Traffic congestion is one of the biggest banes of city life. Apart from losing precious time being stuck in gridlock, these snarls also lead to road rage and dangerous actions behind the wheel. But if you live in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and have thought what you encounter during peak hours is really bad traffic, then a recent study suggests that you could be in a far better situation than millions of others around the world.

TomTom, one of the world’s leading independent location technology specialists, who are experts in maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services, have released a report that ranks Dubai and Abu Dhabi quite favourably in comparison to other major cities of the world. The Global Traffic Index 2018, which studied the traffic situation in 403 cities across 56 countries, found India’s commercial capital Mumbai to be the world’s most congested city. According to the report, motorists in Mumbai spend an average of 65 per cent extra travel time because of traffic, while those in the other cities among the top five are not far behind. Colombian capital Bogota takes the second spot at 63 per cent, followed by Peru’s Lima at 58 per cent, India’s New Delhi at 58 per cent and Russian capital Moscow at 56 per cent.

In comparison, UAE capital Abu Dhabi ranks way down at 396 with a congestion level of just 11 per cent extra travel time stuck in traffic and Dubai ranks 202 with a congestion level of 23 per cent. The study also found that congestion level on highways is 4 per cent extra travel time stuck in traffic for Abu Dhabi and 18 per cent for Dubai, while non-highway congestion levels are at 14 per cent for Abu Dhabi and 28 per cent for Dubai. Congestion levels during peak traffic hours for Abu Dhabi in the morning is 19 per cent and evening is 18 per cent, while the figures for Dubai are 34 per cent morning and 48 per cent evening.

“Globally, traffic congestion is rising. And that’s both good, and bad, news. It’s good because it indicates a strong global economy, but the flip side is drivers wasting time sitting in traffic, not to mention the huge environmental impact,” says Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s Vice President of Traffic information.

RoadSafetyUAE, a Corporate Social Responsibility partner of TomTom’s, has released the report in the UAE. Thomas Edelmann, managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE said motorists in the UAE give a lot of credit to the authorities for continuously improving the road infrastructure. He said while traffic congestion adds costs to economies via lost working hours as well as inconvenience to drivers via extra travel time and that it should be avoided from a road safety perspective. “It is great to see the 2 main UAE cities to fare pretty well on a global level,” says Edelmann.