x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Engineers to discuss Gulf traffic woes

Senior GCC government officials and engineers will list recommendations to improve traffic congestion in the Gulf during a three-day conference next week.

DUBAI // Senior GCC government officials and engineers will list recommendations to improve traffic congestion in the Gulf during a three-day conference next week.

Some 600 public and private-sector engineers will attend the Gulf Engineering Forum, taking place in Dubai for the third time since it was established 14 years ago. The biennial gathering, which will run from December 19-21, will focus on projects that could reduce traffic pile-ups in Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Essa al Maidour, the chairman of the UAE Society of Engineers, said the growth of the GCC countries meant "transportation and mobility are some of the most important issues".

"When transport of a country is evaluated," he said, "officials and engineers must examine if the infrastructure is being well used to minimise breakdowns."

The UAE economy loses some Dh5 billion a year due to road congestion, a 2008 report by the Department of Planning and Economy showed.

There was a vital need to increase the capacity of the entire system, said Dr Khalid al Zahed, a Society of Engineers board member who also serves as a director at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority. "Traffic congestion is a challenge for us and it will be one in the future."

The forum will award the best engineering project in the Gulf to a new project that will be selected for its uniqueness, impact on people's lives and cost effectiveness. The competition, Mr al Maidour said, would "give people an opportunity to … understand best engineering practices".

 

rtalwar@thenational.ae