As we approach the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition (23-25 April) in Dubai, our programme, panel sessions and list of speakers and participants is rapidly taking shape. Over the next week we will be sitting down with several of our Congress speakers and panellists to get their thoughts on MENA, public transport and the industry going forward.
Up next, we’re pleased to bring you some thoughts from Anne-Laure Naot, Chair of UITP Business and Human Resources Management Commission Partner at Eurogroup Consulting in France.
This year’s edition of the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition is based around the theme of 'Pioneering for Customer Happiness', recognising that customers are at the core of public transport service, how important do you think this theme is for public transport right now?
I think this theme is key because in this age of automation and robotisation, human relations remain at the heart of customer satisfaction; We can say that taking into account customer satisfaction is not enough, but looking for them to “love” your business or feel emotion when using your services is the question at stage nowadays.
The MENA region is leading the industry in many ways when it comes to revolutionary public transport, particularly Dubai, what do you think the world can learn from the progress the MENA region is making?
MENA cities are engaged to combat endemic congestion and environmental challenges and are therefore undergoing projects both on mass transit public transport and on new mobility. Urban mobility plans are drawn to improve the quality of life for their citizens. As the majority of their people are living in cities, these countries are highly urbanised and should be good examples of how to really tackle these challenges with network expansion and equilibrium between individual and shared mobility.
MENA cities are engaged to combat endemic congestion and environmental challenges
Would you be able to talk to us about the panel session you are appearing on?
The panel session will focus on ‘Measuring and Increasing Happiness for Public Transport’. We will have the honour of hearing Her Excellence the Minister of State for Happiness, Director General of Prime Minister's Office, UAE.
After this presentation our panellists, representing both public transport operators and organising authorities will present their company experience and discuss how to put customers at the centre of public transport services and go the extra mile for them.
We will also attempt to identify metrics for measuring wellbeing and happiness together with the overall quality of travel experience. The link with public transport competitiveness will also be questioned.
UITP recently launched our #PT4ME campaign with the World Bank to advance the role of women in public transport. How important do you think this issue is? What more do you think the sector can be doing to promote gender equality?
As a woman, and as a woman using public transport, I feel very concerned and think that each of us should be. As for many other subjects regarding diversity or gender equality, talking about it and shedding light on such a topic will help. This campaign is doing exactly that and I hope it will help women and men talk about it.
More globally to promote gender equality I am convinced that it starts at school—showing boys and girls that everything is possible for each of them and never stop reacting when things are going the wrong way.
Thanks to Anne-Laure for taking the time to speak with us!
Find out more about our keynote speaker!