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Panel navigates crossroads of transport, mobility and economic development at Abu Dhabi Middle East Rail conference

Panel navigates crossroads of transport, mobility and economic development at Abu Dhabi Middle East Rail conference
1 May 2024 08:10

SARA ALZAABI (ABU DHABI)

The role of transport and mobility in driving economic development came to the fore at the Government Keynote Panel  during the 18th annual Middle East Rail conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Titled  “Transport and Mobility as Key Enablers for Broader Economic Development”, and moderated by Laura Buckwell, journalist, the session heard insights from  Mindaugas Tarnauskas, Deputy Minister of Transport, the Republic of Lithuania; Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Minister of Transport, Ontario; and Abdulla Al Marzouqi, Director General, Integrated Transport Centre.

Al Marzouqi highlighted the need for a shift in mindset to understand the future needs of the mobility sector and adapt to emerging technologies in the field.

“We are currently focused on increasing our public transport network in Abu Dhabi by introducing new modes of transportation. Our connectivity strategy aims to ensure that the cost of doing business remains low through the efficiency of our mobility system.”

“By focusing on safety, sustainability, and connectivity, Abu Dhabi can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for its citizens and the city as a whole,” he added.

For his part, Tarnauskas emphasised that the future growth of the sector is based on three aspects: Investing in infrastructure, diversity, and innovation.

He also drew attention to the need for accelerated deployment of new technologies in the transport sector, such as zero-emission technologies, and the importance of infrastructure support.

“We aim to encourage more citizens to choose public transport, which needs to be cheaper, more modern, and coordinated between rural and urban areas,” he added.

In the same vein, Sarkaria emphasised the importance of connecting all sectors of transportation, from rural to urban areas, and focusing on integration with multiple methods.

“It is a collaboration between all of those that can really lead to success in the future,” Sarkaria said.

“The opportunities are endless, and the challenges are there, but it takes a lot of commitment and dedication to that goal of providing a better quality of life at the end of the day by having a more connected system,” Sarkaria added.

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