In a record development for the Arab World, Dubai Municipality has signed a ‘smart’ memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) to spur advancements in geospatial infrastructure through the use of geographic information system (GIS) tech, with the municipality’s director general, Dawoud Al Hajri, and DCD’s director general, Maj Gen Expert Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, e-signing the paperless agreement using electronic panels, with attendees watching a live telecast of the ceremony.
The MoU paves the way for Dubai Municipality and DCD to provide a unified and up-to-date basic map of Dubai to be used for planning, designing, and managing expansion as well as new projects.
A service level agreement (SLA) will be prepared by Dubai Municipality and DCD within three months to outline the details of their cooperation in areas such as the exchange of maps, the integration of geospatial systems, and the basis of their participation with other bodies.
Additionally, the SLA will cover technical support and advisory services, as well as capacity building and e-linking with each other.
Dubai Municipality’s GIS centre is the sole official source for the collection of geographical and digital data and information of Dubai from the local departments and bodies, public institutions, persons, and companies operating in the Emirate of Dubai.
For DCD, the MoU means it will be able to achieve the ‘shortest response time’ to deliver its critical services, particularly those related to fire and rescue for which, as Al Matrooshi explained, “operations are measured in seconds”.
He continued: “Hence, the availability of a comprehensive, unified and up-to-date basic map of Dubai will provide civil defence with the necessary background information for firefighters when accidents occur, which shortens response time – a strategic objective of civil defence because it is linked to saving people from the risk of death – reducing property losses and the ability to minimise damage to the environment.
“The presence of a digital interactive GIS centre will combine planning resources and thus enhance the shared vision of development projects developed by each service department within the competitive pioneering services of the Government of Dubai.”
Al Hajri said the agreement was an important step in developing and strengthening inter-department relations to “organise and coordinate legal procedures and systems”.