The government of Sharjah’s decision to dedicate 40% of its $11.1bn budget for 2024 to infrastructure underscores the emirate’s commitment to development and sustainability. This allocation is expected to help improve the public transport and mobility sector. In 2022 the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) reported that around 38m passengers benefitted from various mass transport services, with 29m passengers using taxi services, 5.3m riding public buses and approximately 3.6m travelling on inter-city bus services.

These figures indicate a robust and efficient public transport network, with potential for further improvement if backed by requisite funding. Recent developments indicate the likely direction and principles underpinning the sector’s expansion, with green solutions and safety enhancements the most salient features. The emirate is also raising its profile as a test bed for introducing new technologies in overland transport.

Sustainability & Safety

The drive for sustainable, user-friendly public transport has seen significant progress. In July 2023 the SRTA introduced two electric buses and 10 electric taxis as part of an initiative that has already added more than 750 electric vehicles (EVs). This development is in addition to efforts to integrate Tesla EVs into the emirate’s taxi fleet, with the SRTA adding 10 Tesla Model 3 EVs in March 2023. In April 2023 the SRTA showed its commitment to sustainability and user convenience by offering free internet on inter-city buses, demonstrating a desire to balance development with environmental responsibilities.

As for road safety, and reducing traffic congestion and vehicle usage, in August 2022 Sharjah City partnered with Austrian transport solutions firm Kapsch TrafficCom to develop an intelligent traffic management system that optimises vehicle flow and reduces travel times. This system, which employs controllers, cameras and proprietary software, is set to optimise traffic light cycles based on real-time volume data, reducing not just travel times, but also vehicle emissions. Complementing this, in May 2023 the SRTA introduced smart speed limit signs that are equipped with a smart detection system, display the real-time speed of passing vehicles, and use colour coding and facial expressions to communicate with drivers. Such systems emphasise the emirate’s endeavours to leverage technology in order to enhance the safety of its roads and promote sustainable transport options.


In addition to traditional means of transport, high-tech, high-speed hanging pods designed for passengers and freight are being developed at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP). In June 2023 construction finished on a driverless, elevated line more than 2 km in length at the $14m uSky Testing & Certification Centre located in the SRTIP. In March 2023 uSky presented four potential routes that would utilise the technology in Sharjah, ranging from a 38-km ring line to a 106-km route across the emirate. The Ucont track for freight is expected to move shipping containers at speeds of up to 120 km per hour once operational at a direct cost of $20 per 100 km, offering a greener alternative to traditional overland transport if commercially viable. Also developed at the SRTIP were start-up Sulmi’s e-motorcycles, the first locally designed and manufactured vehicles of their kind.

The pod project has been commended for its potential to revolutionise regional commuting. The system offers numerous advantages, one being that it is a power-saving solution with an electric motor that can partially operate on solar or wind energy. If commercially viable, the system could offer a greener alternative to traditional overland transport.

In May 2023 the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Swedish company Einride signed an agreement to deploy the company’s freight mobility grid across a 550-km expanse in the UAE, with 2000 electric trucks, 200 autonomous trucks and eight charging stations with over 500 charging points. The ecosystem will include the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.