• Primary Program Policy and Decision Science
  • Research Interests Urban Analytics, Spatial Economic Modeling, Sustainability and Urban Design, Spatial Data Science, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing

Biography

Abdel is a senior research associate in the Policy and Decision Science program. He is a certified Geographic Information System (GIS) Professional (GISP), with over 17 years of industry and research experience in GIS and geo-information management. His research focuses on spatial economic modeling to better understand and forecast the interactions between economic activities, energy demand, land use, and transportation in urban areas.

Previously, Abdel worked for world-renowned global companies, such as Accenture and ESRI, in North America and the Middle East. He served as a technical leader and senior consultant, guiding clients in the energy sector on how to extract value out of geospatial data assets, and GIS investments. Abdel holds an M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Publications

See all Abdelrahman’s publications
  • Discussion papers
  • Methodology paper
  • Data Insight
  • Instant Insights
  • KAPSARC journal articles
  • External journal article
  • Think20 (T20)
Sustainable Transport in Riyadh: Potential Trip Coverage of the Proposed Public Transport Network

Sustainable Transport in Riyadh: Potential Trip Coverage of the Proposed Public Transport Network

The transport sector has always had high energy demand and is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. To improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, Riyadh is introducing an integrated public transport system. Per capita energy consumption is much lower for public transport than for private vehicles, such as cars and taxis. This study investigates the potential impact of Riyadh’s proposed public transport system on car and taxi trips.    

13th October 2021
Designing Transport Policy for Sustainable Freight Movement in Saudi Arabia

Designing Transport Policy for Sustainable Freight Movement in Saudi Arabia

Logistics and infrastructure policy will play key roles in Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification and reform efforts. This study provides a quantitative assessment of specific measures related to freight transport, taking into consideration the heterogeneity of urban, regional and inter-regional localities in Saudi Arabia. This paper, mirroring the global approach developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, analyzes the potential impact of logistics policy. It sheds light on how transport regulations can help rationalize fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants in the Kingdom.  

27th April 2020
The Potential of Distributed Solar PV Capacity in Riyadh: A GIS-Assisted Study

The Potential of Distributed Solar PV Capacity in Riyadh: A GIS-Assisted Study

Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, commonly referred to as distributed generation (DG) solar systems, can play a central role in the energy mix for sustainable cities. As with all forms of power generation, DG carries technical, financial, policy, and market implications that impact utilities, governments, businesses and other stakeholders.

1st October 2019
Estimating Freight Transport Activity Using Nighttime Lights Satellite Data in China, India and Saudi Arabia

Estimating Freight Transport Activity Using Nighttime Lights Satellite Data in China, India and Saudi Arabia

This paper focuses on the methodology for estimating total freight transport activity (FTA) for three countries  — China, India and Saudi Arabia  — with the objective of building on current state-of-the-art transportation modeling in three key areas: Studying the relationship between nighttime lights (NTL) and FTA allows for an estimation of full transportation datasets for countries where only a few observation points exist or where data is unavailable. Establishing the foundation for future work on how to use this approach in transport flow estimation (origin-destination matrices). Determining whether this approach can be used globally, given the coverage of the satellite data used. The paper uses the KAPSARC Transport Analysis Framework (KTAF), which estimates transport activity from freely available global data sources, satellite images and NTL. It is a tool for estimating freight transport activity that can be used in models to measure the impact of an accelerated transport policy planning approach. The methodology offers a solution to inadequate data access and allows for scenario building in policy planning for transportation. This approach allows for quick estimation of the effects of policy measures and economic changes on transportation activities at a global level. The paper also includes a detailed guide on how to replicate the methodology used in this analysis.

9th May 2019
Flight and Passenger Flows in Saudi Arabia

Flight and Passenger Flows in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has four major international airports. They are King Khalid International Airport (RUH), King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), King Fahd International Airport (DMM) and Prince Muhammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they were growing steadily, with average annual growth rates of 9.46% and 7.17% for annual passenger volume and flights, respectively. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), terminals at both JED and RUH were experiencing congestion owing to infrastructure limitations.  

28th September 2021
Estimating the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Saudi GDP

Estimating the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Saudi GDP

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted economic and social activity globally at an unprecedented pace. The international movement of goods has been limited to the necessary minimum, often solely for deliveries of protective and healthcare equipment. Many governments have imposed strict international travel bans to limit the risk of importing the virus, or at least to sharply reduce the inflow of infected persons.

10th June 2020
The Potential for Distributed Solar PV Systems in Riyadh

The Potential for Distributed Solar PV Systems in Riyadh

The country’s regulator, the Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA) has also released provisional bylaws that will govern how distributed generation (DG) would be compensated within the Kingdom. Many governmental organizations mandated to support local industries and energy efficiency measures are assessing the potential business and employment opportunities that could result from renewable energy deployment. This analysis provides a timely insight that can help shape the discussion around DG as the Kingdom moves forward with its renewable energy plans.

18th November 2019

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