The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and its affiliated entities participated today in the Middle East Rail 2023 Exhibition and Conference, the largest railway event in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, held over two days on May 15th and 16th at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).
His Excellency Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport delivered the keynote opening speech in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, along with several ministers, senior officials, and experts. Al Shorafa highlighted the department's vision and mission aiming to regulate, develop, and manage urban growth and transport in an integrated and sustainable manner by providing innovative and smart infrastructure, facilities and services that promote the wellbeing and happiness of the community.
He emphasized that the DMT is working to translate the vision of wise leadership by launching initiatives and projects that meet the needs of the Abu Dhabi community, through the development of vibrant communities, green spaces, and investment in sustainable infrastructure.
His Excellency Al Shorafa stated, "Today, we are witnessing a period of transformation fuelled by a fast-growing and young population and the world's highest urbanization rates. Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider GCC region are no exceptions to this. By embracing rail and identifying the pivotal role that it plays in achieving government initiatives, such as the UAE’s 2050 Net Zero Agenda, we pay tribute to the vision of our leadership. Their foresight around railway’s potential, as a contributor to the reduction of carbon emissions coupled with its ability to integrate with Abu Dhabi’s land, air, and maritime transport networks, shapes the future by enhancing connectivity for our businesses, communities, and future generations.”
He highlighted the advantages of railways as a smart transportation option, pointing out that they are efficient and environmentally friendly, providing a sustainable alternative to private vehicles, thereby reducing traffic congestion and carbon dioxide emissions, and contributing to a healthy and clean environment.
Al Shorafa concluded his speech by discussing the importance of harnessing emerging technologies in building smart cities. "The Fourth Industrial Revolution has introduced numerous innovations and technologies that have revolutionized the transportation sector, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and blockchain. These technologies have provided unprecedented opportunities to develop smart, integrated, seamless, and efficient transportation systems."
Active Participation by Municipalities and Integrated Transport Center
As part of the activities of the first day of the Middle East Rail Exhibition and Conference 2023, his Excellency Abdullah Al Marzouqi, Director-General of the Integrated Transport Center, participated in a panel discussion titled "Rethinking Mobility: How Will the Future of Movement Shape the Cities of the Future”. The discussion revolved around the main trends that will shape the future of mobility in cities in the coming years and decades. Al Marzouqi highlighted that smart cities of the future are increasingly adopting multi-modal, intelligent, clean, and environmentally friendly transportation options, such as electric vehicles (EV) and autonomous vehicles, with larger allocations for walking and cycling spaces.
Additionally, his Excellency Mohamed Karmastaji, Executive Director – Intelligent Transport Systems Sector at the Integrated Transport Center participated in a panel discussion titled "Complementing Traditional Public Transport with New, Innovative shared Mobility Solutions: How Can Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Help Communities Become More Diverse and Inclusive." This session focused on discussing (MaaS) as a smart transportation option, which integrates and provides various forms of transport and transport-related services into a single, comprehensive, and on-demand mobility service. The discussion emphasized the benefits of this concept as a viable alternative to private vehicle usage, particularly its role in saving time, alleviating traffic congestion, enhancing safety, and safeguarding the environment.
Representatives from the municipalities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra took part in a panel discussion held on the first day of the event which focused on the Abu Dhabi Emirates Guideline for Infrastructure Services Standards (SGL). Throughout the session, they emphasized the municipalities' dedication to enhancing and constructing transportation infrastructure projects. They also highlighted the importance of meeting the requirements and conditions necessary for the development and success of the railway project in the region, while aiming to establish a smart, integrated, and sustainable transportation system.
On the second day of the conference, the DMT will be participating in a panel discussion under the title "Connecting Communities: Innovations in Sustainable Mobility Infrastructure Planning and Design for Diverse Environments." The DMT’s representatives are expected to highlight the extensive expertise of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in designing smart and sustainable transportation infrastructure tailored to diverse environments.