It is difficult for any economy to significantly develop without putting an emphasis on transport and logistics. Good transport systems ease communication and trade. They facilitate other sectors such as tourism. Dubai prides itself on its transport system that has variety and excellence.
- Transport by land
Less than 5 decades ago, Dubai had only one highway that was not even funded by the government but now it boasts of such grandiose achievements regarding transport by road and rail.
By 2014, more than 140 million passengers were moving from city to city by bus. The number increased significantly when the city introduced travel by the tram and metro. According to the Transport and Roads Authority, this number had increased by more than 109 million people in the same year.
This growth has been driven by economic growth, population, and tourism growth as well as urbanization.
- Air Transport
The concept of travel by air is relatively new in Dubai. In the 1930’s the British used flying boats but the first airfield based on land was established in the late 1960s. Even then, it was only a small airstrip.
The next one was established in 1984 but only to serve as a fueling station for planes from and to other areas in the world. This, however, changed in the early 1990s when the country began to take into consideration setting up airspace of its own. By 1998, it had two terminals and better runways. In addition to the second one were other amenities such as hotels and duty-free zones.
Arguably, that is when the DXB began to shape up. Today, it serves more than 140 airlines and offers services to more than 200 world destinations. Yet, it is still growing.
The government’s strategic plan for 2020 has the airport target a capacity of more than 98 million. To get here, there will have to be a growth of about 7.2 percent passengers per year. This is not hard to reach as the country has also been supporting other activities that are bound to increase the number of tourist visits per year.
- Water transport
The country is well situated and connected to the sea. It has historically relied on it for trade with the base being on the Dubai Creek.
Since the whole Emirate region is very sea connected, it was convenient to develop this means of transport. There are ports on the both sides of the Gulf that connected the countries to each other and to other countries in East Africa.
Today, there are many investments being made to create other ports and to refurbish the ones that are. Dubai is ranked among the top 15 ports in the world. The sector of the government dealing with water transport is deploying strategies that will see an improvement in this ranking and take the Country to the next level.
The years to come will see a lot of growth in all the sectors of transportation in Dubai. While all the plans for the development of the transport sector are anchored in 2020, it is doubtful that the country will stop when that time comes even if they will have achieved all their goals.