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Strategic Partnership with Al-Futtaim Automotive

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Al-Futtaim Automotive to deploy 360 vehicles, including electric and hybrid variants, for use in Dubai’s key conferences and events over a three year period. As part of the agreement, which supports RTA’s sustainable transport network and the ‘Zero-Emissions Public Transportation in Dubai 2050′ strategy, RTA’s official mobility partner will also provide assistance for further building the Authority’s electric charging technology and infrastructure.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Barcelona by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, and Paul Willis, President of Al-Futtaim Automotive, in the presence of several high-ranking officials from both organisations.

Public-private sector collaboration
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer said: “The partnership supports the UAE’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, a goal that is consistent with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The D33 strategy seeks to cement Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top urban economies by fostering stronger ties with the private sector.”

“This agreement forms part of implementing the ‘Zero-Emissions Public Transportation in Dubai 2050′ strategy aimed at fully transitioning all buses, taxis and limousines to zero-emissions vehicles. RTA aims to convert 100% of its public buses to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2050, and transform 100% of its taxis to electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2040.

“RTA has long been a pioneer in sustainable transportation in the region by deploying hybrid vehicles within its taxi fleet as early as 2008, and rolling out electric vehicles as taxis from 2017,” he added.

Al Tayer attributed the progress and advancements made in Dubai’s public transportation over the past 18 years to the support and follow-up of the leadership. “RTA has successfully developed an integrated and sustainable mass transit system. The network has increased the proportion of trips taken using mass and shared transportation modes from a mere 6% in 2006 to a significant 19.4% in 2022,” he further said.

Strategic mobility partner
Paul Willis, President of Al-Futtaim Automotive, said: “As a pioneering mobility group in the UAE, we strongly believe in the power of collaboration to drive the industry and society forward. This belief is reinforced with our partnership with RTA, and we take pride in serving as RTA’s Strategic Mobility Partner for mega events, which expedites the ‘Zero- Emission Public Transportation in Dubai 2050 Strategy’

“Being the largest automotive distributor in the UAE, we have been at the forefront of alternative propulsion since 2008, introducing hybrid vehicles in the public transport sector and achieving a significant 46% market share in hybrid public transportation. In keeping with the UAE’s green transformation, we have recently expanded our products in both retail and commercial sectors, further propelling the UAE’s journey towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our commitment doesn’t stop there; we have also established the Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company to provide a comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem. We aim to have 50% of our car sales comprised of new energy efficient vehicles by 2030. This represents a significant acceleration, transitioning from 10% to 50% in less than seven years.”

Partnership agreement
As part of the three year partnership agreement, Al-Futtaim Automotive will supply a total of 360 electric and hybrid vehicles and buses, including 10 electric buses, 250 electric vehicles, and 100 hybrid vehicles.

Al-Futtaim Automotive will also provide the necessary infrastructure for electric charging that includes 10 electric charging units capable of both direct and alternating current. Furthermore, the Group will provide technical support for operational activities, electric mobility, and advanced technology utilisation specific to the electric fleet.

Electric buses
Al-Futtaim Automotive will supply 10 electric buses, including Volvo models, each outfitted with cutting-edge smart technologies. These buses feature an intuitive user interface that assists drivers in managing their routes by enabling efficient communication and data exchange through seamless integration with the vehicle systems. The smart bus is further equipped with an innovative passenger counting system that uses high-tech sensors to monitor the number of passengers entering and exiting the bus. The bus has a designated spot for wheelchair users, thereby catering to people of determination.

The buses have touch screens, providing drivers with real-time information on battery usage rate, door status, and temperature, as well as alerts and messages on the head-up display. They are also equipped with a one-of-a kind geographical navigation system that informs the driver about the environment and the suitability of the road for the bus. The buses feature a continuous monitoring system to track the driver’s condition and detect fatigue. Alerts are relayed to the driver and documented for future analysis. This proactive method helps to boost driver safety and reduces fatigue-related accidents.

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