The activities of the Saudi Exhibition and Conference for Transport and Logistics will take place at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, from 10 till 12 Jumada Al-Akhirah 1441 AH, which corresponds to the period from 4 till 6 February 2020 AD, under the patronage of Saudi Minister of Transport, Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser. The exhibition, was inaugurated on behalf of the Minister by his Excellency Dr. Rumaih bin Mohammed Al Rumaih, Chairman of the Public Transport Authority, provides a vital platform for decision makers from both the public and private sectors to uncover initiatives and strategies, exchange information and discuss the development of the sector’s efficiency, in addition to discussing investment opportunities and mechanisms to enhance services, and reviewing the latest developments In logistics. It is also an important meeting point that brings together investors, developers, government agencies, relevant authorities, consultants, contractors and technology service providers from around the world to learn about the potential of the Saudi transport market.
For the occasion, Mohammed Bin Suliman Al Al-Sheikh, Business Development Manager at Riyadh Exhibitions Company Limited, explained that the exhibition represents a worthy step to enter the Saudi market and an important initiative to touch on issues that are affecting the economic movement in the Kingdom. It also helps to support the dissemination of modern knowledge regarding developments in transport and logistics services as per the Kingdom's Vision 2030, and to highlight best practices and introducing leaders’ experiences and global models.
Al-Sheikh indicated that the exhibition showcases the current and upcoming opportunities and means and transport systems, underlining the fact that the Ministry of Transport is working to give a real dimension to the implementation of Vision 2030 through the development of transport services based on strong infrastructure and strategic projects.
It is worth noting that the exhibition aims to keep pace with the continuous development in the transport and logistic services industry, in order to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 in making the Kingdom a global logistical center mainly dependent on transport in its various sectors.
The transportation sector plays an important role in achieving the goals of the strategic development plan, and removing obstacles to the sector's growth. The Kingdom had previously invested, since 2008, in transport infrastructure projects and will invest $140 billion over the next ten years to develop the sector, while making efforts to implement short and medium-term strategies for moving the population from traditional means of transportation, as well as finding more proactive solutions in the transport sector, especially in cities like Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. Experts expect growth in the transport sector in the Kingdom in the coming years.
Transport investments funded by a mixture of government and private spending are divided between different sectors, namely: airports, railways, ports and roads, with the bulk of their spending being on railways. The Kingdom’s plan focuses on the localization of the transport and logistics sector, while the initiatives focus on manufacturing trains in Makkah and Jeddah, operating and maintaining the metro in Riyadh, manufacturing components for buses, trains and metro, localizing airlines, supporting Saudi ports, and controlling transportation operations.
Among the most prominent projects of the Ministry of Transport is the Al-Harameen high-speed rail project, which links the cities of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, and connects Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. The Jeddah Metro project includes three lines, and the Riyadh Metro, which was built to provide an integrated public transportation system in Riyadh. Then the Saudi Bridge Project, which forms part of the railway network connected to the Gulf Cooperation Council states, with a length of 950 km between Riyadh and Jeddah, and 115 km between Dammam and Jubail.
The exhibition will witness an accompanying conference in which dialogue sessions will be held in the presence of an elite group of international transport experts. The latter will participate to offer their experience in the transport and logistics sector, and exchange visions and ideas to create an encouraging atmosphere that enhances partnership and competition in the transport sector. The first day began with a speech by the Minister of Transport, Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, includes a series of workshops and presentations that discuss the future of transport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through themes that include the future of transport and logistics in the Kingdom, reform and modernization of existing infrastructure to support economic diversification and achieve the 2030 vision, and evaluation of the new transport strategy and how it affects the 2030 vision, opportunities and challenges for developing Saudi transport infrastructure, and developing the Kingdom as a regional hub for investment in the supply chain.
The second day’s session, entitled “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s vision for smart transport,” covers the increasing use of public transportation with new railway networks, metro and buses, and the advantages of connecting the most important cities in Saudi Arabia to new public transport networks. It also features a case study of the “hyperloop” project, and schedules open tenders for consultants and contractors.
The third day will tackle the issue of artificial intelligence and smart technologies in the future of transportation. Several topics are discussed under this theme, such as integrated smart parking solutions in smart cities, the combination of physical and digital infrastructure, the impact of the Internet of Things, sensors and networks on planning and providing infrastructure, and the application of smart transport systems to improve road traffic safety, rethinking urban mobility planning in the era of smart mobility, as well as highlighting new mobility options for integrating multiple modes of transportation. The accompanying conference will be concluded with a set of recommendations.
It is worth noting that the Ministry of Transport is the organizing partner of the exhibition conference besides other participating sponsors: NAQABA (Strategic Sponsor), Prince Sattam university and Saudi customs (Diamond Sponsors), AlAyed (Platinum sponsor), Theeb (gold sponsor), SGS and Najm and AlMotakel (silver sponsor) and Riyadh Chamber (main supporter).