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Department of Municipal Affairs organizes municipal participation in this years GIS day in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, 19 November 2008: The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA)Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), the regulative and legislative body of municipal work at the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Municipalities of the Emirate will participate in this years’ ‘GIS Day’ exhibition and events starting today through Friday, November 21st at ADNEC, the event is developed and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Committee (ADSIC).

GIS Day is an annual global event to showcase the real-world applications of GIS and is held in November each year, on the Wednesday during Geography Awareness Week, a geographical literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

This year’s events and exhibition presentations coordinated by ADSIC and collective government ‘Committee’ will be showcasing the vision amongst the Emirate of Abu Dhabi agencies for GIS, articulate examples of major business areas supported, highlight the significance of the AD-SDI program and additional government organizations efforts and communicate the commitment to expand the use of GIS throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The municipalities and the ‘AD-SDI Community’ members will be able to visually show their developments, plans or existing best GIS/SDI systems they currently have to the Abu Dhabi leadership, attending VIP’s, attending private sector executives, young students and GIS/SDI attending experts.

The Abu Dhabi government is encouraging businesses to join forces and support the provision of spatial information services to the entire emirate community and business sectors. H.E. Dr. Ju’an Salem Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Department of Municipal Affairs said, “The municipalities are encouraged to actively participate in the ongoing developments with GIS/SDI in the emirate, while creating a long-term strategy that will outline future plans and enhance cross municipal collaboration on this important sector. Geographic knowledge is key to all sectors and effective use of this technology is important to many overall benefits to the public.”

In preparation of the upcoming GIS Day the DMADMA organized a seminar to discuss the formation and implementation of Geographical Information System (GIS) and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). The session featured a presentation for DMADMA senior managers and executives by Dr. Zul Jiwani, architect of Qatar GIS, founder of Orion Technology in Canada, and GIS consultant with over twenty years experience.

This seminar enabled executives at the Department of Municipal Affairs to reach a common understanding of the purpose of GIS and review some of the best practices with regards to GIS that are being implemented around the globe. Additionally, Dr. Jiwani presented the vision for the Department of Municipal Affairs’ use of GIS and outlined several benefits of establishing an SDI and utilizing GIS within the Abu Dhabi Municipal system.

Commenting at the seminar which marks the department’s support of implementing GIS was Dr. Abdulla Ghareeb, Executive Director of Property Management, Department of Municipal Affairs, he said, “Facilitating the establishment of the GIS framework and ensuring that the DMADMA and Municipalities have access to current and correct information is critical to good decision making and development. As the policy and regulatory body for the municipal system one of the Department of Municipal Affairs’ key initiatives is to formulate the necessary policies for DMADMA, the Municipalities and the Municipal Council which includes the implementation of new technologies that enables us to provide improved municipal services and enhance the quality of living for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

During the seminar, Dr. Zul highlighted the primary goals of the Department of Municipal Affairs’ GIS framework:

  • Empower DMADMA Municipal staff to provide enhanced services to its constituents
  • Empower DMADMA management to make informed decisions based on current and easily accessible data
  • Make organization structure transparent to service delivery
  • Empower other agencies by sharing DMADMA’s most current spatial data to enable agencies to enhance their services to their constituents
  • The Department of Municipal Affairs aims to coordinate with the Municipalities and work together towards implementing the GIS framework. According to Dr. Zul, this will allow DMADMA to “get the right data to make the right decisions” and will augment the services currently provided by the DMADMA and Municipalities. Additionally, GIS will contribute to the development and preparation for Abu Dhabi 2030, providing relevant ‘geostatistical’ information to enable ongoing informed and authentic decision making.