Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the non-ministerial commercial arm of the UK Government, has been confirmed as an official supporter of the upcoming NATRANS Arabia 2015 conference, which will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 25 – 27 October, 2015.
Billed as the new meeting place for the entire GCC transport industry, the conference, which is being held in partnership with the UAE Federal Transportation Authority – Land and Maritime and held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Marine, will feature three individual dedicated streams, each of which focuses on an areas of specialist transportation covering rail, road and maritime.
Running alongside the conference is an exhibition that will welcome over 80 exhibiting companies. Divided into four themed zones to match the three conference streams, plus an extra zone showcasing intelligent transport systems, it is expected to attract more than 2,000 trade visitors.
“With infrastructure development in the Gulf spanning every element of the transportation mix, we will bring together an international group of exhibitors representing rail road and maritime areas of expertise and, with UK companies highly active in this sector, we are delighted to have UKTI support for our inaugural event,” said Alex Heuff, Exhibition Director, NATRANS Arabia.
“The goal of UKTI is to increase and support British export. We have had a lot of success in the region and UK companies are heavily involved in a wide variety of transportation projects across the Gulf and Middle East,” said Mike Shears, UKTI Specialist, UK Trade & Investment.
“Much of the region’s activity has been centered around Dubai, which is one of the most dynamic destinations in terms of implementing new public transport systems, and Abu Dhabi is also moving towards becoming a major player with its own operational rail system as well as plans to introduce an integrated mass transportation system with buses, light rail and metro,” he added.
Shears also cited the Etihad Rail project and the mid-2015 announcement of Dubai’s Route 2020 project, which encompasses seven new metro stations and an extension for the Expo 2020 site attracting international contractor and supplier interest.
UKTI works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports, and the NATRANS Arabia 2015 conference is already being viewed positively by locally based UK businesses.
“The most important thing about NATRANS is that it is the only integrated, coordinated, multimode transportation exhibition and conference in the GCC,” said John Greaves, Secretary General, Last Mile Consortia (LMC).
Stephen Webb, Director, Middle East, RATP Dev Middle East, added: “As one of the leading urban public transport operators and maintainers globally, the Middle East is one of our key target markets due to the level of transport infrastructure being developed over the next decade.”
“We view the next few years as a learning experience for Middle Eastern countries in developing and making public transport work both in terms of freight and passenger movements. NATRANS is critical as it will get the right industry specialists to connect with key clients who have limited experience in understanding what is required.”
It is also attracting high profile English speakers, who will share their regional experience and market insight, including Philip Johnson, Senior Project Manager, Security Systems at Parsons.
“Security in general is very tight within the UAE, however, with rising security concerns across the region, this is a topic that is being discussed behind the scenes. I believe that NATRANS will be able to bring everyone together to consolidate these questions and hopefully – collectively – come up with solutions,” he said.
The three-day event kicks off with the 6th Middle East Rail Opportunities conference, which is being held over two days, alongside a one-day road transport summit, followed by the maritime conference on 26th October.
The exhibition will include a UK pavilion with companies such as Pandrol, Terram and Xrail Solutions all participating, with key support from the European Parking Association (EPA) and MAFEX, the Spanish Railway Association, plus sponsors Etihad Rail as Strategic Sponsor, PTV Group as Gold Sponsor, Laborex as Bronze Sponsor and Toyota as the Hybrid Technology Partner.