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13 April 2024

Ahmed bin Mohammed opens 5th UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition 2024

Published
By E247


Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and  Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, the 5th UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition 2024 was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The event, hosted by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in partnership with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), runs for three days at the Dubai World Trade Centre under the theme ‘Sustainable Mobility and Wellbeing’.

The congress has attracted more than 2,000 participants, including government officials and transport professionals, alongside 65 speakers that include public transport experts hailing from 22 countries. The event is complemented by a public transport exhibition featuring the participation of 50 entities from 20 countries.

Upon arrival, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was welcomed by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority; Her Excellency Renée Amilcar, President of the UITP; and His Excellency Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary-General of the UITP. Attendees also included heads of major authorities, government departments, and private entities, alongside a large gathering of world-renowned transport experts and specialists.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the audience watched a movie on the accomplishments of the past five editions of the congress and the exhibition. The documentary illustrated the enduring engagement of sponsors, and the key issues addressed, contributing to the evolution of the event into a hub for transport stakeholders.

Global platform
Her Excellency Renée Amilcar, President of the UITP shared her delight in hosting the 5th UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition 2024 in Dubai and seeing this event evolving into an international hub, drawing in experts, researchers, enthusiasts, and decision-makers to engage in shaping an improved future for public transportation.

"My first visit to Dubai as the President of the UITP fills me with excitement to engage in this premier event on sustainable urban mobility in the region, themed 'Sustainable Mobility and Wellbeing.' Together, we can pledge to forge an enhanced future for public transportation through the exchange of discussions, concepts, and perspectives at this congress, and by examining the model practices put into action to foster a better and healthier world," said Renée Amilcar.

“Dubai's role as the host for UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition showcases its global prominence and strengths in areas of innovation, technology, urban mobility, and fostering the wellbeing of residents and international visitors. The emirate adopts cutting-edge technologies to achieve a brighter future,” she added.

Transport Summit 2026
The President of the UITP revealed that Dubai is set to host the biggest global event in public transport development, the Global Public Transport Summit, in 2026. “Dubai is set to host this prestigious event for the second time, following its successful hosting of the 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition in 2011. Recognised as the premier global forum in transportation, the event is set to bring together over 1900 members from 100 nations, including heads of organisations, legislators, developers, operators, and manufacturers from the transport industry to converge and explore forward-looking solutions for public transportation. The event is expected to attract more than 15,000 attendees.

“Public transport across the world is a vital element for enhancing urban livability worldwide. Its evolution and upgrade carry profound impacts on economic growth, environmental sustainability, cultural enrichment, and social well-being. International forums and dialogues are instrumental in driving progress toward a future that is greener, healthier, and more inventive for all,” added the President of the UITP.

Senseable Cities
In the keynote address of the congress, ‘Senseable Cities: Data and Society’, MIT's Professor Carlo Ratti explored the pivotal role of strategic urban planning in shaping the cities of tomorrow. His talk underscored the necessity of leveraging authentic data, anticipated population growth, and construction spaces to design cities that are both logically organised without overlap and reflective of future realities.

Ratti stressed the need to integrate contemporary transportation solutions into the urban development framework, with a focus on fostering social integration and minimising overall travel durations. Furthermore, he pointed out the importance of ensuring pedestrian-friendly environments and universally accessible public amenities, adhering to global standards for urban landscapes of the future.

Recognition of speakers and sponsors
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, honoured Her Excellency Renee Amilcar – UITP President, and Professor Carlo Ratti of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the keynote speaker of the Congress.

His Highness also felicitated the primary and strategic sponsors of the congress, including Swaidan Trading LLC (part of Al Naboodah Group), FAMCO and Volvo (under Al-Futtaim Motors Group), Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), United Motors and Heavy Equipment Company, Hyundai (from Juma Al Majid Company), Etisalat, Salik Company and Arabia Taxi.

During the event, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, escorted by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, toured the exhibition being held as part of the event, featuring 50 exhibitors from 20 countries. Exhibits included the latest technologies, projects, and initiatives designed to transform transportation systems and advance sustainable transportation solutions.

Strategic partnership
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, shared his pride in the partnership with the UITP that had been initiated right from RTA's inception in 2005. “This collaboration was taken to a new level with Dubai hosting the inaugural UITP Transport Congress and Exhibition in 2011, which marked the event's debut in the MENA region. The partnership was further cemented with the establishment of the MENA Centre for Transport Excellence and the hosting of four editions of the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition,” said Al Tayer.

“Looking ahead, Dubai is set to host the UITP Summit in 2026 for the second time in history. This upcoming event underscores Dubai's status as a favoured venue for global gatherings. It also underscores the international community's trust in Dubai's exceptional standing and capabilities to successfully organise and execute major events. This acknowledgement also affirms the high quality and efficiency of Dubai's public transport infrastructure,” he added.

Discussion Topics
Themed: ‘Sustainable Mobility and Wellbeing’, the congress spotlights cutting-edge technological advancements and international practices in transportation, urban mobility innovations, and achieving zero emissions by 2050. It also tackles the importance of sustainable mobility in addressing urgent environmental issues and promoting eco-friendly transportation methods for healthier urban environments. Through constructive dialogue, the event aims to formulate actionable strategies that place community well-being at the forefront.

Participants will delve into a range of key issues, such as artificial intelligence, green mobility and alternative energy sources, adaptable infrastructure, leveraging big data for urban planning, and improving public transport's positive image and well-being. Additionally, the congress serves as a platform for sharing experiences and global best practices as well as making concerted efforts towards realising sustainable urban mobility objectives.