ABU DHABI: While different sectors progress rapidly towards the achievement of short and long-term objectives to realise Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030, it is not their performance within silos but the combined success that will help the capital city become a holistic regional hub, said Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman of Meed.
O’Sullivan’s comments came during his introduction to the second day’s proceedings at the Meed Abu Dhabi Conference 2010, where heads of organisations leading Abu Dhabi’s development showcased their achievements in 2010 and outlined plans for further development to stay on course for realising the 2030 Vision. The event was held from Nov.8-9 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi.
Other experts who led the conference on the second day included; Gurjit Singh, CEO, Sorouh; Richard Cary-Brown, Vice-President, Parsons Mena; Greame Overall, Senior VP, Union Railway; Alexander Haex, Senior Business Development, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC); Ivar Krasinski, Principal, Burthill, and Dr Matthias Stein, Managing Director, Linde.
Highlighting the benefits of public transportation, Thomas Topolski, Vice-President, Transportation Middle East, Aecom, said: “Public transport is a viable investment as it definitely has a positive cost/benefit ratio and pays back the community more value than the costs added for capital investment, service improvements and quality enhancements.”
The event also focussed on the activities being carried out in different sectors that are designed to equip Abu Dhabi as a hub for commerce, culture and industry by 2030.
Public transport featured in the agenda as Abu Dhabi has made significant investments in infrastructure especially for major road projects. The feasibility of the Abu Dhabi metro and Union Railway project were also reviewed.
The recommendations that surfaced during the sessions included increasing the real estate inventory for retail, hospitality, residential and office spaces, while building integrated, multi-purpose communities. The discussions also highlighted that the aviation sector showed steady growth with the new Midfield Terminal Complex plans taking off, while the ports and logistics sector’s expansion plans are on course.
Finally, a session that explored Abu Dhabi’s efforts at protecting its environment through sustainable project design and diversifying away from hydrocarbon dependence also emphasised the economic feasibility of “going green.”
The concluding day of the conference included a master-class on “Scenario planning for a successful Abu Dhabi venture” by Ron Bradfield, CEO and Director of University of Strathcycle Business School, UAE.