The Dubai Metro remains a firm favourite for UAE residents, accumulating the majority of online searches for public transport this year, according to a report from SEMrush, an award winning online digital marketing suite.
A three-year study into online English search volume trends for UAE public transport options found that ‘metro’, ‘bus’ and ‘taxi’ were the top three most searched terms between June 2016 and June 2019.
With the metro claiming the lion’s share of UAE-based searches at 41.4 per cent, bus searches accounted for 27.6 per cent, with taxi third at 22.4 per cent. The remaining two modes of transport – tram and water taxi – rounded off the list with less than 10 per cent of searches between them (7.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.
Despite the large search volumes, total searches between 2016 and 2019 for metro declined by 13.1 per cent, followed by bus at 11.5 per cent, the two largest declines in this period. Water taxi searches also declined by four per cent, while searches for tram and taxi increased during the same period, representing growths of 19.1 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively.
“Search interest levels in public transport can be influenced by several factors such as locations covered, cost, time and comfort,” said Adam Zeidan, corporate communications manager for MENA region at SEMrush. “Being able to identify where the highest search interest or growth is in any segment of transport can be valuable for digital marketers of brands targeting public transport users.”
The UAE has one of the most diverse ranges of public transportation in the GCC, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai both home to large fleets of taxis, buses and water taxis. Plans to introduce the first phase of a new four-line metro in Abu Dhabi and expand the existing popular metro service in Dubai, which carried 204 million riders in 2018, remain on-track.