Al Tayer speaks during the keynote session of the Moscow Urban Forum. WAM
Over the last 15 years, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has undertaken roads and transport projects worth more than Dhs145 billion, stated Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, (RTA), Commissioner-General for the Infrastructure, Urban Planning and Wellbeing Pillar in Dubai.
This milestone was achieved under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and follow-up of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, he added.
Dubai has made great strides in its transformation to a sustainable city, Al Tayer said and pinned high hopes on migrating to a city that would serve the people and improve the wellbeing of its residents through increased competitiveness and keeping up with future global trends in various fields.
Al Tayer made these remarks during a remote speech delivered at a keynote session of the Moscow Urban Forum (MUF) hosted annually by the Government of Moscow. The forum is a global event that brings together governors of major global cities, and experts in urban planning, to discuss key topics with the leaders of the real estate sector across the world.
Attendees at the opening event included Maxim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow and Head of the Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, Violeta Bulc, former European Commissioner for Transport, and Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary-General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).
“Dubai Urban Plan 2040 revolves around the principle of sustainable transport. The plan concentrates on human-centric and sustainable mobility concepts through the creation of five main urban centres in the city and the adoption of a 20-minute city concept (to provide more than 80 per cent of people needs within 20 minutes of walking or cycling). As such, integrated service centres will be developed in all Dubai zones with an emphasis on improving the standard of living, and increasing the population density nearby main transit hubs,” Al Tayer said.
“The RTA had undertaken construction of the Dubai Metro and Tram projects, beefed up the public bus fleet from around 600 buses in 2006 to over 1,700 buses in 2020, and increased the cycling track network from 10 kilometres (km) in 2006 to over 463 kilometres in 2020. We plan to increase the network to around 750km in five years, which will position Dubai among the top bicycle-friendly cities. The RTA’s efforts contributed to positioning the UAE as first globally in the quality of roads for five years in a row (2013-2017) according to the reports of the World Economic Forum,” he explained.
In his speech, Al Tayer reviewed the RTA’s experience in delivering a portfolio of key infrastructure projects topped by the Dubai Water Canal project. “The Dubai Water Canal project was extremely complex as it had to pass under the central Sheikh Zayed Road corridor, the main highway of Dubai. This meant that we had to construct the water canal under a live 8x8 lane highway and the Red Line of the Metro and other main roads in an area with complete and massive networks of vital utility lines. Despite these challenges, the project was delivered on time,” he noted.
Al Tayer reflected on Dubai’s preparedness for hosting Expo 2020. “The RTA has completed all the public transport requirements of the event. Accordingly, it is operating the 15-km metro link (Route 2020) extending up to the site of the Expo 2020 including the construction of seven stations to serve a host of surrounding developments. These projects will ease the arrival of visitors to the site. The traffic movement to and from the site of the expo will be managed by the Enterprise Command and Control Centre, one of the biggest, latest and smartest control centres worldwide. It uses high technology to control and command various transport means, besides managing 30,000 car parks at the expo site,” Al Tayer elaborated.
Rounding up his speech, Al Tayer noted that accelerated demographic growth would require improving the quality and efficiency of the urban infrastructure and services.