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25 Feb 2019

Al Tayer inaugurates second Emirati-French Business Engagement Summit

(The event attracted the participation of 65 French companies and included two discussion panels and five parallel sessions)

an image of Al Tayer during the opening of the Emirati-French Business Engagement Summit

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), opened the second edition of the Emirati-French Business Engagement Summit, held under the theme: The Future of Mobility and Innovation. The summit was held by RTA in cooperation with the French Business Council. 

Attendees included HE Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the UAE, Raja Rabia, Consul General of France in Dubai, and Patrick Pélata, Advisor to the French President for Autonomous Vehicle Affairs. The event drew the participation of 65 organisations representing French public and private sectors from both UAE and France. 

Al Tayer was delighted with the opening of the Emirati-French Business Engagement Summit. “This gathering aims to promote the commercial & investment cooperation between RTA and the French business community. In particular, it seeks to boost the business relationships between the two parties in autonomous mobility, future of mobility, innovative project financing, and big data, especially as RTA is gearing up for holding the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport this October. During the event, winners of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, the first of its kind worldwide, will be felicitated.”

Dubai Government provides an attractive investment climate for the private sector to flourish and engage in development projects. It has issued Law No (22) governing the public-private partnership in Dubai. RTA had developed a comprehensive investment strategy covering specialist investment programmes, such as the alternative finance programme to enhance the role of the private sector in funding the infrastructure of transport projects. It has also charted out an integrated policy for partnership with the private sector and revamped the process of studying and constructing such projects and their scope of work such that they will be models for preparing and implementing partnership projects with the private sector. 

We, at RTA, are proud of the excellent relationships with the French Business Sector. French firms were involved in projects to the tune of AED 14 billion highlighted by Dubai Tram, and the Enterprise Command & Control Centre. Currently, the Expolink Consortium, led by Alstom, is undertaking Route 2020 Project for extending the Dubai Metro Red Line to the site of the Expo. 
RTA was a pioneer in developing cooperation models and practices with the private sector in delivering a variety of infrastructure projects relating to roads and transport systems. There are promising prospects for the private sector to engage with the RTA in constructing more projects under the integrated transport plan of Dubai. 

Strong Partnership

HE Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the UAE, stressed that cooperation between the RTA and the French Business Community had demonstrated the strong partnership between the Emirati and French companies in holding this summit about the future of mobility and innovation. “It offers a platform for exchanging the best practices in the field of smart mobility; which fosters an environment conducive to business and investment,” he added. 

Patrick Péleta, Advisor to the French President for Autonomous Vehicle Affairs, said, “France is endeavouring to realign its ecosystem with the associated industries and services. It seeks to undertake several projects relating to electric and autonomous vehicles, infrastructure and shared transport using simulators. These companies can support the transformation process in Dubai,” he noted. 

The summit included two discussion panels; the first entitled ‘The Commercial Transformation in the Context of Public Transport’. Participants included Ibrahim Al Haddad, Director of Commercial and Investment at the RTA, Sophie Hassan, Head of Innovation, RATP DEV; Benoit Richard, CEO/Co-Founder of YOUZO, and Francois Bruyant, Senior VP Business Development for the MEA Region of Transdev.

“RTA has experienced tremendous growth of its service portfolio and assets since inception in 2005, and have equally set ambitious plans with a significant expansion of the network and services. To deliver its plans efficiently, and meet the challenges of maintaining excellence; RTA has developed an investment strategy having multiple commercial initiatives to be delivered in partnership with the private sector.  We are exploring different options of alternative financing, commercial transformation, and remain committed to partnering with the private sector by creating investment opportunities.  This summit is a great example of our efforts to engage with the private and business sectors, and collaborate to reach our goals,” added Al Haddad. 

Future of Mobility 

The second discussion panel entitled Future of Mobility; Digitalisation and Autonomous Vehicles hosted speakers like Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO, Public Transport Agency and Head of the Smart & Sustainable Transport Committee at the RTA; Pierre Schaeffer, SVP  Marketing  Chief Officer of Thales;  Pierre Chehwan, Director of Strategic Alliance and Institutional Relationship of NAVYA,  Arnaud Vitou, Deputy Director Autonomous Transport System OF Transdev ; and Cyrille Giraudat, SVP Marketing Digital Innovation of RATP DEV.

“RTA is constantly striving to implement new ideas for improving the emirate’s transport system and mobility, and we are developing advanced models. The mobility systems of the future are likely to be very different from what exists in most of the world today, so governments and the private sector will need to pave the way for new technologies, services, and modes. We, at RTA, have many initiatives combining shared mobility, autonomy, electrification, public transport, and infrastructure. We continue to push the envelope on innovation in partnership with other countries and the private sector. Last year RTA launched the Dubai-World challenge for Self-Driving Transport amongst which some French companies are finalists,” said Bahrozyan.

The summit also included three parallel sessions covering autonomous vehicles, smart cities and big data in transportation. Several CEO’s and heads of leading French entities took part. 

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