Rapid industrialization, population growth, urbanization are the driving forces for design and construction demands in the GCC. These forces have pushed stakeholders to discuss strategies to meet the rising demands and support continued economic growth. Over 700 participants from government, municipalities, consultants, contractors and suppliers will once again gather in Dubai from 21 to 22 of February 2017 for the 4th Arabian Tunnelling Conference (ATC).
UAE infrastructure remains most advanced in the GCC region with well-integrated transport system and assembly of iconic structures. After the announcement of Dubai 2020 expo, the emirate is a wave of opportunity with the government setting aside 17-billion dirham budget for infrastructure development until 2020. Light rail and metro projects are being undertaken in almost every GCC country, in fact it was just announced this month that Qatar Rail has completed all the tunnelling work on Doha metro project. Dubai Municipality is currently tendering the Jebel Ali deep tunnel stormwater network. Dubai Municipality has also announced 70km deep tunnel sewerage system project will commence and in five year’s time, this will be completed which will also cover the emirate’s demands over the next 50 years.
This annual conference is supported by International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) and Gulf Engineering Union. ITA is one of the largest and most influential associations in the tunnelling field, comprising of 73 member nations including UAE and 300 corporate members. The Gulf Engineering Union, founded in 1997 by engineering bodies from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, have also extended their support for this conference.
H.E. Eng. Dawoud Al Hajri, President of the Society of Engineers UAE said, “The ATC 2017 is a key gathering of engineering professionals who are working in tunneling or underground space sector”. He further commented that it is estimated that more than half of the world’s population live in cities. The lack of new urban space means that infrastructure must be planned underground and the use of the underground needs to be carefully and coherently engineered with sustainability. It is imperative that we should grow professionally and personally by learning from the problems others have faced. Therefore this year we will have focus sessions on sustainability, environmental impact, technology and effective use of underground space.
The conference will address challenges and opportunities in advancing underground space and connect international experts and partners in the industry to create sustainable solutions and business opportunities. For students a dedicated forum will also be held, giving a chance for young talents to interact, network and learn from Industry experts.