Dubai is probably the most extreme example. The city feels like it is at war with traffic. New roads are under construction, interchanges are being upgraded, and the metro system project is well advanced.

Other cities are following suit. Anticipating a congestion problem, Abu Dhabi is starting to upgrade its road system and plan its own light rail network; Doha is also planning a metro system; and other cities in the Gulf and North Africa, from Algiers to Tehran, are planning new transport networks.

Projects are also being developed that will improve links with other parts of the region and beyond.

Dubai International airport is being expanded, and a new airport is under construction at Jebel Ali. A rail network to link Dubai with the other six emirates and connect into a GCC rail network is also being developed.

These projects, together with schemes in other countries across the region, will create a transport network that for the first time will give Middle East travellers choices more normally associated with those in Europe, North America and Japan.

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