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Tim Corbin

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Bahrain Ministry of Works Partners with IRF Washington

Minister-Essam-Khalaf-delivering-a-keynote-addressDuring a recent visit to Bahrain by IRF Washington’s Executive VP, Gabriel Sanchez, H.E. Essam Abdulla Khalaf, Minister of Works, reiterated his full support for the IRF Washington’s Middle East Regional Congress 2012 (MERC) in Manama, Bahrain. Minister Khalaf, who is an IRF Fellow (1980), kindly agreed to host the IRF Washington’s signature congress at the invitation of IRF Washington’s Chairman, Eng. Abdullah Al Mogbel, Minister for Transport, Saudi Arabia earlier this year. The date and location of the event have been confirmed: January 8-12, 2012, in Manama, Bahrain. Local and world news show that business is back to normal in Bahrain. As confirmed by government senior officials, Bahrain is all set to welcome tourists from around the world like it’s never done before. After a decrease in the number of people visiting the country between February and March, for the months of May and June there was an increase of about 5% compared to 2010 figures. Extrapolating from these figures, Bahrain should welcome about 2 million visitors this year.

A number of important transport infrastructure projects have been launched in the kingdom over the last two years. For example, Bahrain recently completed an ITS System for Manama, including central control for signals. Other traffic congestion beating measures include the construction of a new underpass and a section of flyover costing approximately US$95.5 million.

The MERC is the largest and most important IRF event in the Middle East in 2012. This regional congress will consist of executive and technical sessions featuring innovation, sustainability and best practices in the areas of road safety, intelligent transport systems (ITS), pavements, and asset management. The two-day congress will include both executive and scientific/technical sessions, as well as a technology and commercial exhibition. An additional three days will be devoted to the world-famous IRF Certified Training Courses in safety, asset management, pavement management and ITS.

The IRF Washington is organizing the event in close cooperation and partnership with the Ministry of Works of Bahrain. In turn, the Ministry has retained the services of the Bahrain Society of Engineers to assist in organizing the event and work with IRF on the technical program and develop the exhibition. IRF Washington welcomes the participation of the Society, the most prominent transport and engineering industry entity in the country, and one that has a distinguished and world-class record of hosting and organizing technical conferences. With such partners on board, IRF Washington is confident that the MERC 2012 will be the premiere road and highways event of the year in the Gulf and Middle East.

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