive at Arabian Automobiles, the authorised dealer of Nissan in the UAE.

Although increased sales is good news for the economy, it may not bode well to the thousands of motorist in Dubai and Sharjah who are already spending long hours on roads.