New opportunities lauded as Middle East Rail 2018 opens

Private sector participation in projects encouraged at event

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The 12th edition of Middle East Rail, the largest railway industry event across the Middle East, North Africa, South and Central Asian region, officially opened today at Dubai International Convention Centre.

H.E. Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman, Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime today inaugurated the exhibition, where over 290 regional and international railway operators, suppliers and contractors are showcasing the best solutions and innovations.

A high-level delegation, including GCC transport ministers, as well as senior officials from regional rail authorities, accompanied H.E. Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi during the tour of the exhibition.

The show is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE and in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime.

Delivering a keynote speech at the conference, His Excellency stressed that the UAE has established itself as a global player in the transport infrastructure sector – a sector that plays an important role in any nation’s progress.  He also expressed his pleasure at the exponential growth in the number of participants as well as the keen interest of key decision-makers in the railway industry.

He pointed out that UAE Government has developed a clear vision as well as a carefully-planned strategy to play a leadership role in the field of rail transport infrastructure. This will be achieved through regional and international collaboration, developing and re-shaping policies, and enacting laws to promote efficiency as well as safety in this vital sector.

Earlier this month, the UAE Cabinet approved a new Federal Railway Law that provides a regulatory framework for future development of railways. The new law is expected to pave the way for private sector participation in railway projects in the Emirates.

H.E. Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi said, “The UAE, thanks to its visionary leadership, is rapidly moving towards further developing a strong infrastructure in various field. It has achieved tangible results in this effort and advanced positions in the Global Competitiveness Index, where it was ranked fourth in the quality of infrastructure.

“We are keen to learn about international best practices and to benefit from the international expertise, which we believe plays an important role in sustainable development, especially in light of the transformation towards an economy based on knowledge and innovation.”

His Excellency pointed out that for over a decade, Middle East Rail has helped shaped the regional rail industry through knowledge sharing, educating the market and facilitating influential meetings. The show serves as a platform for industry experts to identify problems, propose solutions, collaborate and harness innovative technologies in the railway sector.


A series of interactive sessions have been designed to introduce both 2018 tenders and innovative technologies being implemented to build and operate futuristic networks.

Key exhibitors include: Indian Railways, Serco, Alstom, Greenbrier Companies, Siemens, CREC, CRRC, AECOM, Progress Rail and Department for International Trade UK.

A high-profile delegation from Indian Railways, India’s national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways, will showcase $140 billion worth of current and future rail projects that Indian government is building to upgrade country’s urban transportation network. Indian Railways will also be represented by two of its overseas arms – RITES and IRCON International Limited. While RITES deals in consultancy of transport and infrastructure and export packages of rolling stock, the IRCON is mainly into construction of railway projects.

Keeping up with the industry trends and to accommodate increased interest, the show has expanded in scope for the 2018 edition. The organising committee has introduced two new streams that will feature Passenger Information Systems and Transport Ticketing Systems that cater for the needs of modern passengers.


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