Traffic debate hots up ahead of Dubai show Gulf Traffic to open on Monday
Dubai’s breathtaking growth, which has catapulted it into the league of the world’s top cities, has resulted in traffic chaos. With the recent population growth put at 6 per cent this year and the number of cars up by 10 per cent, traffic and infrastructure have become hot news for residents and visitors alike.
Gulf Traffic and MENA Rail, which start on Monday December 12, will feature over 220 exhibitors from 30 countries. Visitors and delegates at the show will get a chance to exchange views with industry specialists on the current state of traffic and transport, not only in Dubai, but right across the Middle East.
Fuelling the debate was the recently reported comment from Hussein Lootah, assistant director general for building and planning at Dubai municipality who blamed the current chaos on “the general mismanagement of the traveling system”, and in particular the number of vehicles per head currently on the roads.
“It’s going to be a lively show,” commented Davyd Farrell, Transport Project Director, IIR Middle East, organizers of Gulf Traffic. “There is so much debate going on about the state of the traffic here in Dubai, with passions certainly running high. We expect what politicians call ‘a frank exchange of ideas.’”
The general public has already had its say about the traffic situation in Dubai, with the results revealed in a special Gulf Traffic survey.
Full results – covering issues such as road safety, parking and road tolls - will be revealed at the show, but a snapshot of opinions shows that people have strong views on the subject of traffic and transport.
• 62% of people want to see the number of driving lessons a learner has to take increased.
• 74% of people want more pedestrian crossings on Dubai’s main roads, while a thumping 87% of people want heavier penalties for pedestrians who recklessly cross busy roads.
• Of those surveyed, 38% thought Dubai’s public transport system is “bad” and 36% think it “very bad.”
“We are currently carrying extensive studies on transport and traffic. This will be further discussed with industry professionals at Gulf Traffic. The results of these studies will be announced at the end of March 2006,” said AbdulAziz Abdulla Malik, Director of Transport Department.
The timing of the show could not come at a better time. Aside from Lootah’s remarks, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces revealed a plan to develop an inter-emirates rail network connecting Abu Dhabi to Fujairah via the other emirates.
And not only are these issues pertinent just to Dubai. With the explosive growth of vehicle population across the Middle East, traffic congestion and the problems of parking have become the main topics of everyday conversation and an issue of national importance from in every country
“It’s a pattern repeated in many cities within the GCC and it is what makes Gulf Traffic 2005 of such critical importance to industry and governments alike,” added Davyd Farrell.
Photo caption: (From left to right) Davyd Farrell, Transport Project Director, IIR Middle East; AbdulAziz Abdulla Malik- Director of Transport Department; Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai - Director of Roads Department
About Gulf Traffic
Gulf Traffic is the Middle East's premier traffic and transport infrastructure show. Now into its 3rd edition, Gulf Traffic will be the largest-scale traffic event the region has ever seen. Combining both a conference and an international exhibition, Gulf Traffic is the forum for addressing the region’s traffic and transportation needs.
Chief event sponsors for Gulf Traffic 2005 are Dubai Municipality with the UAE Ministry of Interior as the key government sponsor. Gold Sponsors for the event are leading transportation consultants Wilbur Smith with both 3M and Avery Dennison as Silver Sponsors.
New features for 2005 include dedicated areas for; Parking, Highways, GIS & Urban Planning and Street furniture and lighting. Also new for 2005 is a co-located exhibition & conference for railways, MENA Rail 2005 will be the MENA region’s first dedicated event of its kind. For more information, please log on to: www.gulftraffic.com