Dubai, Riyadh lead Middle East in urban mobility revolution

saudi riyadh

UAE’s Dubai and Saudi capital Riyadh emerged as leading Middle East cities in management consultancy Oliver Wyman Forum’s recent Urban Mobility Readiness Index: How Cities Rank on Mobility Ecosystem Development.

The index ranks 30 global cities on how prepared they are to incorporate the latest mobility technologies and what they are doing to reshape urban mobility. The top five cities are:

  • Singapore
  • Amsterdam
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • New York.

Dubai ranked 19th on the list while Riyadh on 26th.

The index analyzes existing public and private mobility networks; current regulation, policy, and infrastructure; a city’s livability; and its capacity to absorb future technologies, said the consultancy firm. While the index attempts to rank the outlooks for various cities, the research also provides best practices and concrete strategies that will allow cities to upgrade their offerings with a goal of transforming urban mobility from a challenge into a competitive economic advantage.

“Cities destined to become tomorrow’s mobility leaders are forward-thinking and user-centric,” said Matthieu De Clercq, Partner, Public Sector, Oliver Wyman. “They take a data-driven approach and work with the private sector to find solutions.” The research was conducted with The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Read: Dubai employment growth improves to 21-month high

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to urban mobility because no two cities are starting from the same point, said the report. For example, cities around the world operate at vastly different stages of development when it comes to mobility. In Los Angeles, 89 percent of travel involves a car, while in Hong Kong only seven percent does. In Amsterdam, 60 percent of people get around by cycling or walking; in Mexico City, 70 percent take mass transit.

Key to success for cities is a focus on the development of mobility ecosystems that provide a holistic framework to incorporate advanced technologies and create seamless, multimodal networks. Another pivotal element for cities is working closely with academic and private sector mobility research efforts and testing the latest technologies.

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