Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the Crown Prince's Court, yesterday witnessed the opening of the 26th Abu Dhabi World Road Congress.
The opening ceremony, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, was attended by HH Sheikh Diab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, and HE Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA).
Under the theme of “Connecting Cultures, Empowering Economies”, the agenda of the 1st day and discussions of the conference held for the first time in the Middle East focused on dealing with the current challenges and reshaping the future of the transport sector. This was made through a high-level and intensive series of workshops and sessions, attended by select policymakers, ministers and experts from more than 150 countries.
His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi opened the conference by saying: “Abu Dhabi's merit to organize this conference reaffirms its leading and advanced position as a leading international destination for hosting major events and organizing important international events.”
In an account of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, Al Nuaimi said: “One of my old colleagues responsible for road projects told me yesterday about what was happening 30 years ago when he used to go to Sheikh Zayed with plans for new road projects. Sheikh Zayed would then ask him in his distinguished tone; "Would it be durable for 20 years?" By his question he meant whether such project would serve the urban development of Abu Dhabi for the coming 20 years. He would also ask about the completion time. And from there comes the prospected visions of the UAE. So, when we talk about "completion time", we are targeting the strategic planning that we boast of nowadays; planning for twenty years ahead. This is the principle that our government acts upon. We work and strive to excel and lead."
His Excellency pointed out that the UAE has grown to become one of the main business and trade destinations in the world, stressing the strength of the infrastructure enjoyed by the UAE, and pointing out that the UAE for the fifth year in a row has placed itself on top of the road quality ranking in the world. The UAE is also ranked among the top 10 countries in the field of infrastructure, and the top 5 countries in the infrastructure logistics business.
The 60-minute ministerial sessions of this conference was the prime jewel of the event, where land use planning, AI and roads future, and future transport network were among major themes of discussion.
In his opening speech, HH Omar bin Sultan Al Ulama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, praised the pivotal role played by the conference this year during ministerial sessions attended by transport ministers from around the world.
“From now on, all sectors will be affected by artificial intelligence, because it has become part of our daily lives. We live today in a world where everyone uses smart application to move, to know locations, and to manage daily activities, whether at home or at work.” he said.
HH added: “The road and transportation sector will undoubtedly be greatly influenced by the artificial intelligence boom. It will continuously gather more information about the basic needs of road users which will shape the design concept in the future.”
3 Student Projects
For his part, Ahmed Salem Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Conference, in press statements, stated that the conference reviews the first three student projects related to the road and transport sector and which provide ideas and innovative solutions, selected among 15 academic projects for university students, selected from a total of 112 papers and papers Work presented by the UAE universities in the UAE, in its first participation in the 26th World Road Congress, on a special platform, where students can present their projects publicly.
He pointed out that the selection of projects, through a specialized academic committee formed from four universities in the country, studied all the working papers, pointing to the allocation of a platform for the presentation of projects throughout the conference days on a daily basis, in addition to providing 72 visual plans to be attended by the audience in order to learn about the innovations of students and their projects in the region, and which are dedicated within the exhibition accompanying the conference.
40 Working Papers
He also pointed out that the conference discusses about 40 Emirati worksheets, presented by national engineers from all sectors, out of a total of about 300 working papers at the conference, and about 13 government entities participate in the pavilion dedicated to the UAE in the exhibition accompanying the conference, which is the largest area of 900 square meters.