UMR Index


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Score: 57.8%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 38.2%

Public Transit



Score: 53.9%

Population 4.7 million
Surface area (km2) 1,507
Population-density (people/km2) 3,123
GDP per capita ($) 45,321
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What Dubai Does Well in Urban Mobility

Dubai has sought to develop an affordable and efficient public transit system on par with leading global cities. Its metro is advanced, with fully automated trains and is supplemented with a comprehensive, multimodal app. Dubai aims to automate a quarter of all transportation, including metro, buses and taxis, by 2030, and expects the technology to significantly lower transportation costs, traffic accidents, and travel times.

Dubai International Airport has a large volume of international travelers every year, connecting passengers from North America, Europe, and Asia. The airport has a renovation plan with a long-term goal of being able to process nearly 260 million passengers per year.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Dubai’s Transportation System

Dubai's residents prefer to use private cars or taxis to travel around the city rather than active mobility modes like walking or cycling. However, Dubai has a vision for a 20-minute walkable city that will enable residents to reach essential services, like education or public transit, by walking or cycling.

Continued government investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure have made Dubai a regional leader. However, drivers remain far behind leading regions with a low market share of EV sales. Dubai has limited charging options, but it has plans to add 1,000 chargers by 2025.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Dubai Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Like many cities in the region, Dubai's electric vehicle (EV) charging network remains underdeveloped. To become a leader, it would need to accelerate the deployment of charging stations. The city can target this gap by increasing government-backed investments in public charging stations and subsidizing station deployment in private parking. In July 2023, a Dubai authority joined the Charging Interface Initiative, a non-profit for e-mobility advancement, which shows commitment.

Despite efforts in recent years to curb pollution, Dubai has worse air quality than many of its peers. To help improve air quality and close the gap with other cities, Dubai can look to limit its residents’ reliance on private cars for transportation and instead encourage more sustainable mobility modes. In addition, introducing dedicated parks and lawns, although expensive, would allow local species of greenery and flora to flourish and support cleaner air quality.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores