The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has released its 2021 Annual Report, highlighting several achievements and its efforts to stimulate growth in the face of unforeseen global socioeconomic changes and obstacles.
DMT's work to improve Abu Dhabi's competitiveness and support the emirate's development trajectory is detailed in the Annual Report 2021, which includes completing, approving, and implementing a series of vital strategic projects to improve the emirate's quality of life, as well as playing a leading role in supporting efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for Abu Dhabi residents.
As part of its urban growth strategy, DMT and its affiliated entities implemented several projects and developed sophisticated urban plans that contribute to the ongoing sustainable development of the emirate in 2021.
Providing more digital and smart services, utilizing the most up-to-date technologies, adopting best international practices, and implementing key projects at various levels in line with DMT's vision under the guidance and unconditional support of its leadership, has allowed delivering significant projects that strengthen Abu Dhabi's position as one of the world's best cities to live and invest in.
His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the DMT, said: “Due to the joint efforts of Abu Dhabi's government agencies, the emirate has been able to continue focusing on its long-term plans and vision despite the global pandemic, and the efforts made to combat it.
“As can be seen across all sectors, the emirate has not slowed down on its development and growth. In the past year, Abu Dhabi has achieved several accomplishments and projects that have placed it in the top global index for safety, innovation and smart cities, and liveability to promote the best quality of life globally.”
Sustainable Infrastructure and Integrated Urban Planning
The development of sustainable infrastructure and facilities throughout the emirate is one of the top strategic priorities of DMT, ensuring that the overall appearance and community facilities meet the highest international standards. DMT executed several essential projects to improve the emirate's infrastructure, increase road user safety, and provide facilities and entertainment for its residents.
DMT approved the commencement of many development projects in Abu Dhabi, including the first phase of the 'Bloom District' in Zayed City, the second phase of the 'Noya' residential project on Yas Island, and the Nakheel Residence and Hotel Complex.
Several new sports and recreational sites opened in 2021, along with 46 new pocket parks and 94 playgrounds in local communities as part of Abu Dhabi's ongoing efforts to promote healthy living and build on the emirate's status as a world-class place to live.
Abu Dhabi City Municipality completed a number of critical projects to strengthen the infrastructural elements within the city, provide the maximum levels of safety for road users, and provide amenities and entertainment for citizens and residents in the city. Some of the projects include the opening of Al Fay Park, covering an area of 27,500 square meters on Al Reem Island, opening of Qurum Corniche, the latest ecotourism destination in the city, completion of the Marina Al Bateen Street Development project and opening of three new parks in Khalifa City.
Al Ain City Municipality completed several new infrastructure projects, including the Asharj Tunnel, Khalid bin Sultan Street Tunnel, pedestrian bridges on Khalid bin Sultan Street and Zayed First Street, Traffic Enhancement Project in Al Ain, as well as the construction of 6 new intersections to improve traffic flow around Hazaa Stadium in the Al Tiwayyah district.
Al Dhafrah Region Municipality completed several projects, including the Camel Track Road in Zayed City, construction of several parks across various cities in Al Dhafrah and the establishment of a garden in the residential ponds in Mirfa'a city in addition to other extensive beautification works across the region.
Attractive Real Estate Sector
DMT took several steps towards creating a sustainable real estate market in Abu Dhabi by enacting regulations, laws, and programs and providing high-quality real estate services to showcase Abu Dhabi's real estate market's attractiveness and sustain investor trust.
Abu Dhabi registered outstanding real estate figures in 2021, with 14,958 transactions tallying to a total value of 71.5 billion dirhams, reflecting the ongoing sustainable development and attractiveness of real estate investments in Abu Dhabi.
As per the Department's real estate trading indices, the emirate's real estate sector recorded 7,262 sales transactions worth 18.2 billion dirhams and 7,696 mortgage transactions worth 53.3 billion dirhams.
Property owners and investors saved over 200 million AED in last two years, due to a further 26.4% reduction in service fees for development projects. DMT introduced the new budget and service fee approval process late 2020 to protect the interests of real estate investors and individual owners.
Innovative Services for Customer Happiness
As part of the Abu Dhabi government's digital transformation programme, the Department of Municipalities and Transport has digitised a total of 194 services, including the enhancement of 120 services, out of which 113 can be completed within six minutes.
The services are designed with the highest quality standards and according to the most up-to-date best practices to meet customers' needs while preserving their privacy to the highest standards of information and cyber security for digital platforms.
The launch of the Unified Technical Service Support Centre Toll-free number integrating all DMT and its affiliates' customer support providing a quick and efficient service, the launch of the DMT Chat-bot service for emergency support via WhatsApp to obtain support and track the status of their requests and the launch of the digital payments in Abu Dhabi taxis to offer customers more payment options are some of the notable initiatives undertaken by DMT and its affiliates in their journey towards digital transformation.
Effective Transport Infrastructure and Mobility
DMT continued its efforts to develop further an integrated land transportation network that allows for easy and comfortable travel and mobility by focusing on advancing flexible mobility, providing various means of convenient and affordable transportation options, establishing measures to minimize carbon emissions, and enabling shared public transportation solutions.
Several projects that supported the connectivity of the emirate were completed, including the expansion of the emirate’s high-quality road network. The pilot phase of the 'Autonomous Vehicles', the first self-driving taxi in Abu Dhabi, was launched on Yas Island providing residents and visitors with modern, comfortable, and sustainable services via a safe and autonomous driving experience.
Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) launched an augmented reality service for public bus transportation to provide users with real-time information about bus arrival times and their current location, making public transport more convenient.
Abu Dhabi’s public bus usage grew significantly in 2021 with 423,200 passenger trips undertaken as a result of an increase in the number of routes and use of cutting-edge technologies that help users learn about schedules, bookings, and the best way to use them.
DMT is working with a group of worldwide partners to further develop its integrated air transport network by enhancing airport infrastructure and expanding flight alternatives to ensure the sector's long-term viability.
With 22 airline operators and 116 destinations included in its network, Abu Dhabi witnessed 5,262,376 passengers travel through its airport. In addition to approving the Abu Dhabi Airport master plan as part of its long-term strategy, DMT also developed an electronic system to monitor airport services and operations with data stored in a unified database to generate reports when needed.
In cooperation with Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Maritime oversaw the Enhancement & maintenance of 41 channels of Abu Dhabi waterways, Implementation of Code of Practice for marina operations in Abu Dhabi, the launch of Maritime Safety Maps and design of 9 new maritime infrastructures. It saw an 7.5% increase in the number of ferry users to 113,908 passengers in 4,361 trips. In addition to setting up mooring facilities in Al Zahiyah and on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Maritime also launched an online berth reservation system for users of Abu Dhabi's marine recreational facilities to have safe and easy access to the waters of Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi ports saw a 49% year-on-year increase with 44.6 million tons of general cargo handled.
Ongoing progress for the future
H.E. Al Ahbabi added: “Throughout its operations in 2021 in the municipal, transportation, and infrastructure sectors, DMT recorded robust growth and developed more projects related to emirate's land, air, and sea transportation networks in compliance with the highest standards of global security safety and sustainability.
“Collaboration and continuous communication with Abu Dhabi residents serve as the foundation for our project development, based on thorough studies, data, and analysis, which contribute to the well-being of the residents and exceed their expectations.
“DMT plans to continue focusing on collaborating with public and private sector partners to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s global role as one of the best places to live, work, and visit”.