March 5, 2024
Transport GCC UAE

Dubai tops Middle East region for urban mobility preparedness

Oliver Wyman unveils 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index

Dubai is the leading city in the Middle East region for urban mobility preparedness according to the 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index, newly released by Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm and a business of Marsh McLennan.

The Oliver Wyman Forum – the consultancy’s think tank – conducted the study in partnership with the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at the University of California, Berkeley.

The fifth edition of the report delivers an in-depth analysis of 65 global cities on their preparedness for future mobility trends. These geographically diverse cities represent six regions – North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa.

Diverse cities

They range from sprawling megacities like Tokyo and Delhi to more compact cities like Oslo and Washington D.C. to fast-developing metropolises like Nairobi. The cities were selected because of their distinct mobility challenges and the varied mobility solutions they are pursuing. The cities were also chosen because data is available to assess, compare, and track the evolution of their mobility capabilities.

The cities were ranked based on 56 key performance indicators across social impact, infrastructure, market attractiveness, system efficiency, and innovation.

Urban mobility
Guillaume Thibault, co-author of the 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index. Image: Oliver Wyman

The 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index also unveiled tailored recommendations to improve public transport and sustainable mobility for each of the 65 cities.

As per the authors of the Index, Dubai has displayed significant progress in its mobility readiness, with the city reaching the 28th rank in 2023, climbing five slots since 2021. Dubai sits on the Index between Atlanta in the United States (27) and Melbourne in Australia (29).

Abu Dhabi up

Abu Dhabi also improved its city ranking, moving up one place from 2022 to 38th position in 2023. Meanwhile, Doha maintained its position and is at 41st place. Riyadh also improved, climbing four slots since 2021 to the 53rd position.

This year, cities prioritising mass transit affordability and incentivising low-carbon alternatives took the top global spots. Helsinki ranked number one, gaining two places from 2022 and three rankings from 2021.

Amsterdam came in second on the Index, followed by Stockholm third, San Francisco (2022 leader) fourth, Munich fifth, and Singapore sixth.

Guillaume Thibault, partner at Oliver Wyman and co-author of the Index, said: “The transformational projects currently underway across the GCC – as well as the region’s appetite for innovative technology – means cities across the Gulf are likely to continue to rise in the [Urban Mobility Readiness Index ] rankings.

“It is encouraging to see a focus on elements such as improving public transport utilisation, boosting both walkability and cycling routes, and electric vehicle infrastructure. It is crucial to prioritise these issues and be open to change, as mobility currently accounts for 25% of global emissions.”

The 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index includes two sub-indices assessing public transport and sustainable mobility performances. In the Sustainable Mobility Sub-Index, Dubai took the regional lead at 46th, followed by Abu Dhabi at 48th. Dubai also led the region in public transport, ranking 31st with a score on par with the global average, while Doha followed at 45th position.

The Index also highlights key trends in the Middle East, including the continuous improvement of public transport performance, the challenges active mobility faces due to the regional climate and the heavy reliance on cars, and the fact that pilot projects are underway in the region to promote walking and cycling, demonstrating a commitment to fostering sustainable modes of transportation.

Featured image: Dubai has the most advanced mobility programme in the Middle East region, according to the 2023 Urban Mobility Readiness Index. Image: Arnold Pinto

Last Updated on 7 days by Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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