|10 October, 2019

26th World road congress in Abu Dhabi concludes by setting platform for collobaration to build sustainable future

The World Road Congress celebrates connectivity and driving change for sustainability on the final day.

26th World road congress in Abu Dhabi concludes by setting platform for collobaration to build sustainable future
  • His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport praises the impact of staging the event in the UAE.
  • Closing ceremony sees the official handover to delegation from Czech Republic for the staging of the 27th edition in Prague. 

Abu Dhabi: The need for driving change for sustainability, connected and automated vehicles and road safety were among the topics addressed during the fifth and final day of the 26th World Road Congress.

Continuing the momentum of the previous four days of high-level discussions, hundreds of delegates including thought-leaders, engineers and academics gathered for the last day to reflect back on the success of the Congress as a major step was taken in reshaping the future of the roads sector worldwide.

At Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), eight sessions took place in the morning before the first Congress to be held in the Middle East was officially closed during a spectacular ceremony.


During the closing ceremony, His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport, expressed his gratitude to all the delegates that attended the World Road Congress.

He outlined that the important discussions that took place during the week will contribute towards improving the way we travel in the future. He also explained how Abu Dhabi has brought together the rest of the world in line with the theme of the Congress.

He said: “We are honoured to have hosted the 26th World Road Congress which took place for the first time in the Middle East and we hope it will not be the last time.

“Under our theme – ‘Connecting Cultures and Enabling Economies’, we have seen people connect not just through roads but also through intellectual communication. This showed Abu Dhabi has succeeded in hosting a successful World Road Congress.

“We have seen the discussions revolve around different topics and the Congress has provided viable solutions that will help with the development of sustainable infrastructure using positive energy roads and implementing artificial intelligence.

“We have also provided the opportunity to showcase Abu Dhabi’s world-class road infrastructure through a series of technical visits and show why the UAE has been ranked first in the Road Quality Index in the Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report for four years in a row.”


The closing ceremony also provided an opportunity to reflect back on the past five days of discussions and analyse what action needs to be taken ahead of the 27th edition in Prague.

Claude Van Rooten, PIARC President took to the stage to introduce the World Road Association’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2023. He emphasised even more on importance of PIARC’s mission by discussing and sharing knowledge on roads and transport policies and practice and integrating a sustainable transport system.

He said: “Road administration, mobility, safety and sustainability and resilient infrastructure are the four strategic themes that PIARC will focus on during the next four years.”

Patrick Mallejacq, Secretary General of PIARC, said this week’s discussions will play an integral role in developing the road’s infrastructure and emphasised regular talks will be needed going forward.

He said: “This week we have exchanged ideas, best practices on different topics such as disaster management, monitoring information, transportation strategies and electric vehicles which have all been useful.”

“But roads need to have find a place in the larger context in a holistic approach and we have to continue enabling regular dialogue between road authorities, regulators and service providers to build sustainable infrastructure.”


Mansoor Salem Al Mehairi, Project Manager for the World Road Congress Abu Dhabi 2019 and Director - PR & Communication at DoT said the event was a significant experience for all attendees.

He said: “We welcomed more than 3,000 delegates from 144 countries and 45 ministers to Abu Dhabi for this World Road Congress with over 400 formal speaking engagements and senior bilateral meetings taking place.

“The delegates heard from seven keynote speakers who provided their insight and knowledge while we delved into discussions on various topics.

“The Congress is about establishing facts and through networking, questioning and sharing expertise and on behalf of the organising team in Abu Dhabi, we believe that we have Connected Cultures and Enabled Economies”.


A delegation from Czech Republic flew into Abu Dhabi and personally invited the delegates to the 27th World Road Congress which will be held in 2023 at Prague.

The delegation, led by Tomas Cocek, Deputy Minister for Transport and Adam Scheinherr, Deputy Mayor of Prague revealed they are looking forward to hosting the event for the second time in its history after first staging the Congress in 1971.

A delegation from Canada also invited the audience to Winter Road Congress in 2022 in Calgary. They highlighted the nation will build on the success in the UAE and will provide another opportunity to engage on a series of important topics.


During one of the morning sessions, experts discussed the impact of connected driving and the challenges and opportunities it presents to road operators.

The delegates heard that the innovative mode of transport will rely on exchanging information through embedded sensor technology that will improve the flow of traffic.

As part of a study, experts conducted surveys in more than 20 countries including Japan and South Korea and found that connected driving can have significant benefits with road safety and the environment.

It also identified that steps must be taken to deal with emergency vehicles to avoid accidents.


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About PIARC 

The World Road Association (PIARC) was established in 1909 as a non-profit organisation to be the world leader in the exchange of knowledge on roads and road transport policy and practices within the context of integrated, sustainable transport.

As of December 2018, the Association counts 122 national member governments from all over the world, including two-thirds from low and middle-income countries, and more than 2,000 members from industry, administration or academia as well as individuals.

About Department of Transport - Abu Dhabi

The Department of Transport of Abu Dhabi (“DoT”) was established by Law No. (4) of 2006, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2008 and No. 6 of 2018 issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the U.A.E., as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to carry out the legislative, regulatory, supervisory and control functions related to the surface, maritime transport and the civil aviation sectors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as well as all commercial activities related to these sectors.

As part of its efforts to establish an integrated and sustainable transport system in line with the population and urban growth and the rapid technological development in the transport sector, DoT continuously works in cooperation with its stakeholders to develop projects that provide the best services in line with the Abu Dhabi Development Agenda and public policy.

About World Road Congress Abu Dhabi 2019

Since the first World Road Congress held in Paris in 1909, PIARC has organized Congresses every four years in a member country with the aim of sharing worldwide techniques, innovations, political strategies, trends and developments, best practices and experiences in the fields of road, infrastructures and transport between Ministers, governments, private sector, road and transport administrations and organizations, academics, solutions’ providers, experts and practitioners from more than 140 countries across the planet. 

The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT) won the bid to host the prestigious 26th Congress and, taking the current international situation across the globe into account, came up with the topic “Connecting Cultures, Enabling Economies” to enable multilateral talks as innovative way to establish new ideas towards better understanding not only of road, infrastructure and transport works but also regarding the cultural part that should be implemented among all.

© Press Release 2019

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