Microsimulation Modelling and Scenario Analysis of a Congested Abu Dhabi Highway

Umair Hasan, Hamad AlJassmi, Aisha Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Today’s roadways are subject to traffic congestion, the deterioration of surface-assets (often due to the overreliance on private vehicle traffic), increasing vehicle-operation and fuel costs, and pollutant emissions. In Abu Dhabi, private car traffic forms the major share on urban highways, as the infrastructure was built to a high quality and the public transport network needs expansion, resulting in traffic congestion on major highways. These issues are arguably addressable by appropriate decisions at the planning stage. Microsimulation modeling of driving behavior in Abu Dhabi is presented for empirical assessment of traffic management scenarios. This paper presents a technique for developing, calibrating, validating, and the scenario analysis of a detailed VISSIM-based microsimulation model of a 3.5 km section of a 5-lane divided highway in Abu Dhabi. Traffic-count data collected from two sources, i.e., the local transport department (year 2007) and municipality (2007 and 2015–2016) were used. Gaps in traffic-counts between ramps and the highway mainline were noted, which is a common occurrence in real-world data situations. A composite dataset for a representative week in 2015 was constructed, and the model was calibrated and validated with a 15% (<100 vehicles per hour) margin of error. Scenario analysis of a potential public bus transport service operating at 15 min headway and 40% capacity was assessed against the base case, for a 2015–2020 projected period. The results showed a significant capacity enhancement and improvement in the traffic flow. A reduction in the variation between vehicle travel times was observed for the bus-based scenario, as less bottlenecking and congestion were noted for automobiles in the mainline segments. The developed model could be used for further scenario analyses, to find optimized traffic management strategies over the highway’s lifecycle, whereas it could also be used for similar evaluations of other major roads in Abu Dhabi post-calibration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2003-2014
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • highways
  • microsimulation
  • mobility management
  • public transport
  • travel time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Microsimulation Modelling and Scenario Analysis of a Congested Abu Dhabi Highway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this