UITP Summit will head to the UAE for the 2026 edition

July 24, 2023

Heading to Dubai… For our new Annual Summit

Where will you be when the world of urban mobility descends upon Dubai for the UITP Summit in 2026?

We know that you will of course have been in Hamburg the year before for the 2025 edition, the first of two to be held in the German city…

After all, we may have just wrapped a hugely successful 2023 edition in beautiful Barcelona, but we already have our sights set on the next host cities to carry forward the incredible achievements made this year!

First, a recap…in November 2021, UITP announced our new approach to bringing the public transport sector together with our updated event strategy.

Following conversations and consultation with our membership, we decided to make the UITP Global Summit an annual gathering.

But what did that mean for those wonderful and impressive cities who would bid to become our next host location?

Well, with the news that the Summit would take place every year starting from 2025, we opened the tender for the 2025 and 2027 editions to any city on the European continent. In the new format, that same city would host both editions…and earlier this year, Hamburg was announced as our winning host city!

And now, we’re pleased to announce the host city of our Summit in the alternate year outside of Europe: Dubai will become the public transport capital of the world in 2026 when UITP joins our local partner Roads and Transport Dubai (RTA Dubai) for the first Summit to be held in the international city since 2011.

When the UITP Global Summit arrives in Dubai in 2026, it will be exactly fifteen years since the Summit was last hosted there in 2011. Even then, the city was very well advanced when it comes to urban mobility. Since then, public transport has developed at a truly impressive rate thanks to the strong focus and commitment of RTA. With the changes to our global events strategy, Dubai will become the first city outside of Europe to host the new UITP Annual Summit. I’m excited to see what outstanding urban mobility options the delegates will experience upon their arrival.

Mohamed Mezghani

Secretary General, UITP

An impressive history… For UITP in the region

UITP has a strong history in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), going back to the mid-1990s.

Our dedicated UITP MENA office was opened in Dubai in 2005, with the city then hosting the UITP Global Summit to great success in 2011.

Next year, UITP will host the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition (28 February-1 March 2024) in partnership with RTA Dubai, which will be the final edition of the leading event in the MENA region dedicated to urban mobility.

This will then allow us to progress to the 2026 UITP Summit alongside RTA as our local partner.

In order to place the very spotlight on the 2026 edition, UITP was pleased to officially announce during the 2023 edition in Barcelona that Dubai would become our first host city outside of Europe under our brand-new format.

We are proud of our long-standing relationship with UITP, which began with the establishment of RTA in 2005, and reached a milestone when Dubai successfully hosted the UITP World Congress and Exhibition in 2011, marking its debut in the MENA region Dubai’s successful bid to host this prestigious global event is in perfect alignment with the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, which strives to position Dubai among the top three cities worldwide. It underscores Dubai’s global leadership as a preferred destination for international events and highlights the international community’s confidence in Dubai’s outstanding global reputation. The selection also exemplifies Dubai’s proven capability to host successful international events, showcasing the excellence and efficiency of its public transport infrastructure.

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer

Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Road and Transport Authority Dubai

A vision for the future… At #UITP2026

UITP’s presence in the region, and close collaboration with major players such as RTA Dubai, allows us to provide opportunities for our regional members to reinforce their voice and involvement in the development of public transport on a worldwide level.

Significant investments in public transport projects show that the MENA region is witnessing a  clear paradigm shift towards more public transport…and UITP is delighted to see what the world of urban mobility will discover when arriving for the 2026 UITP Summit.

Destination Dubai 2026 – stay tuned for more in the times ahead! 

©: Dubai RTA

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