Dr. Abdullah AlKathiri: Vision 2021 goal for the UAE is to become No. 1 in the quality of transportation infrastructure in all sectors
Under the Patronage of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime, the 2nd Edition of NATRANS Expo was inaugurated today at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center by His Excellency Abdullah Salem Alkathiri, Director General of the Federal Transport Authority Land & Maritime. Alkathiri was accompanied by a number of officials, specialists, and keynote speakers from the transportation and smart city industry in the UAE and the region.
Alkathiri toured the exhibition area where he was introduced to the latest cutting-edge technologies across a wide range of applications in today’s smart cities; from Road & Traffic, smart parking solutions, automatic incident & real time traffic telemetry, signals, nationwide interoperable ETC systems, metro & rail infrastructure projects, maritime and ports, security solutions to green city buses and autonomous vehicles. His excellency met representatives from various participating companies specialized in the transportation and smart cities sectors.
Following the exhibition tour, His Excellency gave a welcoming speech at the conference. “Innovative technology is integral to the sustainable growth of the transportation industry in the Middle East, which is already witnessing unprecedented demand from an increasingly diverse and growing population,” said AlKathiri.
His Excellency added:” The focus on innovation and smart technologies given across policies and strategies in the United Arab Emirates is a valuable opportunity for every sector to grow further and become globally competitive”.
His Excellency also highlighted the UAE’s pioneering role in always attracting the latest trends and discoveries in numerous aspects of the transportation technologies that strengthen the UAE’s initiatives to advance its society in various sectors. He then outlined the goals of vision 2021 and the UAE’s ambitions to become No. 1 in several areas of transportation infrastructure.
Alkathiri finally stressed the importance of the FTA’s role in participating and supporting such an event that provides a great platform for transport authorities and government bodies from the GCC to come together with innovative companies and embrace advanced technologies that will change many aspects of the transportation industry for many years to come.
Local & International Participation
This year, the exhibition is attended by over 50 local and international companies from 13 countries displaying their recent innovations in the transportation industry and its related services. The largest participation in the 2nd edition of NATRANS Expo is from Honeywell, Lean Park and KORE. The event is expected to attract hundreds of visitors and participants over 2 days.
Alex Heuff, Exhibitions Director, said: “[The event] provides a great opportunity for business networking and exchange of knowledge and experiences between local, regional and international companies specialized in the transportation industry. This will undoubtedly support this industry in the region and cement Abu Dhabi’s position as an international business hub”.
“The 2nd edition of NATRANS Expo comes in line with Abu Dhabi’s ‘Surface Transport Master Plan’ (STMP) which aims at improving the country’s strategic infrastructure; and making the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world and stimulating innovation in various sectors that include technology and Smart Infrastructure. The two accompanying conferences will introduce the latest developments and innovations in the transport industry through their educational sessions and panel discussions over the two days of the event,” Heuff added.
In their first participation at NATRANS Expo, WorldPlas exhibited innovative products and services at the event. Aude Candas, Sales Manager at WorldPlas, commented: “We are French specialists in conception, industrialization and manufacturing of products in thermoplastic material for different fields such as aeronautics, automotive. At Worldplas we design, industrialize and produce several ranges in thermoplastic material which make products more resistant, customizable, economic and ecological. Everyone knows that Innovation breaths everywhere in the UAE, and we would like to take part of the experiment of making the roads safer for everyone”.
From his side, Tawab Kazemi, UAE Country Director and Head of Transportation (TRL), said: “Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have emerged as a cost effective technology that bear a pivotal potential to overcome these difficulties. This technology enables a new broad range of smart city applications around urban sensing including traffic safety, traffic congestion control, road state monitoring, vehicular warning services, and parking management. We are proud to participate at NATRANS Expo this year and look forward to the opportunity of meeting and interacting with various transport authorities and government bodies from the GCC, who are looking at embracing the advanced technologies for the Future of Transport in the region.”
Two Technical Conferences will be running parallel to the event; one conference will be discussing sustainable transportation and one will be dedicated to IoT in transportation. The conferences deliver a diverse line up of industry experts, academics and market leaders with more than 75+ speakers from 30 countries and over 300 delegates. Both conferences will discuss the very latest in the future of transportation systems. The conferences will address topics like Smart Infrastructure, Future of Parking, Smart Ports and Planes, Hyperloop, walkability, IoT implementation and the 2030 vision.
Dr. Jassim Haji, Director Information Technology at Gulf Air, commented:” I’m glad to be participating in this specialized event to talk about the unique and futuristic topic of Internet of Things (IoT) and smart transportation. I will be focusing in my presentation on the role that IoT plays in the future of aviation, how airports and airlines can benefit from IoT to enhance their operations and passenger experience, along with the different challenges and concerns and how to overcome them”.
School Bus Safety Week
As part of the UAE School Bus Safety Week, NATRANS Expo hosts a School Bus Safety Masterclass Workshop. The 2-day workshop is open to all transport professionals and head school principals as it discusses how to improve school bus safety, training, recruitment, maintenance, route management, customer service and public relations. The Bus Safety workshop hosted 10 senior speakers from Transport Research (TRL), Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, Road Safety UAE Initiative, Abu Dhabi Police and School Transport Services LLC Dubai.
“Fleming are pleased to be part of the School Bus Safety Week; we recognize the importance in helping reduce the deaths on our nation’s roads. Accountability lies with both the schools and parents to be better informed on how to keep our school buses and public transport infrastructure safe and secure. The new academic year has already witnessed tighter safety measures on school buses. In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) introduced a few changes to school bus specifications earlier this year. An electronic tracking system using GPS technology became mandatory on school buses operating in Dubai. Although many buses were already equipped with real-time satellite tracking before it became mandatory,” Alex Heuff added.
NATRANS Expo is organized by Fleming, with the support of the Federal Transport Authority Land and Maritime, the event is sponsored by Honeywell, Lean Park and KORE; with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies as the Strategic Partner. Several big players in the market will also be participating at the event, such as MASDAR City, Omnix, Fybr, Aeromobil, Mitsubishi, XRAIL, Emirates Driving Company and Tactical Partners AECOM and ATKINS.