By Staff writer
Transport authority also says more than $23bn saved in time and fuel as a result since 2006
The head of Dubai's transport authority has revealed that it has spent about AED80 billion ($21.7 billion) on infrastructure projects in the past decade.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also said its assets amounted to more than AED85 billion.
The projects undertaken by the RTA have contributed to the UAE having some of the world's best roads and improving the quality of life for residents, Al Tayer said in a statement.
He added that the RTA's projects have had a positive bearing on the economy of Dubai, with savings in time and fuel exceeding AED87 billion between 2006 and the end of 2014.
Al Tayer's comments during the launch of the Projects Management Development Programme (Projects) came just days after former British PM Gordon Brown urged Middle East countries to step up its investments in infrastructure.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum last weekend, Brown said infrastructure development was "a huge opportunity not just because of the high youth unemployment and the need for facilities but because interest rates have been low and there is a surplus in savings".
Brown, who is currently chair of the World Economic Forum Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, said it was an opportunity to "have a greater impact on the quality of life of people".
MENA countries spend only 5 percent of GDP on infrastructure, compared with 15 percent in China. With oil prices low, governments in the region can divert money that would normally go on energy subsidies to infrastructure development instead, Brown said.
Last year, Al Tayer said the RTA is planning at least another 35 mega projects in the future.
Speaking at the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology (InnoTrans 2014) in Berlin, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said work was progressing on projects related to Expo 2020.