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Learn what happened at the 2022 UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition in Dubai!

UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition 2022 – Event Recap

Learn what happened at the 2022 UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition in Dubai!

Last held in 2018, the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition made a comeback in 2022 and was the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This biennial transport event is one of the most popular in the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region and was held in Dubai from 6-8 February. 

UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition 2022 Event Recap | Trapeze Group

Jointly organised and hosted by the UITP and Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), the congress is a business and networking platform for all stakeholders in the public transport sector. The 2022 edition brought expert voices together to discuss urban mobility at a crucial time – the post-COVID-19 era. Trapeze was a proud partner of the congress. 

With the theme, ‘Building the Future of Mobility, the congress addressed topics such as integrated transport networks, artificial intelligence, autonomous technologies, smart ticketing, on-demand services, and even flying taxis! The congress brought together transport authorities and operators to exchange experiences, solutions, ideas, and business opportunities regarding the latest innovations in the public transport sector and included over 2,000 delegates and 50 exhibitors.  

The MENA region is undergoing significant transformation in terms of rapid population increase and large infrastructure projects. Hence, there are many opportunities where innovative technology can greatly enhance public transport services and people’s lives. 

Some of the highlights and key takeaways from the event were: 

Integrated Networks and Mobility Management 

One of the major themes was how integrated public transport networks combine different modes to maximise ease and efficiency for passengers in terms of time, cost, comfort, safety, accessibility, and convenience. Trapeze’s Chief Customer Officer, Paul Comfort, was on a panel that discussed how technology and the seamless transfer of data can enable integrated networks right now – as seen in Zurich, Switzerland. 

UITP MENA Integrated Public Transport Networks Session | Trapeze Group

This session highlighted how providing real-time data to the right people at the right time is vital to providing effective integrated transport solutions for authorities, operators, and passengers. Topics included the technical, operational, and institutional integration challenges, and how data is used by public transport authorities today to manage services.  

Paul also talked about ‘Technology Enablers’ which focused on how public transport authorities can best embrace mobility innovations such as 5G, systems integration and customer interfaces. For more information on integrated networks, find out more at our blog about this topic. 

Paul also chaired the Smart Mobility Management session which covered the multiple dimensions of public transport. Themes included how public transport authorities and operators handled crisis management and response throughout the pandemic, the practicalities of managing mobility, and the challenges of regulating all modes of transport to enable door-to-door customised mobility. 


The Future of Transport - Interactive Ideas Board

Trapeze partnered with UITP MENA to facilitate an interactive board to capture ideas on the future of transport from today through to 2030 and 2050. This collaboration shared the wealth of transport knowledge from the MENA region and aims to help shape the future of public transport.  

Delegates had the opportunity to submit their ideas on what the future of transport could be. It was pleasing to see that the board was a highly engaging part of the congress – over 50 ideas were captured.  

Future Mobility Predictions – Hyperloop, Flying Taxis | Trapeze Group

All of these ideas were visualised in a colourful mural by a graphic artist, which was continually updated as each concept was submitted. 

The Future of Public Transport Ideas Board | Trapeze Group

There were so many great ideas that it was difficult to select the best one. However, two were chosen: 

  • 2030 – in every city, there is one single app that aids mobility and keeps the customer in mind. This app would include all public and private transport services – including buses, trains, ferries, taxis, scooters, bikes – or any mode that keeps people moving.  
  • 2050 – space tourism transport becomes part of the mobility mix. For example, it would be just as easy to catch a flying bus to the moon as it is to board a bus on the street today. 


Transit Unplugged CEO Roundtable

Djan Fanny, Director of Operations at the Autorité de la Mobilité Urbaine dans le Grand Abidjan (AMUGA), and Joel Lehman Sandoungout, CEO of Gabon Transurb joined Paul Comfort for a discussion on their views on the future of public transport in Africa. 

AMUGA Abidjan and Gabon Transurb CEOs | Trapeze Group

They spoke about the unique challenges of managing transport operations in Africa including regulating fleets, upsizing fleet sizes, and introducing new technologies including electric buses.  

This informative and entertaining session will be made available on the Transit Unplugged website


Trapeze Taxi and Intelligent Transport Systems Technology 

Our Middle Eastern and African teams showcased the latest innovations and developments in both Taxi and Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology. The team enjoyed meeting with transport authority and operator representatives throughout the congress to share their knowledge. 

Mounir Sfendla and Shaji Kumar from our Dubai office demonstrated the new functionality and benefits of the Trapeze Taxi, eHail Automated Management System (TEAMS) solution. These included WhatsApp bookings and Driver Connect - which enhances the driver experience. The team also showcased a new keyless entry feature that provides enhanced security and streamlines driver and taxi operator processes. 

New Taxi Management Technology | Trapeze Group

Andrew Shaw from our Johannesburg office and Talal Zahran from our Saudi Arabian office showed delegates how the LIO Intelligent Transport System, which is used to manage large bus fleets in London and Singapore, is used to create better services. Specifically, they explained how LIO deals with disruption and associated deviations – a feature Middle Eastern transport authorities are interested in.  

The system alerts drivers while also synchronising updated, real-time passenger information with journey planning applications and third-party applications like Google Transit. Other features included multi-operator management and LIO-Volta, which helps manage electric bus fleets. Our new passenger information display board also debuted at the congress.  

Intelligent Transport Systems Technology | Trapeze Group
Andrew Shaw showing UITP delegates the LIO system 



UITP MENA 2022 was a great place to showcase the future for transport authorities who are looking for innovative ways to increase public transport ridership and customer happiness. We would like to thank our long-time partner, the RTA for helping make the congress a success.  We would also like to congratulate the RTA for winning the 2021 UITP Award for Outstanding Achievement. 

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority UITP Award Winner 2022 | Trapeze Group

Overall, UITP MENA set a positive tone for the future after the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most delegates would agree that by implementing innovative and sustainable mobility, public transport will be a key contributor to the ‘new normal’. 

Trapeze looks forward to returning to UITP MENA next time! 

Trapeze Stand UITP MENA 2022 | Trapeze Group
The Trapeze team at UITP MENA Congress 2022 

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Matthew Brownlie
Managing Director Middle East

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