I spent the New Year, in Dubai, with my brother-in-law and our families. Coming in at 2am, it was stunning to see the empty 7-lane highway. Next morning however we learned why 7 lanes were required. The dense traffic soured gently through the city. The two main high ways stretch parallel with the sea side, one close to the sea and one some 10 miles in-to the desert. Each one with 7 lanes. When departing from the transportation arteries of the city, the traffic jams completely.
Dubai now learn the same lesson as most major cities in the world. The traffic development goes through three phases:
1, The capacity of roads and streets are increased to cope with the traffic increase. Next, the streets are saturate.
2, Parking spaces are built to take load of the streets and more roads are built. Next the streets fill up all space and moving vehicles fill up the streets. At this stage mostly the air quality is increasing in priority.
3, Some transports are not allowed at rush hours. Congestion charges, road tolls and other Buses, park and ride and other systems with high transport efficiency are introduced to feature people coming from their homes to the central shopping district.
The public transport is now under rapid development. You can find the modern bus stops next to all major streets. Air conditioners and clean design makes the waiting pleasant. The remote scenery includes the famous Burj Al Arab.
The wide open landscape is attractive for dune bashing, by car. Even if four wheel drive helps a lot, the pace is similar to the average speed of city centre driving. Although, it seems to be a part of the joy.
Traditionally, person transports have been featured by walking and camel back riding in the emirates. The camels still float freely between the dunes.