Major road and bridge projects valued at USD 142 billion are under way or at the planning stages in the Gulf region, with the UAE leading the way after adding to its transport infrastructure with the recent opening of Dubai Metro’s Green Line.
Highlighted by Abu Dhabi’s USD 25 billion Surface Transport Master Plan, the UAE’s USD 58 billion worth of road and bridge projects represents almost 40% of the regional total. Saudi Arabia has USD 48 billion worth of projects either planned or under way, while Qatar continues with its infrastructure developments for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with road projects valued at USD 17 billion in progress.
Underlining huge opportunities for transport sector manufacturers and suppliers within the region and worldwide, the scale of development in the Gulf is highlighted by figures collated by market research specialist Ventures Middle East ahead of the Gulf Traffic Exhibition and Conference.
Taking place from December 12th to December 14th 2011 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Gulf Traffic is firmly established as the region’s premier event covering road, rail, parking and public transport.
Kuwait will be one of the most active markets for road projects in the next couple of years, with projects worth nearly USD 9.4 billion in the pipeline, including the Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Causeway. Oman has road projects worth USD 8 billion, 5.5% of the regional total, with another USD 2 billion worth of schemes at various stages in Bahrain.
Increasing road safety and reducing traffic congestion are major concerns in the GCC countries which, according to the UN, have some of the highest road traffic fatality rates in the world.
Mr Richard Pavitt exhibition director for Gulf Traffic said that “In support of the UN’s Decade for Action for Road Safety, the Gulf Traffic 2011 Conference provides the platform for regional and international leading experts in road traffic and transportation to collaborate with one another and establish what is already in the region, and clarify what needs to be brought in an effort to further develop and ensure road safety.”
The two day conference features a line up of 14 expert speakers, with key topics including improving road safety through the role of the police, public awareness and participation. Other major issues include developing strategies and plans for plausible alternative means of transport for residents, and exploitation of the advancements made and challenges faced in the implementation of intelligent transport systems.
Informa Exhibitions, organizers of Gulf Traffic, have so far confirmed an exhibitor line up of 149 contractors, manufacturers and suppliers from 27 countries in the Middle East and overseas.