MAN Truck & Bus Middle East Foresees a Continuous Increase in Demand for Public Transport Solutions until 2015

Launch of fifth generation NEOPLAN Skyliner at MENA Congress and Showcase answers need for premium transportation solutions

MAN Truck & Bus Middle East expects demand for public transport solutions in the region to grow continuously over the next three years.

The leading bus provider predicts that the ambitious infrastructure development plans announced by the GCC governments at the beginning of this year will lead to a greater demand for viable and comfortable public transport solutions, as part of overall plans to build and improve city transportation networks, and in line with plans to boost local economies and improve the quality of life for citizens.

The GCC has witnessed a great deal of attention in recent years on reducing air pollution by reducing the number of private cars running on roads and providing modern public transport alternatives that combine adequate passenger capacity, environmentally friendly technologies and greater passenger safety.

MAN’s predictions come ahead of its participation in the MENA Congress & Showcase and UITP International Taxi Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi in March. The event is considered to be the largest of its kind in the MENA region and is expected to host around 60 regional spokespersons and 400 entities from across the world with interests in the field of public transport, from both the public and private sectors. The event is expected to serve as a key platform for participants to share and exchange ideas, experiences and new developments in the field.

Thomas Weinmann, Senior Sales Manager, MAN Truck & Bus Middle East said “MAN expects to focus attention on the region’s markets, especially UAE, Qatar and Oman, as these markets offer great potential, especially in terms of demand for gas-powered buses. We also intend to strengthen our position in the Saudi market in line with growing government interest towards improving the public transport sector.

Weinmann added: “The demand for buses in the Middle East has increased in the past year by 12%. Due to planned infrastructure development and the allocation of significant budgets towards its realisation announced at the beginning of 2012, we expect a greater increase in demand this year. We also expect overall demand to continue to grow for all means of public transport solutions until 2015.”

He added: “Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are consistently working on improving the internal transportation network in the two cities to allow residents and visitors to travel with ease. They have also invested in environmentally friendly technologies to reduce harmful gas emissions on the road. MAN is privileged to be the major provider of state-of-the art public transport solutions in the two cities, as our buses utilize the most advanced technologies in passenger safety, reduction of fuel consumption and reduction of harmful gas emissions.”

The Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi is already operating 400 MAN buses and runs currently a trial period with a 100% gas powered MAN Lion’s City bus, which has been launched at last year’s MENA Congress & Showcase. The bus is the first to be TÜV certified in the UAE and is especially developed for hot countries in the Middle East. The bus is driven by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine powered by natural gas. The engine delivers 228 kW (310 hp) while its emissions are way below the limits set for EEV and the EURO 6 norm, currently the most stringent emission standards.

This year’s Congress will see the company launch of the fifth generation NEOPLAN Skyliner. The new model represents the continuation of 40 years of success in the premium double deckle segment. The NEOPLAN Skyliner combines a light upper deck atmosphere utilising its SkyLight concept, dual-zone AC, impressive and economical propulsion and highly developed safety concepts in a luxurious and comfortable double decker passenger coach. The use of the award-winning Sharp Cut design and superior aerodynamics helps reduce fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and wind noise.