Traffic on the road is a major issue in many countries across the Arab world, and drivers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not void of this problem.
In fact, drivers in these two Khaleeji countries spend an overwhelmingly long time on the road, according to a report released by Inrix, a company aimed at managing traffic by analyzing road data.
The report included an analysis of four Arab cities from two countries: Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The report details how much time drivers in the cities of Riyadh, Mecca, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi spent on the road in 2018.
More than 200 cities, across 38 countries, were included in the ranking.
Here's a breakdown:
Some of the cities in the report experience high levels of congestion throughout the entire day, but their "peak severity" is less than others - ultimately putting them lower in the ranking in terms of "level of congestion."
Here's how these four Arab cities ranked in terms of level of congestion, from most congested to least:
- Riyadh (No. 31)
- Mecca (No. 56)
- Dubai (No. 79)
- Abu Dhabi (No. 180)
However, when looking at time spent during peak times, the cities rank as follows, from highest to lowest:
- Dubai (80 hours)
- Mecca(77 hours)
- Riyadh (53 hours)
- Abu Dhabi (50 hours)
According to the report, drivers in Riyadh spent an average of 53 hours during traffic jams (peak times) in 2018. The Saudi city ranked the 31st most congested city in the world - surpassing cities like Montreal (No. 34 in the ranking), Barcelona (No. 38), and New York (No. 40).
However, if we're to compare the number of hours spent during peak times, drivers in Riyadh spend less time in traffic jams than Montreal (145 hours), Barcelona (147 hours), and New York (133 hours).
According to the report, drivers in Mecca spent an average of 77 hours during traffic jams (peak times) in 2018, higher than the number of hours drivers in Riyadh spent. However, Mecca ranked lower (No. 56 globally) in terms of levels of congestion when compared to Riyadh.
So, time spent during peak hours in Mecca surpasses that of Riyadh, but roads in Mecca during other hours of the day are not as congested as Riyadh - explaining its lower placement in the ranking globally.
The Saudi city ranked 56th most congested city in the world - surpassing cities like San Francisco (No. 65) and Miami (No. 73).
According to the report, drivers in Dubai spent an average of 80 hours during traffic jams (peak times) in 2018, higher than the three other Arab cities analyzed in the report.
However, in terms of level of congestion, it ranked 79th most congested in the world, and third highest among the Arab cities included in the report.
Enter Abu Dhabi
According to the report, drivers in Abu Dhabi spent an average of 50 hours during traffic jams (peak times) in 2018, ranking the lowest among the Arab cities included in the report. It ranked lowest both in terms of congestion and hours spent during peak hours when compared to the three other Arab cities.
Worldwide, the UAE capital ranked 180th most congested in the world, making it among the 40 least congested cities in the world.
The least congested city in the world is Waterloo, Canada: Drivers in the city spent on average 45 hours in traffic jams (peak times) in 2018.