Gulf Traffic 2007 Exhibition and Conference
Multi billion dollar investment in transport systems sees Gulf Traffic 2007
10-12 December 2007
Dubai International Exhibition Centre
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – As governments across the region commit billions of dollars to the creation and enhancement of their transport infrastructures, the development of road, rail and metro projects across the region are accelerating as countries are faced with rapidly growing populations that are placing incredible demands on their existing transportation networks.
Gulf Traffic is firmly established as a major regional and international event – the 2007 show takes place in December at Dubai International Exhibition Centre and will once again bring together international manufacturers and suppliers offering the very latest products, services and technologies for the traffic and transport industry, comprehensively covering all aspects of roads, rail, bridges, construction, tunneling, technology and infrastructure.
“The implementation of efficient transport solutions is one of the top issues facing governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa,” said Sarah Woodbridge, Group Director Exhibitions, IIR Middle East – organisers of the event. “This is highlighted by the number of projects already in progress across the region, including road and rail construction, bridge building and the construction of state of the art metro systems – we are totally committed to continually develop Gulf Traffic as an event that brings international experience, expertise and best practice to the region.”
Like all the modern cities of the region, and indeed, the world, Dubai’s transportation needs are growing rapidly due to the increasing demand generated by the upward trend of international business relocations, huge increase in commercial activities, the growth of tourism and an ever increasing population. In order to realise its vision, the Government of Dubai created the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which has given its full support to Gulf Traffic.
“We’re delighted to support Gulf Traffic,” said H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Executive Director of the RTA. “The event is totally in line with our objectives, and has a key strategic role to play in the achievement of our goals, as it brings the best of the world’s traffic and transport industry to the region. The industry as a whole will benefit greatly from exposure to the latest technologies and products and the opportunity to hear, first hand, from some of the world’s leading authorities on essential traffic and transport related issues.”
Dubai’s ambitious Metro project is well on track to start operation in 2009, and will form the backbone of an integrated public transport system that will ease congestion on the roads. The US$4.2 billion project is on target to open in September 2009, according to the RTA, and over 7,000 people are working round the clock on the project at different sites across the city. Once complete, 87 fully automated, driverless trains will run on the Red and Green Lines, which will comprise over 75kms of track, and the system will be capable of handling 2 million passengers.
Dubai’s Metro will form the backbone of an integrated public transport system, with bus routes and stops organised around the railway, thus making it accessible without the use of private cars. Taxi stations and Park & Ride facilities will also be included in key Metro stations to further enhance the central role of the Metro System. "The aim of the Metro system is to provide an alternative mode of transport to ease congestion, reduce travelling time and improve mobility within the city," said Al Tayer. “It is intended to provide transport coverage and reach all strategic areas of the city – we will further develop the network to branch out into the suburbs with future extensions.”
Gulf Traffic, staged every two years in Dubai and supported by 40 government organisations from around the Middle East in addition to the RTA, is the region’s largest and most comprehensive international transport event. The 2005 show attracted over 200 companies from over 30 countries, all specialists in their respective fields, with considerable global experience.
This year’s show, which also has the support from major government associations from the UK (The Railway Industry Association), France (UBI France) and Germany (name to be confirmed), will be the biggest ever staged, in line with the relentless pace of development currently underway – the sheer number and scale of projects in progress across the region make it one of the most active global markets for the transportation industry. “We are delighted to have such major regional and international support for the event, as the insight that this will give us will help us further refine Gulf Traffic,” said Woodbridge.
Among the many developments underway, Qatar’s Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA), in a bid to develop a world class urban transportation network, is presently developing a comprehensive Transportation Master Plan for Qatar (TMPQ) – aiming to address requirements over the next 20 years, it will also explore the possibilities of developing a Rail Rapid Transit system and is being prepared by German consultancy firm PTV.
In Iran, Sadeq Afshar, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Transportation, recently announced that the amount budgeted for road building and transportation infrastructure has, on average, increased by around 20%, and that c. US$107 million had been earmarked for the national road construction projects. Also in Iran, a project has been inaugurated to expand its rail link toward Afghanistan as part of a wider plan to provide regional as well as European train access to its eastern neighbour.
Kuwait and Morocco have signed loan agreements worth US$104 million to fund construction of a highway that will link the cities of Fez and Wejda cities. The new highway, which will stretch over 328 kms, will open in the summer of 2010.
A GCC railway network may also become a reality within the coming decade, Martin Bay, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Deutche Bahn International (German Railway Group), said recently. Some progress has already been made to launch the project, which it is estimated will cost US$20 billion, and a study will be submitted to GCC transport ministers in around six months. A railway network connecting key harbours in the GCC would boost freight traffic in the Gulf and improve the logistics base of the region. And in Saudi Arabia, The Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) has entered into contracts with 20 American companies for the supply of train engines, heavy equipment and spare parts.
Finally, moving on to North Africa, Alsunut Development Company, Sudan’s leading real estate development company, has announced the commencement of the US$20 million roads project which forms phase one of an infrastructure project worth a total of US$150 million.