The modern Dubai is a city offering a kaleidoscope of colour, exotic buildings, stunning scenery and exemplary service. Much has been created since the mid 1970s, when work began in earnest to create a modern society that could economically stand on its own two feet without purely relying on oil for income.
And growing every step of the way along this momentous journey has been the Dubai Municipality (DM), a Dubai Government department (equivalent to a Dubai City Council) responsible for urban planning, and maintenance of public facilities. Municipal affairs and services include cultural and heritage development, apartments and buildings regulation, food control, drainage network, sewage treatment, public parks, public health and safety, and various other municipal affairs and services.
Dubai Municipality was very much established in a different era of the Emirate’s history, in 1954, by Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai at the time.
Back in those days DM operated with just 3 employees working from one small room. By 2007, that figure had grown to over 15,000 staff, spread across 32 separate divisions.
Dubai Municipality is responsible for an almost inexhaustible breadth of services encompassing everything from environmental considerations, to infrastructure and building permission, to public health and safety and business services.
In November 2014, it was announced that Dubai Municipality had won the National Brand Award in the category of ‘Star Companies /Organisations’ in government sector granted by the Nobel Forum for International Peace in collaboration with International Non-Olympic University.
Having received the award, Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said that he was receiving this award as recognition for the overall work of Dubai Municipality in branding the name of Dubai through its wonderful projects and initiatives during the year of 2013 – a year which saw the Emirate awarded the World Expo for 2020.
“We have submitted all our documents to the award committee upon their request and they studied the role of Dubai Municipality in building and maintaining the entire infrastructure of Dubai and the services provided by DM in various fields for the public,” Lootah said.
“In the Middle East, Dubai Municipality is the first government organisation that wins this international award. We are extremely proud of this milestone achievement that proves DM’s privilege for a number of awards in different fields of its work and initiatives,” he added.
Indeed November was a busy month for recognition and also saw Lootah receive the Jury members of the Dubai International Award For Best Practices, which is known as Dubai Award, in his office during their visit to Dubai to select the winners of the 10th edition.
Having welcomed the jury members, Lootah praised their efforts and hard work to select the winners of the 10th edition of Dubai Award in line with the criteria and requirements set by Dubai Municipality.
“Since the Award has been given for the best international practices to improve the living conditions, we get hundreds of applications from every part of the world, especially from the third world countries. It is very hard to study each application since we need to visit the project location and meet its beneficiaries to confirm the positive impact and result of such projects in their society,” he said.
“The Dubai Award was established in 1995 under the directive of late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during the United Nations International Conference. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and the Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Municipality have continued to support this Award,” he explained.
“The Award which recognized 108 best practices so far out of around 4,000 applications through its previous editions now reached its 10th edition this year. The civic body is proud to be the owner of this prestigious award that dedicated to promote the genuine efforts of individuals, institutions and organisations in any part of the world with the aim at improving the living conditions of people who suffer in their day-to-day life due to the lack of basic needs such as water, electricity, food, medicine, education …etc,” he added.
At the time of writing, DM is busy organising the second Geographic Information system Conference, set to take place this February.
Eng. Abdulla Rafia, assistant director general for engineering and planning sector at Dubai Municipality, recently highlighted the role of DM in the process of harmonizing among government entities in the field of geographic data and requirements for continued maintenance in order to ensure the continuity, safety and reach to the relevant parties in proper way.
Rafia also spoke about the vision of civic body in achieving the smart city and its role in simplifying and generalising such information to directly address the public.
Eng. Rafia also inaugurated the Arab Future Cities Conference and shed light on the strategies of Dubai Municipality in the planning for projects with the aim at achieving the Dubai Smart City concept, where he highlighted the sustainability policy in the natural resources, impact of effective planning, spreading green area, maintenance of historical places, biodiversity and support of desert conservation activities.
He explained Dubai’s roadmap from 5 main aspects towards achieving the smart city which included the corporate framework, scientific research, development, awareness and stimulus programs.
He also shed light on the strategy of integrated energy in Dubai by 2030 in order to ensure sustainable supply of energy and boost the efficiency.
In addition, he spoke about the green building rules, green roofs, sustainable concrete material, cooling public areas, implementing LED systems for illuminating public places, improving efficiency of irrigation, use of treated water and salt water.
Dubai has come a very long way since 1954, and Dubai Municipality has grown and evolved to compliment its growth on every step of the journey.