Traffic Congestion in Muscat

Traffic Congestion in Muscat







Traffic Congestion in Muscat







Problem Statement

Over the past decade, perceived traffic congestion at the Sultan Qaboos Highway and main roads of the sultanate which connect to the main intersection within the core of the city, has been steadily increasing.


With increasing numbers of cars, buses and trucks on the roads, and ever expanding population, Muscat, like many other cities around the region and the world is grappling with the challenge of traffic congestion. Traffic congestion impedes traffic flow in urban and city area. As a constantly growing city and an urbanized area, Muscat presents a complex problem to road users and the relevant authorities. The congestion phenomenon cannot be eliminated only by applying physical construction such as: building bridges, motorways and increasing road capacity. It is necessary to build an advanced technology system for transportation management to enhance control of the traffic.

Background information

Over the decade, perceived traffic congestion at the Sultan Qaboos Highway and the main roads of the sultanate which connect to the main intersection within the core of the city has been increasing. This is becoming a problem that is complex and has many serious effects. Moving at a snail’s pace has become common for the drivers to put up with the scene every time in the morning and evening they are approaching the city of Muscat.

Although Muscat might be one of the boost fascinating cities in the world, having to drive at a snail’s pace in its major roads such as Sultan Qaboos is a common norm. the air is always thick with fog due to exhaust fumes from the vehicles.  Car horn and beeps reign the air. Squealing brakes and revving engines as drivers try to avoid hitting each other. it is however faced with one problem. Traffic congestion. Many motorists spend a lot of time on the roads every day. They waste a lot of time due to this problem daily. Although road transport has been made easier by the ease of accessing cars and automobiles, the issue of overutilization has brought traffic congestion in major roads. this has continued to be a major concern among different stakeholders since they understand the effects it has on the economy. The solution to this would be coming up with ways of reducing the increasing rate of growth in road traffic. Most traveling needs should be met by public means to avoid traffic congestion. Careful minimization of traffic congestion could lead to increased household income as well as increased commercial activities in any given city.




The study will gather relevant data from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data will constitute scheduled interviews and structured questionnaires. Additionally, participant’s observation skills will also be employed to collect substantial information. Secondary data will entail critical evaluation of textbooks, economic and geographical journals regarding transport, reports and working papers as well as the internet and policy documents on transport.

Stratified sampling will be most suitable for this study since the population is heterogeneous. The technique will look into commercial, private, public and the policy makers. Finally, the data obtained will be analyzed through inferential (simple correlation and regression analysis) and descriptive (frequency tables, percentage bar graphs, pie charts, and standard deviation) statistics.

Main research question:

What measures can Muscat Governorate take in order to decrease traffic congestion currently being experienced in the city?


Sub questions

  • How does traffic congestion impact the city of Muscat, the surrounding areas and the dwellers everyday lives?
  • What are the reasons behind the increase in traffic congestion in Muscat?
  • What is the current status and shortcomings of the prevailing policies in traffic flow management?



The research paper will look into the traffic situation in Muscat. It will seek to explain its causes, effects and policies that might be put in place to curb that. The problem has been a nag for a very long time in major roads including Sultan Qaboos Highway. It requires action by different stakeholders including the government to solve the problem once and for all. The government needs to set national targets that have to be met by all motorists to calm the situation. Some targets might be restrictive while others might be an improvement to the quality of transport conditions. There are those that might seem to be monetary oriented while others. The measures provided might have a political, economic and social impact which everyone ought to be ready for. The aim of reducing traffic congestion is directed towards ensuring reduced pollution and better business environments for economic growth.

Causes of traffic congestion in Muscat

There are various reasons that result to traffic congestion in Muscat. One of the main reasons is the rapid population growth. This has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of cars that are bought every year. There are as well more young people and women who are driving than it used to be in the past.  The increase in the population has as well caused increased demand for goods and services. This has brought an increase in the number of transport trucks on the roads. they cause major congestions that are experienced on the roads daily.

Another reason for the rapid increase of traffic congestion in the city is the growing population around the city. Over the past four years, the population in Oman has grown massively having now over four million people. This has become a challenge to the transport sector to try to keep up with the fast-growing population. With the increasingly growing population, many of the people have increased their urge to own personal transport so as to be able to do most of the common requirements each day. Some of these requirements are that the people may be taking themselves to work, or just touring the Muscat city. With the increased population there may be the rise of the cars under hire moving around the town thereby accusing the traffic congestion.

The increased urban population is one of the reasons for traffic congestion. If there are more people living in Muscat, traffic congestion will occur at different times of the day when the residents are moving from one region to another for various reasons.

Another reason that leads to traffic congestions is careless driving. If some motorists do not follow traffic rules, they might end up inconveniencing other motorists. The cautious motorists will do their best to avoid such people and the most probable solution would be to maintain a slower pace. If this trend is maintained for some time, traffic will accumulate after a short period hence a congestion.

Work zones cause traffic congestion at times. This happens when there are technicians working on a section of road. They might leave a small part of the road that only allows one vehicle to pass at a time. If more than one vehicle were on the road, some might be forced to stop to let one pass then follow after it. This time serves to accumulate a long queue of vehicles behind each other. As much as work zones might be meant for the welfare of the motorists, there is a need for a particular order. Too much work zones on the same day should be minimized. The people working on the zones should also be careful to work in large numbers to ensure that they finish their work faster.

Bad weather that limits visibility on the roads is another cause of traffic congestion. Motorists are unable to see well when it rains or when there is mist or fog. They are forced to drive slowly to avoid causing accidents. Road accidents might cause hectic traffic congestion since it takes some time to remove the involved vehicles from the scene. The accidents might still be caused by some other reasons other than bad weather. This might include careless driving, failure to observe traffic rules and technical problems. Accidents have been growingly rising around the city’s roads. When an accident occurs at one of these roads causes drama with the other cars halting to observe the situation. With the single situation may give rise to the notable traffic jams that have been noted. Weather changes around Muscat have been noted. For example, when it is the winter season it is more likely to have the jams. This is because from the cars may cause accidents in case the weather is not favorable for driving on the tarmacked highways. During the rainy days may have the cars skid therefore the cars are at high risk of being in serious problems like being involved in accidents thus landing themselves into time-consuming traffic jams. When there occurs an accident everything comes to a stop on the roads having the car held up and having nowhere to turn back into or go. This leads to stresses on the drivers and the other road users to arrive late and this affects their productivity. The accidents may also be caused by the over speeding on these roads when there is no jam in order to try and save time spent on the roads and this increases the likelihood of the accidents.

Some parts of the roads in Muscat are not in the best and standard condition and this leads to some avoidable accidents. For example, some of the corners that are on the roads cause the accidents that are on the roads and this contributes to the congestion. Availability of potholes may also lead to delays and small speeds during driving thereby leading to the congestions. Features like too many bumps and zebra crossings on the roads on the ways cause delays since the cars have to slow down and at this time they end up having the cars behind to have to wait and this all leads to the traffic build up. Most of these features act as the traffic hotspots not to mention the kind of congestion that arises from the roundabouts that are on the roads approaching and leaving Muscat

Literally the irrational distribution of the resources is another cause of the congestion. This basically means that one side of the development updates while the other just stays left behind. Looking at the area like having very many cars but having lesser roads that can keep up with the growing population. This has affected and have been among the major contribution of the traffic congestion. The irrational distribution can also be in terms of the resources that have been concentrated on the Muscat town. Looking at resources such as the institutions and facilities such as the hospitals and universities located in the city. This causes an increase in the jams arising from this. This is because of the increased attraction of many cars hat come to access the facilities.


The human behavior may also be among the possible contributors of the traffic congestion. The human behavior in that the kind of actions that the people take while driving around the town.  They may have quite a negative reaction while offended by other drivers or the pedestrians. This may create obstruction which is a common problem in the roads in Muscat. Mostly, when there is an obstruction that means that some of the cars at these roads are not able to pass certain areas are therefore held in the traffic. From the rules of the traffic, obstruction is a punishable offense and this is because just a single situation causes the congestion.

Muscat is, however, known for the its slow pace of developing other means of the public transport that is available. For example, you find that the railway station is in a bad condition thereby leaving no chance of their utilization as a means of transport. Another example of the same is with the few buses in the city leaves few chances of their uses. This leads to increased use of the personal cars as means of transport. So considering if each of the users of the roads gets their personal cars to move to the city this leads to the congestion. The conditions at the public transports also lead to the commuters preferring using their personal cars to work. Some of the private companies hike the prices up and comparing it to the costs of the fuel ends up being cheaper.

The perception of most of the people living in the city or have their daily businesses in the town is quite negative on the common public transport. Due to the class that they have placed themselves on they despise using the buses, trains, and ferries and rather they opt to use their personal cars.



According to a research conducted in this state of the roads it has revealed that by the year 1970 the roads that were paved by that time was around 12 kilometers and had a capacity of about 1,000 cars. By the end of the year 2013, the figure of the paved roads had risen steeply to about 32,000 kilometers. And this time the capacity of the cars on these roads is around 800, 000 vehicles. From a similar research on the population shows that in the same year 1970, Oman had around 700, 000 people and the current population of the same in 2010 was about 1.2 million people. As the pie chart below indicates the growth that has occurred in the population of cars on the city that accesses the roads and Muscat city as whole from the increasing purchases of cars.


According to a report by the International Business Publications, (2010), the level of car ownership has increased over the recent years. It now ranges from 400 to 750 cars per 1,000 people. These are the vehicles involved in the movement of both people and goods. Bot for business and personal purposes. A forecast done shows a rise by 20% in the next five years if stern actions are not taken.

Having this in the account, the rate of traffic congestion from 2010 to 2016 has increased by 38% (International Business Publications, 2013). The forecast shows that the number will rise up to 62% over a period of the next ten years if the rate continues as it is. (Jeffrey, 2012). The forecast done has been based on the current policies and the current rate of growth of road traffic. Basing the forecasts on the behavior ad trends of the current traffic situation, it seems quite realistic. The capacity of the current road network has been seen as efficient but if the trend continues, it will no longer be sufficient.

The economic levels prove the forecast true as well. If the current economic growth continues as it is, then in a span of five years, we will have more vehicles in Muscat than before. There are some particular years when the rate of traffic growth might go slower than the others though the disparities do not appear to be very pronounced.  Economic growth explains the rate at which living standards increases. Having better living standards means better affordability of cars. Car ownerships estimated at a range of 600 to 800 per 1,000 people if the trend does not change (Peterson, 2010). If traffic congestion is to be solved, then the range should be made to fit between 520 to 570 per 1,000 populations in Muscat. This would mean that a smooth traffic flow will be achieved efficiently.

Bearing the fact that Oman has a population of over two million people, the majority are concentrated around Muscat and on the Al Batinah coast. The regions have more than half the population of people. This makes Muscat have a potential to grow faster than other areas hence a larger number of vehicles passing on its roads. Looking at the relationship between car ownership and the GDP of a country, Oman has a fairly stable relationship (Peterson, 2010).

The traffic jams normally occur during morning hours and during the evenings. This is when the residents are heading to their workplaces or leaving the workplaces. It may also be people coming out of their daily businesses in the town. The government should come up with a new strategy that would ensure that the businessmen and the workers do not leave the offices at the same time. There should a plan on the timetable that the road users should follow. For example, the traders should arrive at a certain time, the office employees should have a specific time that they should be arriving and leaving the workplaces. If there was a group that would leave office at around 3pm and another leave at around 4pm and the other around 5pm and others would help to address the issue. This would ease the congestions that occur around 8 am in the morning and around 5 pm in the evening. Literally this would bring the so-called rush hour to an end.

Some of the families in Oman own many cars and it’s not a wonder to find different family members traveling to the city in different cars. This may be like the wife, husband travel in their own cars. They may also have employed a driver to take the kids to the school. That means that there are many cars that have members of the same family in the roads. To cut down the congestion of the cars the government may come up with a way to put a stop to this. For example, some of the countries like Asia has a maximum number of cars that a single family should own. This means that the family members are required to travel in one car. This cuts down the number of cars that are on the roads. The government should pick up this methodology that would contribute in the addressing of the congestion challenge.


The number of cars per household has risen over the recent past. This has been caused by the affordability of cars recently. Man and women have found their ways into choosing the taste of cars they want to drive and therefore this makes it hard for a family to share a common car. Critically looking at it, the number of cars on the road will rise dramatically if this trend is maintained.

Traffic congestion has been observed to follow certain patterns. It is generated during the morning hours since that is the time people are going to work and children are going to school.  This starts at around to around 9.00 am (Peterson, 2010).  From then, traffic flow seems to be constant until the evening hours when people are going home from work and children back from school. Research has shown that there is acute stress at certain areas as compared to others (Jeffrey, 2012).

Impacts of traffic congestion in Muscat

Traffic congestion in Muscat affects the roads users. for those going to the workplaces, they get late to reach their destinies. This means that their productivity is affected. Some of the employees may end up losing their jobs from getting late to arrive at their jobs. This wastes time that could be useful in producing results. For economic growth, there must be an effective and a very efficient transport growth. That means that having traffic congestion causes the economy to be affected. This is mostly because the goods or the services are not delivered at the right time. You find that there are delays and this makes the business owners to lose their esteemed customers. In the fact that there is a lack of confidence on the delivering of the services and the goods in time. This leads to the customers looking for other ways of getting the same. By this, there is a reduction of sales and this affects the companies economically.



Economic effects

Traffic congestion has had a great impact on the economy of Oman. Muscat being its capital has suffered a big deal in traffic congestion. The economic effects are seen as being brought by the time taken to ship products or services from the manufacturer or the provider to the consumer. The time really matters since the more efficient a service or a product is delivered, the more the market grows hence the income. Traffic congestion lowers the legal speed limit that has been set for the convenience of everyone. Research conducted by (Jeffrey, 2012) has shown that the cost of delays in Muscat amounts to over $10.4 billion annually. This is the average costs since individual company costs would be higher, the highest standing at $19.8bilion per annum. Traffic congestion, therefore, slows variable journey times ultimately leading to an economic slowdown.

Time is wasted during the many hours spent on the Muscat roads. Mostly during the peak hours, one spent more than double of the time that would have spent if the roads were clear. Sometimes the congestion is intense that the motorists have to even shut down their engines since there is no movement at all.

The kind of delays that result from the delays during the traffic jams leads to a challenge to one who is trying to tell the travel time accurately. This leaves the motorists with no other choice but to give more time to the journeys that could be traveled in lesser time. This means that one cannot know the exact time one can get to their destiny.

Delays on the roads that is tarmacked increase the rate of wear and tear on the vehicles. This is due to the inconsistency of the driving speeds. Mostly you find sudden acceleration when the jam opens up a little bit. You also find sudden braking still on the roads to avoid hitting other cars. This, in turn, causes the car to wear and tear faster than it could if it not used to be driven in jams. Mostly you find the brake pads getting used up faster than the normal rate. The wear may also result from the constant scratches from the other cars. Mostly during the jams, you find that resulting from the closeness of the car to each other they scratch each other. This may be due to the sudden brakes that are applied but the cars fail to stop immediately.


The cars in congestion and traffic jams waste a lot of fuel that the usual spending. When there is no jam you find that the amount of fuel is just normally but when held up in traffic the cars spends more due to the short maneuvers and the running of the engine without actually moving for longer distances and that means the engines are idle for long. Due to the increased use of fuel means, it becomes quite hard to maintain and keep up with the more spending to keep the car.



Environmental effects

Traffic congestion has a major impact on the environment due to the emission of fumes b slow-moving cars. The cars emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and some volatile compounds that are organic (International Business Publications, 2013). They are all harmful to the environment since they might cause effects in the city of Muscat as well as far away from the city. The effects might range from the acidic rain that causes rusty sheets and drying of crops to respiratory problems among the people who live in Muscat.

Research according to Jeffrey, (2012), shows a relationship between environmental effects to the economic slowdown.  Environmental effects of traffic congestion affect the economy directly or indirectly. They cost a lot in terms of money since reversing the effects caused requires quite a hefty amount of cash. Take for example repainting a new coat of paint on a roof or settling a medical bill on an illness caused by air pollutants.

Another environmental problem is the noise caused by the cars when they are in a traffic congestion. The noise becomes a nag to other motorists or other civilians doing businesses nearby and might cause hearing impairment or alter social interactions among people. Solutions set to deal with traffic congestion should be altered in ways that they will directly or indirectly reduce environmental pollution. Not all solutions might be in a position to be of direct impact to the environment. An example would be road pricing. It might have control on the traffic flow but might not be in a position to control the number of vehicles that enter Muscat.

The increased use of fuels raises the amount of pollution caused. From the smokes that come out of the exhaust pipes of the cars, it leads to the increased air pollution. The carbon monoxide that comes from the burning of the fuels gets out of the exhausts and with the congestion the pollution is enormous and this has negative effects on the environment. This may lead to effects of breathing problems to the human’s that access these areas. It may also lead to the huge effects such as the acid rain if the chemicals exhausted come together and it rains. This effect might also lead to global warming due to the pollution gasses eating out the ozone layer.

Impact on Health

Traffic congestion affects the health of the motorists. For example, from the violent anger that arises from the frustrations that occur from the delays on traffic affects the health. This is from the stresses that are mental due to the lack of peace as one has a mentally unstable condition knowing that one will waste while on the roads. From the way the cars are close to each other the exhausts are close to the car behind, this means that the drivers inhale the exhaust gasses. The carbon monoxide becomes a hazard to their health. It affects their lungs raising the problems such as respiratory diseases. The jams also cause fatigue to the drivers. This results from the so much time spent concentrating on having the eyes so keen not to hit other cars, also on the fact that they keep their foot always on the brakes and some at times on the accelerator.

The traffic congestions bring challenges in terms of emergencies. In this, it makes it very hard to let the emergency response vehicles to function efficiently. For example, the ambulances cannot be able to deliver their response services to the places they are urgently needed. They end up making saving lives in case of accidents hard. Also, the vehicles such as the firefighter trucks cannot be able to access the areas in cases of fire. This means in case there is an outbreak of near Muscat city it would be a challenge to get there in time. In cases of crimes, it is also a challenge to deliver the security response. This means that the jams put the security of the public at risk.

Whenever there is jam on the Sultan Qaboos highway the motorists find themselves looking for other routes to use to avoid the delays on the roads. Mostly they use street roads or roads used to get into estates. By this, the estates security is breached. Resulting from the increased use of these roads this reduces their high class of having a calm environment. As a result, this reduces the prices of these properties. This also affects the amenities of the neighborhood.

The traffic jam, however, has some positive impacts. Due to the delays that occur on the roads encourages the motorists to come up with well-organized timetables. For example, to get to their workplace they leave their homes early. This means that the motorists are able to manage time since they keep in mind to avoid the peak hours finding them on the roads.

As earlier discussed the traffic jams cause delays on the roads. This basically means that the cars move a very low speed. Somehow this is positive from the fact that it reduces the cases of accidents. From previous studies and research, it has shown that 20% of the over-speeding cases have been reduced. That means that for Muscat city the availability of these traffic jams has reduced the accidents possibilities.

From the efforts to cut down the congestion, means that the government has no other choice but to improve the state of the roads. They end up increasing the number of roads, bridges, overpasses and other lanes. This, in turn, leads the growth and the development of infrastructure. It contributes to the economic growth of the area.


Solutions to traffic congestion in Muscat

The solutions to the problem are supposed to possess the ability to have economic growth and at the same time be in a position to protect the environment for an efficient transport system. They are also requiring to meet the need of travel through easy access f social amenities. Protection of the environment should also be among the major goals of the solutions chosen. The economic, environmental, social and political spectra should be satisfied. Road planners spend most of their time trying to come up with ways to reduce traffic congestion in Muscat. They do this in an attempt to create a conducive environment for doing business or tourism.

In the Muscat city, most of the road users just visit the city to buy some small items. The government should encourage online shopping of some of the services and items. This means that the residents and the non-residents would not have to go to the cities. This, in turn, cuts down the numbers of people trying to access the town.

The solutions for the city to reduce and solve the traffic congestion challenges are quite many. The city should be considering on how to increase the number of roads in the city. This would give more room for the cars that are approaching or leaving the city. The method has proven effective in other cities whereby with the increased number of lanes means that many cars can drive through an area at a go.  This would reduce the number of cars that waste so much time on the roads.

Installation of road control systems is one way that the government should look at. By this, there would be the installation of traffic cameras for example. The cameras would help in the roads control department. They would be able to know the lanes to open more in the roundabouts and the roads to divert some of the cars. For example, the cars leaving the town should not be kept on the roads for long. This is because the numbers that leave the city reduce the amount of congestion in the city. Therefore, such realization would be achieved through the traffic systems installed.


There are other actions that might seem to solve the problem of traffic congestion. This might be having an integrated policy among others. This policy might be implementing land policies that require land use planning. This will lead to developed parking lots, organized traffic flow, timetable coordination and efficient travel information.

Road pricing could be an efficient way of dealing with traffic congestion. The method was surfaced in the 1960s but could still be very efficient (Jeffrey, 2012). The method is also known as congestion charging which works under the principle of charging drivers for the delays they cause on roads. the system is meant to ease traffic congestion in a way such that drivers will use the roads at different times to avoid inconveniences. Electronics that read the car details are put in buried toll gates to capture the details of the cars that pass along there. The method has been successfully applied in Singapore and Hong Kong. The system follows the rule that a group of people using a limited resource should pay for the inconveniences caused by its use. The main objection to the system is that it might favor rich drivers and put a heavy burden on the poor ones

Some of the cities around the world have tried congestion charging. This is whereby the road users pay a certain to get into congestion potential areas. This helps to cut down the numbers of people willing to visit these areas. The government should place a certain fee on the highway approaching Muscat city and this would help to cut down the number of cars that don’t necessary need the town at the certain time. The feel is normally put in the peak hours and this discourages everyone from being out there on the roads since some of the drivers want to avoid paying the set fee. This would in a way help reduce the numbers of cars on the highway during the peak hours.


Better vehicle designs that efficiently navigate through the city with ease and speed. This would be a great technological milestone. The same would serve several purposes since it would still offer better comfort and mobility. They would ensure that the environmental effects are reduced by ensuring little or no emission if possible. Efficient designs would also mean little fuel uptake as well.

Use of public transport would help ease the problem in Muscat. The use of trains and the modern low-floor buses that were introduced in 2015 would be highly appreciated. The means would highly save on time due to their high speed and their capacity to carry more people. This would mean a reduced use of personal or private vehicles hence reduction in traffic congestion. People will be able to reach their destinations at the same time as when they would use their cars if not earlier. The only problem would be that public transport would not be able to offer a door-to-door service. The best part of it is that the system could serve more than one purpose at a go. For instance, taking children to school at the same time dropping people in their workplaces. If the government would enhance the use of public transport by making sure the vehicles are as comfortable, reliable, safe and accessible just like the modern low-floor buses, they might end up winning more people into using it.

Placement of respective signs on the roads is also a contributor to the reduced congestion in towns. This basically gives the drivers information while they are driving. The government should ensure that the roads especially the highway have the necessary road signs. A sign like one notifying bump helps the driver to know which speed to drive at. When the drivers have the necessary information there is reduced the number of accident cases. According to a research 25% of the accident cases that occurs on the Sultan, Qaboos highway could be reduced by just providing the information to the drivers. By reducing the number of accidents would directly reduce the congestion by around 10% according to the study on the condition of the road jam causes. The government should ensure that the parts that have stopped being visible or existing on the roads should be replaced and reinstalled.

There should be the addition of features on the roads that would cut down the congestion. For example, the government should build bridges, overpasses, and underpasses that would help ease the jam. for example, the cars that are heading to a certain part of the city should have a route that they would use without necessarily getting into town. This leads to avoiding unnecessary cars from being on the highways only to be going to parts of the town that could be accessed in other ways. The underpasses and the overpasses would help to reduce the time that would be wasted on the highways. The government should replace the roundabouts with underpasses and overpasses. This has proven helpful in other areas and it should be considered. In a roundabout, the cars are forced to wait while one direction is open up by the lights, but in the over and under passes the cars exit the roads and highways in order to pick up the road that is heading in their wish direction.


There are other means that might include fostering other transport means within the city like cycling and walking. However, to meet these requirements, the government would need to enhance land use policies and planning that would see ample space make the alternatives work. this would also be done by promoting development in areas close to each other to enable people who love in Muscat to find it convenient to walks rather than use a car in conducting businesses within the city. They could as well do this by empowering areas outside Muscat to grow so that people could find different services and products there without necessarily having to drive into the city.

Limiting parking provisions development would as well play a major role in reducing traffic congestion. It would discourage people from using tenor vehicles and would, therefore, encourage them to use public transport if not walking or cycling. These would be better alternatives as compared to driving an own car then having to pay expensively for its parking. This would create space for other road users and prevent any possibility of a traffic congestion accumulating

Car sharing is another solution the government might provide. This is the use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes that are designed to be used by special cars that carry more than one person. They are effective since they are fast and highly encourage people who used to travel alone travel with others hence easing traffic congestion.

The government should as well think about regulating the rapidly growing population. The increased population can be solved by several ways. In Muscat city, there are some residential houses. This lead to too many people being around the town. The government should control the numbers of residential houses that are constructed in the towns. This would reduce the in and out movement of the people accessing the town.


The government should look at the problem of the bad quality of the state of public transport systems. The government should improve by expanding the railway stations that are present. They may also opt to allocate enough funds to the ministry of transport to ensure that the ministry is able to improve the public transport systems. For instance, there should be the addition of the buses that are present in the town and they should be modern to ensure that they attract the members of the public. There should also be investments in electric trains or fast trains in whole. This cuts down the congestion I the towns since there is no traffic on the rails of the trains due to the huge capacity they carry therefore reducing their number. The prices that the private firms charge on the public transport systems should be controlled. The government should come up with few regulations of the payments that should be made on them. This would come a long way in preventing the public and residents from despising the services of these facilities.

Some of the facilities that are found in the Muscat town should be taken to outskirts of the town. Such as the big offices should be relocated to other areas that are out of the town. This would reduce the daily users, workers and the customers of these businesses. In a way, this would reduce the number of people approaching and leaving the town generally. Some facilities such as the hospitals can also be opted to be taken to other areas out of the Muscat town. This would also help ease up the traffic each day that tries to access the hospital, either seeking medical attention and treatment or going to work in the hospitals.

Parking enforcement is supposed to be put in place as one of the solutions to traffic congestion. This is meant to regulate the number of trips undertaken into cities per day. This could be achieved by increasing parking fees, raising the price of fuel in the city by not less than   50 percent for personal vehicles. Public transport vehicles should be excused from this to facilitate public transport in the city. This would act as the major discouragement to motorists who would think of going to Muscat in their private cars. They will only do this when they have a particular sound reason to do that. The government should also set up limited parking spaces as they increase parking charges to create competition among motorists who come into the city. This would mean that there would be those who would not get a parking space for their vehicles when they come to Muscat. This would give the government complete control of the traffic that would be destined to get into the city.

Increasing the parking fee has proven helpful to ease up the congestion. Having the fee increased makes the motorists get discouraged in a way from the extra costs they have to make for the parking in the competitive parts of the town. This means that not everyone is ready to pay the extra fee and this cuts down the numbers of cars that are going to the competitive areas.


Building better road networks would be a major step towards reducing traffic congestion in Muscat. The government should fund construction of better road networks to ease traffic congestion. This would reduce traveling time.  The government should consider expanding minor roads that branch from the highway in and out of Muscat. This would be a step towards reducing traffic in sultan Qaboos road. Alternate routes should be established to ease the traffic situation on Sultan Qaboos. They should act as alternative routes to get into or out of the city. These roads will aid in reducing traffic congestion at peak hours and as well provide traveler choices. There are however some critiques who say that building more roads to and from the city will attract more travelers, a thing that will lead to more congestion in the city.

There should also be a sound plan on the speed limit policy. By this means that there is a standard speed limit for the cars. On the highways, there are no delays that normally arise from the inconsistently of the varying speeds. This strategy helps in solving the problem of traffic congestion. Fees should also be set to the drivers who do not drive on the set speed. This would also reduce the accidents that are mostly caused by the over speeding. This, in turn, avoids the scenes of the traffic congestion.

Road regulation policy can be picked up by the government to help in addressing the challenge of congestion. In the policy, the cars that are of certain types or conditions are not allowed on certain routes. This controls and ensures that un-roadworthy vehicles do not go to the areas that are potential to congestion. The un-roadworthy vehicles contribute to the jams since they cannot put up with the speeds that are required thereby causing delays. Un-roadworthy cars may be ones that are old or ones that have their maintenance service already past.

The government should also try the method of plate ban. In this method, the government restricts certain plates from getting into town or the cities. For example, in Muscat, the authority could limit the number of the car that is coming into town. They may be road users who are not based in town and could wait until the end of the peak hours. With the control in place, that means there would be the limited number of cars on the roads thereby cutting down the congestion potentiality.

Some types of cars could also be limited from using Muscat roads. For example, the wide road consuming types of cars could be banned to use the roads at the certain time. Cars like the heavy trucks could be banned from accessing the roads during the peak hours. The heavy cars contribute to the congestion due to the challenges on the maneuvers. They end up causing delays, for example where speed is needed they find themselves with a hard time of coping up.

The government could also implement the transport laws to try to provide alternatives to the road users. This gives options to the public rather than having the road means as the only way. For example, the government could encourage people to use motorbikes or bicycles by building the bike lanes on the major roads to have them encouraged to use these means. on seeing that the lanes are safe from being hate by the cars gets them interested in the area. Also seeing that the lanes are clear, the motorists gets interested on these alternatives.

Flyovers should also be constructed on the existing roads. That means there will be an update of the state of the roads. The flyovers would accommodate more cars at the space by utilizing the space available. This method should be taken in by the government since it does not require more space of land. This would help to ease up the congestion with just a little more effort. Expressways could also be built to ensure that the cars that are going to direct destinations do not waste time on the roads. This would help ease the congestion on the roads.

The government should think of introducing other means of transport. Not only the roads that would transport the people to the Muscat town. There should be other means of transport, not just the road. This would help to reduce the congestion on the roads since some of the users would use the other means. The government should look more into investing in means like railway means. The government should also look at introducing other means like motorbikes. The motorbikes as a means of transport help to reduce the amount of cars that are using the road. They require lesser space than the cars. They can even be able to go through roads when there is a traffic jam. therefore, the government encouraging such kind of means would help in a way to solve the challenge.

Quick response to accidents is another effective solution to traffic congestion. The governments supposed to put up measures to respond rapidly to the accidents that occur on the roads. accidents do occur regularly and block way for other motorists. Unblocking the road at such times will be more than helpful to the road users as well as the accident victims. Unblocking accident scenes might be done using roving service vehicles. To facilitate better detection of accidents that occur on Sultan Qaboos and other roads in Muscat, the government is supposed to install surveillance facilities on the road to detect road conditions at any particular time.

Current status in traffic flow management

Most government experts are persuading people to shift from personal to public transport since this would be an important element in reducing the traffic status in Muscat. This would meet the public demand of the urban needs efficiently. Public transport occupies less road space as compared to the personal road transport. If people would adopt this system, then efficiency would be achieved since pollution effects would be reduced by less noise and fewer fumes from vehicles. Fuel consumption in Muscat has continued to rise due to an increased number of automobiles every year. The following data shows an increase in the number of automobiles in Muscat from 2011 to 2015.

Hundred thousand


Conclusion and Recommendation

The traffic situation on Sultan Qaboos in Muscat needs more attention from the government and other stakeholders to be solved. It has been a problem for a long time and will definitely continue to be if no action is taken to calm the situation. It has resulted to devastations at peak hours due to the slow movement of traffic making people’s businesses lag. The problems might still continue being an issue since people are continually becoming wealthy and population increasing day in day out. The government therefore needs to build more roads, establish traffic policies and encourage public transport among other steps.

There are that need to be taken by the government to control traffic congestion since stopping it completely might be difficult all together. Trying to stop it would be an impossibility in Muscat and any other part of the world. Managing traffic congestion will definitely lead to economic prosperity of the people who live in Muscat and Oman at large. It would therefore be better to apply the already discussed steps to make sure traffic congestion is no longer a problem in Muscat. The research has looked into the causes of the traffic congestion in Muscat roads. Some of the main cause that has been looked at as the main causes of the jams on the roads. They are a population that has grown so fast over the past few years, the increased requirements of the town such as the jobs that make the people go to the town at some certain times of the day. The government should look more into solving the problem. It may be through the expansion of the roads, construction of the new roads and intersection or coming up with policies to control the traffic. The research has looked more into the causes, impacts and the possible solutions to the problem.


International Business Publications, Inc. (2013). How to invest, start and run profitable business in Oman guide. Intl Business Pub.

Jeffrey, A. (2012). The report: Oman 2012. London, Oxford Business Group.

Peterson, J. E. (2010). Historical Muscat: An illustrated guide and gazetteer. Leiden: Brill.