The Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) organised the Abu Dhabi Statistics Stakeholders Forum 2023, bringing together government and private sector officials and representatives to discuss data collaboration and strategic programmes aimed at enhancing the statistical ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.

Representatives from federal and local government entities, as well as private sector companies, attended the forum, organised by SCAD on Thursday 22 June 2023. Two panel discussions were held to address fostering data collaboration and the pivotal roles played by both the government and private sectors in driving Abu Dhabi's statistical landscape.

In this context, His Excellency Ahmed Tamim Al Kuttab, Chairman of the Department of Government Support (DGS), lauded SCAD's role in managing the statistical work in Abu Dhabi, highlighting the importance of collaboration between the DGS-affiliated entities to equip the future government of Abu Dhabi with cutting-edge innovative solutions and advanced services.

His Excellency Ahmed Tamim Al Kuttab said: "The Department of Government Support and its affiliated entities are entering a new phase of their journey with an unwavering commitment to achieving the goals and vision established by our prudent leadership. Synergistic collaboration between the government and private sectors continues to pave the path for success, ensuring a prosperous future for Abu Dhabi to maintain its pioneering position at regional and international levels.

"We are working under the DGS umbrella to promote data collaboration and integration across various sectors, fostering innovation and enabling data-informed decision-making through advanced solutions. These initiatives create new opportunities for sustainable development in Abu Dhabi."

In his opening remarks, His Excellency Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director-General of SCAD, reiterated the centre's commitment to fostering collaboration, and alignment on visions and priorities with SCAD partners. He highlighted the importance of the development of Abu Dhabi's statistical ecosystem which has direct impact on vital sectors across the Emirate, supporting sustainable development and Abu Dhabi's global competitiveness as a leading economic hub, aligning with the ambitious vision of the Emirate and the UAE's 2071 Centennial Plan.

His Excellency Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi said: "SCAD organised the forum this year to celebrate notable achievements that were accomplished thanks to the guidance and support of our wise leadership. These accomplishments exemplify our resolute commitment to empower decision-makers and stakeholders across the government and private sectors."

His Excellency Alqemzi expressed SCAD's immense pride in its collaboration with partners from both the government and private sectors. He emphasised SCAD's dedication to enhancing cooperation and ensuring the success of its strategic plans and projects. His Excellency added that SCAD’s commitment aims to support the emirate's aspirations for data-driven development and strategic planning.

During the widely attended forum, SCAD showcased the accomplishments that were achieved during 2022, encompassing a multitude of statistical projects that include the Abu Dhabi Statistical Portfolio Project, the Statistical Ecosystem Development Project, and the Statistical Maturity Project.

Furthermore, the forum highlighted SCAD's awards received in 2022, including the UAE Innovates Award 2023 for the Most Innovative Disruptive Project, recognising SCAD’s Insights and Foresights Platform (IFP).

During the forum, discussions emphasised the substantial benefits resulting from agreements and memorandums of understanding that were signed with partners at the local, regional, and international levels. Agreements enabled SCAD the exchange of data and knowledge in vital areas, including statistics, data management and collection, mechanisms for generating statistics through administrative data, and advanced techniques in statistical ecosystem development.

The Forum showcased two engaging panel discussions, with the first session focusing on government entities. This session delved into the significance of administrative data in the statistical field and emphasised the importance of establishing a decentralised statistical ecosystem. SCAD also presented its strategies for enhancing statistical maturity levels and highlighted the array of statistical capacity-building programmes accessible to government employees in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Saeed Ali Al Fazari, Executive Director of the Strategic Affairs Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism, His Excellency Fahad Ghareeb Al Shamsi, Executive Director of the Support Services Sector at the General Administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi, and Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Hmoud Alefari, Director of the Central Statistics Department at Abu Dhabi Police, participated as panellists in this session.

The second-panel discussion, which centred on the private sector, emphasised the value of data-driven decision-making and SCAD’s role in supporting the private sector in attaining their business objectives. The discussion underscored the importance of data collaboration for the collective welfare of the society in Abu Dhabi. The session showcased examples and models of service-level agreements and memoranda of understanding recently forged between SCAD and different private companies.

The second session witnessed the participation of esteemed representatives from the private sector, including Aref Al Farra, Economic Adviser of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Selim Ergoz, Senior Vice President of Global Public Sector Strategy and Sales Enablement at Mastercard International; and Joe Abi Akl, Chief Corporate Development Officer at Majid Al Futtaim.

SCAD has established collaboration agreements with both Mastercard and Majid Al Futtaim Group. These agreements aim to enhance cooperation in the field of data and enable the generation of valuable analyses regarding consumption behaviours and spending trends within Abu Dhabi. Moreover, these agreements facilitate the comparison between online spending patterns and traditional, on-site spending patterns.

During the forum, SCAD unveiled its new website, a comprehensive platform that provides access to data and statistical insights to a wide array of entities and individuals. The website provides interactive features to enhance user experience and facilitate seamless access to the latest data and statistics. It is a valuable resource that caters to the needs of decision-makers and policymakers, equipping them with essential information to make well-informed decisions and shape effective policies.

In conclusion, a ceremony took place to acknowledge and honour private sector partners for their collaboration in implementing statistical surveys. Exceptional fieldworkers and enumerators were recognised for their outstanding work.

The forum was organised as a testament to SCAD's commitment to fostering partnerships, promoting effective communication, and building bridges of positive cooperation with government and private entities. The forum aims to solidify the collaborative efforts of the government and private sectors in driving Abu Dhabi's economic growth. Moreover, it serves as a platform to honour the instrumental partners who have played a pivotal role in advancing the statistical ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.