3rd IRF Middle East Regional Congress Attracts Senior Leaders from Gulf Region

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2012

(Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain) – The International Road Federation’s signature event in the Gulf & Middle East Region opened today in the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain amid calls for concerted efforts to meet the challenges posed by the region’s growing demand for personal mobility and increased movement of goods.

Over 400 regional and international delegates, including many heads of corporation, regional policy makers and ambassadors attended the formal opening of the event in the presence of Deputy Premier Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa as well as their Excellencies Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, Minister of Works, Kingdom of Bahrain; and, Abdullah Al-Mogbel, Deputy Minister for Transport, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and current chairman of IRF Washington. In his opening address, His Excellency Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa noted that the region’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world, resulting in new infrastructure demands which the region is responding to through multibillion dollar investments. Examples of these large-scale infrastructure programs include two major highways linking Qatar and Saudi Arabia through Bahrain, added Minister Khalaf.

“We cannot be content with keeping pace with demand – we must confidently predict and plan accordingly”, noted for his part Minister Al-Mogbel in his opening statements, adding “the region’s traffic accident rates demand greater attention to education, enforcement as well as the deployment of better and more forgiving infrastructure. As we embrace the latest technologies, intelligent transport systems will play an increasingly important role both in saving lives and mitigating road congestion in our cities.”

Commenting on the extraordinary success of the Congress, IRF Washington President & CEO Patrick Sankey added: “For over thirty years, IRF has been a partner to the Gulf countries. As their capacity building needs have grown, IRF has facilitated knowledge sharing programs by providing professional development opportunities for its road and traffic engineers. I am thrilled to announce that the region continues to be a major contributor to the endowment of the International Road Educational Foundation, which provides graduate-level scholarships to the next generation of road and transport leaders.”

The three-day Congress, Exhibition & Professional Development Course is being co-organized with the Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE). BSE President A. Majeed Al Gassab highlighted hat Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf countries are committed to exploring the role of new technologies as part of their infrastructure projects. “IRF’s 3rd Middle East Road Congress will address these aspects through input from and dialogue with a wide range of global experts”, he concluded.

Founded in 1948, the International Road Federation (IRF) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with members from both the public and private sectors in 90 countries worldwide. IRF promotes the development and maintenance of better, safer roads and road networks throughout the world, using technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from road investment.


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