On behalf of H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belheif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Transport Authority-Land & Maritime (FTA), HE Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Sharif Al Khouri, Director General of the FTA inaugurated today the Middle East Railway Exhibition and Conference and Smart Transportation in the Middle East 2019 at Dubai World Trade Center H.E. Director General of the FTA expressed his gratitude to the audience for accepting the invitation and participating in this conference and exhibition hosted by the UAE under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. Al Khouri expressed appreciation to the great development of the conference and expo, and the ever growing interest it receives year after year. He states that this is perhaps an indication of the UAE's high and leading position in the transport sector in general and the rail and intelligent transport sector in particular at the regional and global levels.
He added that the UAE has realized the importance of exploring the future of the transport sector through innovative ways, early detection of opportunities and challenges in the sector, and the use of creativity and innovation in the analysis of future challenges to develop and implement proactive plans serving the sustainable development of this vital sector in line with the requirements of the ambitious development process which is led by the UAE and its wise leadership towards achieving qualitative milestones that contribute to serving the current and future interests of the state. This ultimately renders the railway and intelligent transportation sector a major contributor in driving economic growth and supporting the income diversification policy, in preparation for the post-oil period.
H.E. pointed out that the FTA is working closely with its strategic partners, especially the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the local transport and communications bodies, in setting regulatory frameworks and legislations to improve the transport sector in a comprehensive and integrated manner in the UAE. In the coming stage, the UAE railways network will play an active role in driving economic growth and contribute to making the UAE a regional hub for transport and logistics, especially after Etihad Railways was established as a national company that will connect the national railways network to the GCC railway network upon completion.
As part of resuming completion of the regulatory framework for this sector, Al Khouri added that the FTA has completed the preparation of a federal railway law in preparation for its adoption by the competent authorities, and is currently working on preparing the executive regulations of the law in coordination with the local authorities concerned with transport and transportation.
Al Khouri said that this law sets the standards of safety and safety of railways in the country. The law also includes provisions specific to the jurisdiction of the FTA, especially in the licensing of the operators of the railway network in the state and the regulation of performance standards, International practices and standards in organizing this promising sector.
H.E. Ahmed Al Khouri added that the UAE is working in accordance with a comprehensive plan to support and develop sustainable transport by developing an integrated system of mass transport including the construction of railway lines, metro lines and tram lines to link the cities of the State. Local authorities are also working on the development of various maritime means of transport, (ferries, water taxi, water bus, ferry)
As a result of the development of the collective transport system in the country as we see today with the expansion of metro and tram lines in Dubai and the development of bus performance in the UAE, we see how this has reduced traffic congestion and negative environmental impact resulting from the rising number of private vehicles
He added that the self-driving vehicles that the industrialized countries are racing to develop and test have become a reality that must be developed. Some developed countries have begun to legislate them. However, most developing economies with more than two-thirds of the world's population will face significant challenges in investing in this field; thus enabling the private sector to play an effective role not only in investment but also in policy development alongside relevant government agencies, which in turn will have to develop flexible regulatory frameworks that provide an enabling environment for creativity and innovation to ensure the achievement of the desired goals.
H.E. concluded by stressing the important role of the leading industrialized countries in supporting and involving less developed countries to ensure that they are in line with these developments and enable them to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
On its platform at the Middle East Railway Exhibition 2019, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development reviewed its success in achieving happiness and quality of life for federal road users and highlighted the Ministry's achievements in the field of infrastructure and roads.
The ministry also presented its main initiatives in the field of traffic safety, which included "Salem and His Children", "Abouri Amen", "Emergency Road Maintenance, "Road Assets Management System and the "Masar Team" which contributed to the rapid response, quality of work and safety of road users.
The ministry pointed out that the #Nabac_Salem (We need you safe and sound) initiative contributed to the satisfaction rate of road users to 64%, while contributing to the reduction of mortality index of on federal roads.
The Ministry affirmed that it is working to implement its projects in accordance with the highest international standards; the matter which has contributed to achieving the desired happiness of citizens and residents in the UAE, as well as supporting the system of comprehensive development and achieving economic growth of the country, which supports the UAE Vision 2021 and its national agenda, until reaching its 100 years jubilee in 2071.