WIT Press

The Implications Of Automobile Dependency In Abu Dhabi City


Free (open access)





Page Range

143 - 152




308 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Ochieng, M. Jama


Global trends indicate that automobile dependency is increasing at a tremendous pace especially in developing countries – much faster than the provision of roadway and transport infrastructure. Furthermore, research shows both car use and ownership tend to increase with economic development and growth. Abu Dhabi City is a typical example of a fast growing (economically, population and wealth) city, where car ownership is growing at an annual rate of 24% and most journeys are made by car. Transport policy makers in Abu Dhabi face an uphill challenge as they try on the one hand to develop a comprehensive multi-modal transport network that includes various elements of mass transit systems and on the other, to deal with an increasing car dependency. The externalities associated with a car dependent society is currently being felt in Abu Dhabi and the region in general, with the rise of congestion, health problems associated with lack of physical mobility, accidents and environment deterioration. This paper assesses the impacts of automobile dependency in Abu Dhabi city, and includes how Abu Dhabi compares with similar international cities, outlines key challenges facing Abu Dhabi while taking into account the unique characteristics of Abu Dhabi; and finally concludes with key recommendations that Abu Dhabi can employ to overcome automobile dependency, in order to realize the long-term aspirations of a world-class city with a well-integrated multi-modal transport system.


automobile dependency, economic development, congestion, accidents, environmental deterioration, sustainability, noise, mass transit