Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA addressing guests on the opening day of Dubai International Project Management Forum in Dubai on Monday 10 December 2018. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai is building roads and infrastructure projects worth Dh15 billion in the run up to the Expo 2020, preparing for the expected influx of tourists and residents ahead of the mega event.

Opening the fifth Dubai International Project Management Forum (DIPMF) Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, said that the UAE has managed to cement its image in the global map through iconic projects, paving the way for it to host mega international events such as Expo 2020.

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“The UAE has committed teams and huge resources for constructing projects related to the hosting of this huge international event. The budget set for roads and transportation projects in the lead up to the Expo is Dh15 billion,” he said, speaking at the opening session of DIPMF.

A series of flyovers, ramps and widened roads are currently under construction, as part of a Dh630 million upgrade designed to provide smooth access to the Expo 2020 as RTA continues its work on the upgrade of the road infrastructure around the site in Jebel Ali. The upgrade will also facilitate the development of future project in the area.

The RTA is also currently developing a 15km metro line, extending from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the Expo 2020 site.

The Dh10.6 billion project will provide direct access to the visitors of the Expo 2020, while also serving residents of the area that the route passes through.

Covering seven stations, five elevated and two underground, work on Route 2020 is currently halfway through.

This year, around Dh5 billion from Dubai government’s budget was allocated to support Dubai Expo 2020 projects, while around 21 per cent of the budget was earmarked for general infrastructure development, highlighting its importance.

“Countries today are seeking sustained stability and growth, which can only be achieved through proper planning and implementation, which are the key pillars of project management structures,” said Al Tayer during his opening speech at the two day event themed around ‘Building Nations.’

He added that the UAE leadership is keen on developing important strategies to keep pace with the global advancement and trends with the aim of tackling global challenges such as the climate change, green technologies, renewable energy, political, security and economic changes, and the 4th industrial revolution issues such as AI, robots, big data and autonomous vehicles.

He said that at the local level, the Dubai government is keen to align its plans with the federal government drive.

“Dubai has launched Smart Dubai 2021 Strategy, Autonomous Mobility 2030 Strategy and Clean Energy 2050 Strategy. It is therefore fitting that this forum will discuss AI, big data, and block chain topics. It will also discuss energy transformation and hold youth-oriented sessions as part of the UAE drive to empower youth to play an active role in building their nation,” said Al Tayer.

Vision for success

Acknowledging Dubai’s dramatic transformation and the UAE’s drive for positive change, Lisa Bodell, member of WEF, Founder and CEO of Futurethink, said that the emirates have achieved such great success in such a short period of time due to the vision and focus of their leaders.

Presenting the keynote address, Bodell highlighted that the key to change is simplicity.

“Nurturing simplicity and getting rid of complexity in the corporate culture is important in achieving growth,” said Bodell, highlighting the focus of all the major companies and ideas that have been successful over the last two decades.

More than 6,000 delegates and 200 speakers from 40 countries are participating in the two-day at Madinat Jumeirah, co-organised by Dewa, DP World, Emaar and Project Management Institute.