DUBAI – The Middle East’s most influential annual gathering of global innovators, futurists and thought leaders representing rail transport sector is back for the 11th year with an expanded focus on new markets and a distinguished line-up of expert speakers.
Middle East Rail will be held on March 7-8 at Dubai International Convention in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime. The announcement was made by. Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority, Dr. Abdulla S. Al Katheeri, Director General, Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime, UAE and Jamie Hosie, General Manager, Terrapinn Middle East, organiser of the event, at a press conference held Tuesday.
According to a report produced by Terrapinn Middle East in collaboration with leading construction projects tracker Ventures ONSITE, the value of total GCC rail projects in pipeline stands at over $240 billion, with $69 billion worth of projects currently under construction. In terms of overall expenditure on rail projects, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the UAE remain atop all of the GCC.
Key projects expected to be awarded to contractors in KSA market in 2017 are Zulfi – Al Majmaah Passenger Railway, North South Rail – Waad Al Shimal – Turaif – Al Jouf (ST320), Makkah Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) – Makkah Metro. The planned investments of $30 billion in UAE’s railway networks include Abu Dhabi Metro and Light Rail, skyTran Yas Island, the next stages of the Etihad Rail national network, the Dubai Metro extension for Expo 2020 and the new stages of the Al-Sufouh Tram.
Over 350 world-class construction and engineering companies, contractors and solution providers, regional and international railway operators will participate to offer their services and present their plans for the future systems. Key exhibitors include: Etihad Rail, X Rail, Greenbrier, Hyperloop, Thales, RATP DEV, CAF, AECOM, Network Rail, Autodesk and more.
A series of interactive sessions have been designed to introduce both 2017 tenders and innovative technologies being implemented to build and operate futuristic networks. The show will once again deliver an unprecedented conference, hosting over 800 c-level executives representing $352 billion worth of rail projects in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia as well as global thought leaders including Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, UK; Henrik Hololei, Director General – Mobility and Transport, European Commission; Howard Smith, Operations Director at Crossrail, UK and Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One, USA to discuss their experience and insights within the industry.
Dr. Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi said “Middle East Rail has grown from strength to strength over the past decade and we are truly proud to play a lead role in bringing together Government Ministers, thought leaders, innovators, and policymakers under one roof to coordinate progress in the rail industry as a whole. The show demonstrates our support and commitment to build a world-class transport infrastructure system in the region. Furthermore, we look forward to our continued work with Etihad Rail, which will boost economic and trade ties between the GCC states.”
Jamie Hosie, General Manager, Terrapinn Middle East, said: “Ten years ahead, we will see a complete transformation of transport infrastructure across the region from west to east. The show brings together the biggest global innovators, futurists and gurus to discuss disruptive forces that are reshaping the competitive landscape, and that augurs well for the industry’s future in the region by providing greater visibility of planned investments, driving productivity and technological innovations.”
Hosie added “the show will host four country pavilions from Italy, China, Spain, and UK. This year, the Chinese and Spanish pavilion have increased in size by over 55%. We have seen a surge in the participation of railway-wagon manufacturers from Russia and the US, and we have also strengthened maintenance, signaling and communication, and the construction profiles of the show.”
In 2017, Middle East Rail is introducing the Manufacturing Zone and Mobility Oriented Development Zone that offers solutions providers and manufacturing suppliers an opportunity to meet with prospective buyers and build their brand.
One of the most important features at the event is a dedicated Career Zone, where university graduates can learn about exciting career prospects within the industry as well as establish contacts with regional rail operators, government authorities and leading multinational rail suppliers. — SG