Abu Dhabi: During the first half of this year, the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and its affiliated entities revealed qualitative achievements, while providing asafe and secure environment to counter Covid-19 through active participation in the national sterilisation program, protecting the health and safety of all communities in Abu Dhabi Emirate.
Through its three municipalities,DMTissued 4,426 new building licenses in the first half of 2020 - an increase of 20% over the same period last year. The licenses were distributed to buildings for residential and commercial use in addition to government buildings and service facilities, reflecting the ongoing momentum driving the construction sector, despite repercussions of Covid-19.
The DMT’s efforts to improve the quality of life in the emirate, and its measures to regulate the real estate market, have contributed to Abu Dhabi topping the list as the most liveable cities in the Arab world, according to the annual classification issued by the Information Unit of the Economist Intelligence, affiliated with the Economist magazine. This comes after Abu Dhabi’s real estate market became the most improved real estate markets in the world between 2018 and 2020, according to JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which measures the transparency of real estate markets in 163 cities from 99 countries.
These achievements coincide with the active participation of DMT’s Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Al Ain Municipality and Al DhafrahMunicipality, andin cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Center for Waste Management (Tadweer) in the national sterilisation program, during which 365,000 working hours were carried out to sterilise nearly 23,000 km with the participation of more than 1,182 workers and engineers, as well as through the Integrated Transport Centre(ITC) to sterilise all taxis and buses, providing safe public transport for everyone in the emirate.
1.6 million transactions via digital and electronic channels
DMT accomplished 1.6 million digital transactions during the first half of this year through its digital and electronic platforms, viaa remote work system that ensured business continuity, playinga vital role in community service.
The digital transactions of DMT weredistributed among 491,500 transactions completed by itsthree regional municipalities, which constitutes 95% of its total transactions during the first half of this year, while ITC completed 1.17 million digital transactions.
Abu Dhabi City Municipality acquired 65% of the total digital transactions for the three municipalities, as the total digital transactions carried out in the first half of this year amounted to 319,000 digital transactions and constituted to 96% of the total transactions during H1, while the percentage of customer satisfaction reached 88%.
During the first half of the current year, Al Ain City Municipality accomplished 163,000 transactions, which constituted to 94% of its total transactions during this period, to achieve 86% of customer satisfaction, while Al Dhafrah Municipality completed more than 8,752 digital transactions, accounting for 90% of its total number of transactions during this period, achieving 89% in customer satisfaction.
Safe transport services and facilities
ITC announced completion of 1,453,270 transactions during the first half of 2020, which includes the various services it provides to community members, such as customers and users of public transport, supporting continuous efforts to promote easy and safe transport in Abu Dhabi emirate.
It also announced the completion of 21.3 million passenger trips on public transport buses, 23.2 million passengers in taxis, 43,672 passengers for maritime ferries, and an increased fleet of 772 buses.
Building permits rise 20% in H1
During the first half of 2020, the total number of building licenses issued by DMT, through its three municipalities, increased by 20% to 4,426 licenses, compared to 3,697 licenses during the same period last year. This coincides with the increase in certificates of achievement by 13% to 1,410 certificates in H1 2020, compared to 1,249 certificates for the same period last year. This reflects the ongoing momentum of the construction sector in Abu Dhabiemirate, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The remote working system, which DMT activated successfully, proved to accelerate the pace of issuance and completionof building permits, through the unified electronic system for building licenses, reducing time and efforts for issuing the license from sevendays in H1 2019, to justfour days in the first half of the current year. Thisaligns with the decrease in average performance timinginthe approved building permits request index, from 5.2 days in the first half of 2019 to 2.6 days for the same period in 2020.
Approval of fourmajor development projects
Within the framework of efforts to establish sustainable and integrated communities derivedfrom Emiraticulture and heritage, DMT has approved four significant development projects, including a number of commercial, residential and tourism facilities, covering a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 828,780 m2 throughout Abu Dhabi emirate. This includes The Grove project, which will be a mixed-use development with a capacity of 10,000 people, built on a total area of approximately 792,000 m2. The project, which is being developed by Aldar, is characterised by an integrated identity of cultures, enhancing the lifestyle of Abu Dhabi.
DMT also approved the general plan for Al Falah Free Zone (AFFZ) located near Abu Dhabi International Airport, which has a total area of 255,000 m2, contributing to enhancing the emirate's attractiveness for business and investment.
In Al Ain, DMT approved the AlSarooj residential complex, which will be built on a total area of more than 17,800m2. This integrated complexof 51 villa townhouses, which will be located in the vicinity of the oasis, will provide a capacity of more than 260 residents.
In the Al Dhafrah Region, DMT approved the MirfaLodge Park and Campsite, which is being built within the Marwah Marine Reserve, and has been listed for years as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) network for the Human and Biosphere Program. The 170-hectare project includes a variety of recreational facilities, including a sports field, swimming pool and camping areas.
Abu Dhabi is most liveable region and most improved real estate sector in the world
With the support of DMT’s efforts to improve quality of life in the emirate, Abu Dhabi was ranked first in the Arab world in the list of most liveable cities, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit of British magazine, the Economist, which topped all regional rankings related to quality of life. The emirate rose from second position in 2019 to first place this year, while it jumped three ranks globally to occupy the 70th position globally compared to 73rdlast year.This indicator measures the quality of life through a poll of 140 residents in cities around the world to live, according to 30 workers.
The real estate sector in Abu Dhabi also topped the list of the most improved markets in the world achieving an 8% improvement from 2018 and 2020, according to a report published by the JLL, which specialises in measuring the index of global real estate transparency.
The emirate also made progress at the regional level in real estate, ranking second in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2020 after ranking third in 2018. This comes afterAbu Dhabi advanced significantly in previous years to achieve 59th position globally in 2016, 55th in 2018 and 48th in 2020.
Abu Dhabi made this progress after its overall score on the index increased by 8% from 3.37 to 3.1 between 2018 and 2020, due to its improved score in the governance standard by 25% from 2.63 to 1.96 in the same period,its performance in the standard of laws and regulations, which increased by 19% from 3.8 to 3.09 during this period, and in conjunction with an improvement in its performance within the sustainability standard by 13%, increasing from 3.57 to 3.09 between 2018 and 2020.
The index is an essential tool in international investment decisions in real estate for investors, developers and individuals. In its 11thedition, the JLL report covers 163 cities in 99 countries. The index is measured on six main axes, which are performance of real estate markets, availability of basic market data, governance, regulations and laws, along with procedures and sustainability.
Thousands of hours in sterilisation for a healthy and safe environment
In support of national efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, DMT implemented365,000 hours, through the three municipalities and in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Center for Waste Management (Tadweer), during which it sterilised nearly 23,000 km, with the participation of more than 1,182 workers and engineers,using the latest mechanisms and technologies, including self-driving robots.
It also worked to provide safe means of transport by sterilising more than 48,000 vehicles to transport Covid-19 patients, of which more than 6,000 were taxis and 627 public buses. During its participation in this program, more than 4.5 million litres of water per dayhad been consumed for washing and sterilisation, along with 14,000 litres of sterilisationliquid per day, and 861 equipped vehicles and vehicles used.
Launching new tourist destinations and attractions
DMT inaugurated the Crimean Walk project in Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi, which is the first of its kind in the emirate, and aims to enhance the elements of eco-tourism, highlighting the importance of Crimea trees, and providing its visitors with an opportunity to explore the picturesque natural areas and coastal environment in the emirate.
International events for the first time in the region
In cooperation with UN-Habitat,DMT organised the World Urban Forum (WUF10) which broughttogether prominent global speakers, leaders, investors, experts, government officials, and many of the leading and influential personalities in the field of sustainable urban development, to discuss how to shape a sustainable urban future foreveryone.
Strategic partnerships with the private sector to support development
DMT has awarded a project to replace 43,000 traditional lighting units in Abu Dhabi Island with new lighting units operating with energy-efficient LED technology. The new lighting will provide up to 900 million kilowatts of hours, with an estimated value of 264 million dhsover the period of the contract. The project will be implemented by Tadweer, as it will contribute to raising safety on Abu Dhabi roads, achieving the highest standards of sustainability in infrastructure projects.
Economic incentives package and acceleration of Ghadan 21 initiatives
As part of its commitment to implement the leadership directions, the total exemptions and reductions from DMT fees according to the economic package launched by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council amounted to more than 1.4 billion dhsfor individuals and business sectors, aimed at enabling them to face current and future challenges. The exemptions are for documentation fees for companies, fees for traffic tariff gates for all vehicles, municipal fees forleisure tourism sectors, real estate registration fees for individuals and companies, and fees for registration of commercial vehicles.