In an event held in conjunction with Ford Motor Company, the Dubai Chamber called upon businesses and governments, automotive industry and energy companies, scientists and urban planners locally and regionally to collaborate to find solutions to mobility issues.
The event “Future of Mobility” was hosted in honour of William Clay Ford Junior, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great grandson of Henry Ford, in his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates. The event was attended by His Excellency Hisham Al Shirawi, Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber; His Excellency Matar Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; and Mr Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Managing Director of Al Tayer Motors, exclusive dealers of Ford and Lincoln in the UAE, along with senior officials from Dubai Chamber and Ford Motor Company.
“Transportation is an essential component within the current and future growth infrastructure for Dubai, and for all modern cities. Mobility and movement – of people and of goods – have been integral to position Dubai as ‘the Gateway to the World”, said His Excellency Hisham Al Shirawi, Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber in his welcome speech at the event.
Infrastructure is at the core of Dubai’s growth story. The 2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report rated UAE the first in quality of roads and second in quality of infrastructure worldwide.
Dubai has over 1 million registered cars as per the Roads and Transport Authority. According to Ford Motor Company, the number of cars on the road is forecasted to grow from 1 billion to 4 billion globally by 2050. The future of mobility depends on a collaborative vision for smart transportation and development of intelligent vehicles and transport systems.
William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, said: “As technology quickly evolves, we must push ourselves to look for new opportunities to solve bigger issues. Together, we must find ways that mobility can improve the human condition, and I congratulate the Dubai Chamber on a timely and engaging conversation on this topic.”
According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, globally about 1 billion people will move into cities over the next decade, accounting for a 25 to 50 percent increase in urbanization. In 25 years, this number will increase to 9 billion, more than the entire world’s population. If they all drive cars, global gridlock will be a key issue.
According to a Dubai Chamber report on the logistics sector, the second highest revenue generating segment of the UAE logistic market is the transportation which accounts for about 18.8% of the total sector revenue.
“It is important that the public and private sector works together to find solutions to mobility issues. Dubai and Dubai businesses must be at the heart of the future mobility discussion. We want to be the model for the global Smart City in every sense of the word,” said Shirawi.
The UAE has been investing heavily in infrastructure development projects over the years. According to Business Monitor International 2013 report, the UAE is investing $58 billion (Dh213 billion) on roads and bridges alone. Total capital investment in construction and infrastructure in the UAE is set to reach AED 480.7 billion (US$ 131.7 billion) by 2016, a near double from the AED284.4 billion (US$77.4 billion) invested in 2011. By 2016, the sector is expected to form 24.4% of the country’s GDP, underlining its importance in the overall development of the economy.