Survey shows low interest in GCC public transport

Gulf commuters' use of cars is far higher than the global average.


Workers in the GCC countries overwhelmingly opt to use cars to travel to and from their place of employment, according to the results of a Regus survey.

The global serviced offices company spoke to a series of employees from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

While 91 percent of UAE workers used either their own cars, a taxi or a chauffeur to reach the workplace, not one respondent from the other three GCC nations said they used any other form of transport.

In the UAE, four percent of employees walked to work, with the remaining three percent taking the public bus. No respondents said that they used the Dubai Metro to commute to work.

In Saudi Arabia, 96.6 percent of respondents said they used their own car to commute to work, with the remaining 3.4 percent stating that they would use a taxi or chauffeur.

In Qatar and Bahrain – which had a lower number of respondents to the survey – 100 percent and 88 percent, respectively, said they used their own cars to get to work.

According to Regus, the global average for employees using their own vehicles is 64 percent, with eight percent using underground trains or metros, seven percent taking overland trains and another seven percent walking.

In terms of the length of the commute, a majority of respondents from all four countries said that their journeys took between 15-30 minutes. The global average saw 34 respondents saying that their trips took between 1-15 minutes, with 28 percent taking between 15-30 minutes.

However, in terms of long-distance commuting, the GCC countries rank favourably. In the UAE only nine percent of commuters travel over 90 minutes every day, while globally, 20 percent of workers are faced with a 90 minute daily commute.

“To tackle the damaging effects of commuting on staff health and morale, savvy businesses are introducing more flexibility in their working practices and are seeking workplace solutions that allow their staff to work closer to home,” said Regus CEO Mark Dixon.

“Remote working and flexi-time can provide a much needed break in the weekly commuting routine and also translate into office space and maintenance savings.”

The survey also revealed that the cost of the annual commute was on average four percent of an employee’s total salary in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, and five percent in Saudi Arabia. The global average was 3.3 percent.

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