Dubai is most congested Mideast city

UK, 1 Jul 2007

DUBAI -- The booming emirate of Dubai is the most congested city in the Middle East, according to a survey released Saturday, on the eve of Dubai's launch of a controversial road toll.

An average employee in Dubai spends around one hour and 45 minutes a day in commuting, according to the survey, conducted by GulfTalent, a regional online recruitment portal.

For those commuting between Dubai and the neighboring emirate of Sharjah, where housing is cheaper, traveling time could amount to two hours and 44 minutes a day, said the survey, reported by WAM state news agency.

The study, which surveyed 5,000 employees in 14 major Arab Middle East cities, found that Dubai also faces a serious lack of parking space.

Dubai Sunday launches a toll-road scheme along the main thoroughfare of Sheikh Zayed Road and Garhoud Bridge with the aim of reducing congestion by 25 percent and diverting traffic to alternative routes.

The scheme, which has enraged commuters in the tax-free emirate, is also expected to generate annual revenues of 600 million dirhams ($163 million).