Picture for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: UAE commuters experienced significant delays on Sunday as road congestions and accidents hampered traffic flow on major thoroughfares.

Roads leading in and out of Dubai were gridlocked as early as 7am, with delays lasting for  seven minutes to 20 minutes.

Cars were caught up in a massive traffic jam on Shaikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali after an accident occurred, as well as on the perennially jammed Dubai-Sharjah road, where tailbacks stretched nearly four kilometres.

Dubai-bound commuters from Sharjah were stuck in heavy traffic as early as 8am. (Google Map)

The Dubai Police reported that there was a road accident on the major highway opposite Jebel Ali Port, towards Abu Dhabi. Motorists have been advised to drive with caution.

Another road accident occurred on Al Khail Road coming from Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road at past 9am.

An estimated 1.6 million students returned to school in September after a long summer break. Ongoing construction work at certain highways, coupled with road accidents, tend to add more chaos on major thoroughfares.

As of 8am, vehicles were also crawling at snail’s pace on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road near Jumeirah Village Triangle,  several areas in Al Barsha, Al Khail Road, Trade Centre Roundabout, Karama, Zabeel Park, Oud Metha, Deira and Downtown Dubai, among many others.

Commuters driving around or near the Trade Centre Roundabout experienced delays. (Google Map)

Traffic chaos particularly reigned at Dubai’s arteries leading to interchanges or roundabouts, schools and sections that have been closed for civil works.

Areas near the Dubai World Trade Centre, where more than 100,000 tech experts are expected to converge for the Gitex Technology Week, were also experiencing delays.

Some of the roads to avoid:

E11: 10-minute delay
E88: 15-minute delay
Al Khail Road: 9-minute delay
D95: 7-minute delay
D61: 19-minute delay
Maliha Road: 6-minute delay
S116: 7-minute delay

Although traffic may be bad for Dubai residents during rush hours and back-to-school season, the emirate isn’t one of the most congested cities in the world.

According to the Inrix Global Traffic Scorecard, which rated the traffic situation in 1,360 cities around the world, Dubai’s traffic congestion is ranked 208th as of 2017, an improvement from the previous year’s 174th position.

Commuters in the emirate spent 29 hours on average in rush-hour traffic last year, a far cry from  102 hours in Los Angeles, the most congested city.