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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Proportion of commuters into Dubai is on the wane

A total of 1.1 million people working in Dubai actually live outside the emirate – 31.1 per cent of the city’s daytime population.
The number of Dubai workers who lived outside the emirate is said to have increased from 1.08 million in 2014 to 1.1 million last year. Pictured, traffic builds up at Financial Centre Road.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The number of Dubai workers who lived outside the emirate is said to have increased from 1.08 million in 2014 to 1.1 million last year. Pictured, traffic builds up at Financial Centre Road. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

It may seem unlikely if you are stuck in rush hour traffic out of Sharjah, but a report suggests the proportion of Dubai’s population commuting into the city is actually falling.

For thousands of low or moderately paid workers flocking to shops and offices across Dubai, commuting into the city from the northern emirates of Sharjah, Ajman and even Umm Al Quwain is an economic necessity because of high rents.

More people than ever are trying to avoid high rents in Dubai by commuting into the city each day to work from other emirates where rents are 30 to 40 per cent cheaper, according to Reidin.

A total of 1.1 million people working in Dubai actually live outside the emirate – 31.1 per cent of the city’s daytime population – and take 90 minutes or more to commute one way. Some say they wake at 4am to beat the traffic jams.

But although the number of commuters in Dubai has increased more than five-fold in the past decade from fewer than 200,000 in 2005, the proportion of Dubai’s population commuting into the city is on the wane.

The number of Dubai workers who lived outside the emirate increased from 1.08 million in 2014 to 1.1 million last year – equal to nearly a third (31.7 per cent) of the total population.

“Of course the total number of people commuting to Dubai from the Northern Emirates has increased, but what we are seeing is that the proportion of the population doing this has been falling,” says Sameer Lakhani, the managing director of Global Capital Partners.

GCP number crunchers say that as the populations of both Dubai and the Northern Emirates have increased and the amount of affordable housing in Dubai has risen, the proportion of commuters in the city has actually fallen from 37.1 per cent in 2009 to 31.1 per cent last year following the property boom, when housing rents tripled.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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