Leading road specialists and decision-makers are expected in the UAE next week as Abu Dhabi hosts the 26th World Road Congress between 6-10 October 2019, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime, along with His Excellency Khalifa Almazrouei, Undersecretary of Department of Transport (DOT) and Claude Van Rooten, President of the World Road Association (PIARC), announced at today’s opening press conference that the UAE is setting a new mark globally for the road infrastructure and mobility by hosting the Congress.

The Congress, which is taking place for the first time in the Middle East, is set to attract more than 3,000 delegates and 50 transport ministers from over 140 countries.

The global experts will discuss the present and future challenges that are facing the road and transport industry through various workshops, technical and special sessions.

Among the highlights of the programme are the Ministerial Sessions taking place on Sunday 6th October where ministers will contribute to a series of discussions on the future of transport, land use planning and artificial intelligence.

The Congress will also feature keynote speeches from globally-recognised industry thought-leaders and prominent scholars who will address the audience on different subjects.

During the press conference, H.E Dr Abdullah said: “It is a real privilege that Abu Dhabi has been selected to host the 26th World Road Congress and even more special that our capital will be the first city in the Middle East to stage this premier event.

 “The conference is an ideal opportunity for the UAE to learn about best practices and gain experience in the field of infrastructure and transport industry.  

“The Congress will also be an opportunity for the UAE to showcase its world-class roads network which would not have been achieved without the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the ongoing efforts of the government to build an integrated road network linking all Emirates and neighbouring countries.

 “Those efforts have played an integral role in helping the UAE rank first in the Quality of Roads Index in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Reports for four consecutive years.

“The journey of building and enhancing our roads network has been truly remarkable and this has enabled Abu Dhabi to establish itself as a key global destination for trade and tourism and reaffirms Abu Dhabi’s position as being the perfect location for the World Road Congress Abu Dhabi 2019.”

Based on the theme ‘Connecting Cultures, Enabling Economies’, the World Road Congress Abu Dhabi 2019, aims to create a positive impact on road systems worldwide.

As well as the sessions, more than 150 companies from around the world will display their services and products in the exhibition area. As hosts, the UAE will have the largest national pavilion at 900 square metres while Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and China are among more than 25 countries set to exhibit.

The UAE pavilion will be hosting many governmental entities experts in the field of infrastructure and roads. In addition, twenty-six countries will showcase their innovative road projects and services in their national pavilions.

UAE universities will also be given a platform to participate with more than 100 research papers and 70 technical studies being presented by students and academics in the field of scientific research to highlight best innovative studies during the conference. The Congress will help them gain valuable experience by networking with the decision makers and pioneers in the industry.

Claude Van Rooten, World Road Association (PIARC) President said: “Since the first edition was held in 1909 in Paris, the World Road Congress has gone from strength to strength and it is now one of the most important events in the World Road Association’s calendar.

“I have no doubt that Abu Dhabi will build on the previous editions and host one of the most successful World Road Congress’s in the event’s long history.

 “With technology continuing to evolve, this will present new opportunities and challenges for the way we travel, and the way goods will be transported. To fully integrate the new modes of transport in the near future, it will require thought-leaders and decision-makers to engage in discussions in Abu Dhabi and come up with active international exchange of best practice, which is efficient and cost effective to ensure it is a success. This will help us adapt so that we can be one step ahead in overcoming tomorrow’s challenges.”

Throughout the week, the DoT will also organise technical visits that will showcase Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure and technology achievements to registered delegates. The visits include key locations in the city, such as Traffic Management Center, Yas Tunnel, Umm Lafina Project, Khalifa Industrial area, Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi’s new airport, Yas Marina Circuit and Masdar City.

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