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A look back at the success of the XXVIth World Road Congress

6 - 10 October 2019, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Abu Dhabi became for five days a leading global exchange forum for road and road transport issues

Under the theme "Connecting Cultures, Enabling Economies", the XXVIth World Road Congress, held from 6 to 10 October 2019 in Abu Dhabi (UAE), confirmed its role as a major event for the road sector worldwide. This event, organized by the World Road Association (PIARC ) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation (DoT), brought together more than 6,000 participants from 144 countries, more than 3,700 delegates and more than 40 ministers and deputy ministers from around the world to share their views, best policies and practices over five days. The Congress has included 62 sessions, 13 workshops and 6 technical visits.

Conclusions and results of PIARC Technical Committees and Task Forces

At the opening ceremony of the XXVIth World Road Congress, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuami, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime, said: “The World Road Congress will help us share our ideas and best practices. Together we can take the necessary steps to promote the sustainable growth of road networks, transport and infrastructure worldwide, for the benefit of current and future generations.

Indeed, the Congress was rich in presentations, debates and exchanges. The 1,200 experts who worked in the Association's Technical Committees and Task Forces during the 2016-2019 cycle presented the results and conclusions of their work at technical sessions and workshops, informing decision-makers and professionals from around the world. These findings were published in 40 technical reports and 4 online manuals, available free of charge on the PIARC website:

The experts mobilized in PIARC's Technical Committees and Task Forces remain the core asset and strength of the Association and deserve sincere recognition for their excellent and generous work.

A Congress rich in exchanges

The XXVIth World Road Congress was also the occasion for many exchanges. PIARC experts and newcomers proposed informative approaches through rigorous joint and individual works. PIARC continues to provide a leading global exchange forum on all issues related to road infrastructure and transport.

The various exchanges of this Congress began with three ministerial sessions, attended by 43 ministers with an audience of more than 3,000 people, on the themes of land-use planning, artificial intelligence and future transport networks. The ministerial perspective was complemented by the vision of seven keynote speakers: internationally recognized opinion leaders, who addressed the audience on a variety of topics.

In total, 62 sessions and 13 workshops were held during the five days. Participants were able to participate in foresight sessions aimed at strengthening relations between PIARC and other international and regional organizations active in the field of road and road transport. They also provided an opportunity to present important and new, forward-looking topics that had not yet been addressed by Technical Committees, PIARC Task Forces or Strategic Orientation Sessions. Participants also had the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops where new themes were explored to improve road technologies.

Discussions continued with the awarding of the PIARC prizes to the authors of the most outstanding papers in 8 different categories: Young professionals (under 35), Developing countries (low- and middle-income countries), Best innovation, Safety of road users and workers, Sustainable development, Road design and construction, Road maintenance and operation, Roads and intermodality.

An opportunity to discover the Abu Dhabi transport sector

The worldwide community has gathered in Abu Dhabi and we are all honoured to be in this part of the world for the very first time in the Congress’ history. […] Being here will help us admire a new country and the achievement of how they maintain and operate its state-of-the-art road network.Claude Van Rooten, PIARC President.

Indeed, participants had the opportunity to see a series of successes in infrastructure and technology in the Abu Dhabi transport sector during the Congress. They were able to visit the Abu Dhabi Traffic Management Centre (TMC) and Yas Tunnel, Umm Lafina Bridges and Roads Project, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) and Interchange Project, Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit and Masdar City.

26 national pavilions and more than 150 exhibitors were present

In addition to the technical programme, the Congress offered an exhibition space that attracted 26 national pavilions and more than 150 exhibitors. The exhibition brought together the private and public sectors from several nations to present their latest solutions, research, ground-breaking projects and case studies. ABU DHABI EX, the central stage at the heart of the exhibition, served as a platform to share new concepts, new technologies and much more.

Save the dates!

Find all the technical conclusions in issues 383 and 384 of the first half of 2020 of the PIARC Routes/Roads magazine, which you can consult free of charge on the website www.piarc.org The proceedings of the Congress will soon be available also on PIARC’s website.

Canada, and more specifically Calgary, Alberta, is now the focus of the next PIARC International Winter Road Congress in 2022, as well as Prague, Czech Republic, for the next World Road Congress in 2023.

Find out more:

- Relive the opening and closing ceremonies, the ministers' session and the opening speeches:

- Website of the XXVIth PIARC World Road Congress

- Congress photo album

- The Congress in video

- The Congress on Twitter

- PIARC World Road Congresses

- Website of the Congress pre-proceedings