The new, smart addressing system for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was officially launched last week by the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) with support from GPC in collaboration with the Bayanat Consortium. The Project’s publicity campaign to inform people of the changes coming will be rolled out with each Project phase through the name ‘Onwani’, which means ‘My Address’ in Arabic. The originally named ‘Unified and Wayfinding Project for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’ aims to enhance the quality of life in the Emirate and provide sustainable development in line with the Abu Dhabi economic vision. Upon completion, the new system will be a distinct innovation to life and work in the Emirate, helping to create a unique identity.
The system is based on globally recognised standards and will modernise and standardise the way places are named and located creating the first universal platform for addresses across the Emirate. As a result it will enable work across government to be more joined up and services to be better targeted. The system will be implemented by the three municipalities: Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality and Western Region Municipality and is due to be completed by the end of 2015.
In the largest project the municipal system has ever undertaken, every building in the Emirate will receive a unique address. As a result of the change: 12,000 new street names will be introduced, 200,000 addresses will be simplified, 200 new district names will be created as well as 20,000 new road and district signs. This represents change for 87% of the United Arab Emirate.
Speaking at the launch of the new addressing system, HE Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman, DMA, said: “Where we live helps define who we are and where we want to go. A smart, new addressing system for Abu Dhabi will establish a unique identity for the Emirate, combining a fresh, modern outlook with the best of our local culture. In establishing the first universal and unified addressing system we are leading the Emirate into a smarter future.”
While based on globally recognised standards, the new addressing system will also reflect local culture and heritage. Local experts were consulted and the resultant signage has been transliterated rather than translated.
The new addressing system will also incorporate the latest technology providing smart solutions for residents, businesses and visitors to the Emirate. H.E Dr. Abdulla Ghareeb Al Bloushi, the new system Committee Chairman and Executive Director-DMA added: “We are providing a smarter way of working for a smarter way of living. The new addressing system is easy to understand and practical to use. By incorporating the latest technology it will provide fast and efficient information, allowing residents, companies and visitors to go about their everyday business more intelligently and efficiently so they are able to enjoy more of what the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has to offer.”
Designed in line with the Emirate’s vision for a smart government, the new addressing system is intended to provide a variety of economic, social and environmental benefits. These include: improved response times for emergency services; more accurate record of demographic data, enhancing delivery of services; better wayfinding to reduce journey times around the Emirate; reducing air pollution and CO2 footprint through decreased travel time and fuel consumption; making the Emirate more attractive for tourists; and creating a smarter economy for distribution of goods and to tap into global economic opportunities, such as the growing e-economy.
The project to create a new addressing system is being spearheaded by DMA. It will collate and build upon information already held in disconnected and disparate databases and develop it into a single, coordinated system for the entire Emirate. GPC is supporting this endeavor with its expertise and experience in infrastructure development.