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Electric Vehicles in the Middle East

Last Updated: March 10th, 2023 | Economy & Policy

When people talk about electric vehicles, they usually refer to advances made in regions Norway or California. These are the places that have worked to incentivize EVs in a serious way. The Middle East, on the other hand, rarely comes up in such conversations. It’s still typically considered a place where oil is king, so why would anyone even bother with EVs? Not only is that kind of thinking far from the truth, but it also misses the bigger picture. Many countries in the Middle East are moving toward ever-greater adoption of EVs. It’s time to take a closer look!

Countries Pushing Forward

It shouldn’t be surprising that EVs are taking off in the Middle East. The region has invested in renewable energy sources and shows no sign of stopping. Why would it when solar is in such abundance and the technology to capture it continues to improve? 

United Arab Emirates

In 2018, the Global EV Roadtrip (EVRT) went through the UAE as part of the Middle East-leg of the EVRT. The goal was to show how easy it was to get from place to place in an EV, even in the Middle East. Four years later, EV charging technology and infrastructure have grown by leaps and bounds. 

Dubai has worked hard to establish itself as an electric-friendly city with charging stations available for vehicles. At time of writing, more than 300 stations are available across the bustling city, making it more accessible for the growing number of EVs. The steady build of charging infrastructure encourages drivers to seriously consider the switch to electrified vehicles. 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s EV market shows promise, although a slower rate. According to Bloomberg, the country’s capital city Riyadh expects to see electric vehicles make up 30% of the local driving population by 2030. While little is yet known about whether the government sees this happening through carrot or stick initiatives, it’s a big step for the oil-rich country.

The Lucid Group, makers of the current frontrunner for EV with the longest range, sees investment in the Middle East as a good financial move. In March 2022, the company announced its intention to put together a full production facility in Saudi Arabia. It’s unsurprising that Lucid would find a home somewhere with such a taste for luxury goods. Hopefully, the same trickle-down that is bringing EVs from higher income brackets to lower ones in the US will encourage EV adoption across the country.


In 2021, Qatar began publicly outlining its strategy for improving EV infrastructure and encouraging consumers to adopt electrified vehicles. The plan focuses on installing publicly available charging stations quickly. Moreover, the country will make sure to diversify those stations across a wide range of businesses. In addition, Qatari public transportation intends to expand to 25% electrified in 2022, shifting to completely electric by 2030.

At the end of March 2022, Qatar hosted a Smart City Expo in Doha. Local and international businesses took part to discuss problems facing the cities of tomorrow as well as solutions to tackle those challenges. Unsurprisingly, sustainable transportation was included in those difficulties. Right in the middle of this meeting of minds and businesses was Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions, one of the leading IT systems integrators in Qatar. The company understands advanced technology and aims to bring improved EV charging infrastructure to Qatar by partnering with Noodoe. 

Smart Cities

The cities of the future will find themselves tasked with the job of keeping local populations safe, healthy, and supported. That means knowing how to track air quality, analyze traffic flows, and provide futureproof EV charging infrastructure. Doing so will require partnering with technology companies that have experience and that know how to integrate seamlessly with both city systems and management, companies like Noodoe. Cities such as Doha are have started working on the problems at hand, ready to face them head-on. 

The Bottom Line

When people talk about electric vehicles, they think of the kinds of places that have put EVs on the map in a serious way. The Middle East is proving their commitment to future electric mobility, and actively pursuing their goals. Qatar is partnering with Noodoe to make a stand for charging networks, and their neighbors will soon follow. It’s a quarter of the world that has the wish and resources to make great change. 

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