"Dubai must recognise a modern financial district requires the vast majority of workers to use public transport," he said. To date Dubai has no public transport. Buses ferry labourers in and out of construction sites but other workers rely on taxis and cars.
Livingstone's comments came as many visitors to the region's largest real estate conference, found themselves stranded after the taxi system was overwhelmed. "I have been moved from the conference hall to a car park by bus to wait for a taxi, but after an hour there were no taxis. Another minibus then took me to a shopping mall to wait for a taxi there. "I got one after queuing for an hour," one visitor told NCE. "It took me three hours to get back to my hotel seven kilometres away."
Dubai's Road Transport Authority is aware that the public transport system needs to be improved. The city’s metro, designed by Atkins, is due to come into operation in September 2009. This would be the region’s first light rail scheme and Dubai's first piece of public transport infrastructure.
Livingstone, was recently appointed as a consultant on transport, planning and policing in Caracas, Venezuela and said he would be delighted to take on a similar role in Dubai