The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) concluded an exceptional year with qualitative achievements in its drive to enhance Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness and support its development path by completing, approving and accomplishing a range of vital services. This included projects of strategic importance to enhance the quality of life in the Emirate, in addition to the main role in supporting the efforts of the National Authority to limit the spread of Covid 19 and to provide a healthy and safe environment for the residents of the region.
Despite the challenges faced globally in 2020, which affected all sectors at different levels, DMT was able to continue its efforts in serving society, thanks to the guidance and unlimited support of Abu Dhabi leadership. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, DMT focused on completing the development process and was able to achieve an exceptional work in its march to strengthen Abu Dhabi's position as one of the best cities in the world to live and invest in. This is evidenced by the fact that Abu Dhabi has been named one of the most livable cities in the Middle East and North Africa by The Economist Global report.
Out of its keenness to support the business sector in line with Abu Dhabi Government’s strategy to enhance Abu Dhabi’s global competitiveness, the DMT provided many economic incentives during the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, and in line with the main role DMT plays in supporting the comprehensive development process in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. With that contribution, the DMT has enhanced Abu Dhabi's competitiveness in all fields and supported the leadership at all levels.
During 2020, the DMT worked on expanding the provision of digital services, accomplished many service projects, and adopted many future urban plans that enhance the quality of life in the Emirate, and contribute to providing comprehensive and integrated services to its residents and visitors, and it also contributed actively to the national efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, and all the accomplishments that have been achieved are an integral part of a broader vision through which the DMT seeks to improve the level of services and develop many projects, in addition to employing the latest technologies and adopting best practices to provide facilities and services that delight Abu Dhabi residents and visitors, and enhance its position as one of the best cities in the world.
More than 3 million digital transactions
During the year 2020, DMT, through its affiliated municipalities and the Integrated Transport Center, completed more than 3 million transactions through its digital channels, accounting for 93% of its total transactions in 2020, and achieving 90% on the customer happiness index, as well as re-engineering 97 services which shortened the customer journey for some time and not exceeding 6 minutes to obtain a service.
Increase in real estate transactions
The volume of real estate transactions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi increased by the end of 2020, Despite the repercussions of the pandemic on the global economy, to reach 74 billion AED, as 19,000 transactions were completed that included sales and mortgages of land, buildings and real estate units for all types of land uses, with a growth rate of 28% compared to the value of transactions during the year 2019, which amounted to 58 billion AED.
Real estate sales were distributed over lands, buildings and units, as the value of land and buildings sales reached 25.3 billion AED through 4,647 deals, while the share of real estate units accounted for 5 billion AED through 3,427 deals.
This increase comes as a result of the efforts made by the DMT to support the real estate sector in conjunction with its implementation of many measures and the issuance of some legislations aimed at enhancing the level of transparency of real estate data in the emirate.
Safe transfer services
The DMT continued to work through the Integrated Transport Center to enhance its efforts to provide safe transport facilities, as it completed 1.65 million transactions, which represents 92.1% of the total completed transactions, an increase of 5.9%. As the number of passengers who used taxis reached 56 million passengers, through about 31 million trips made by 6,390 taxi vehicles and facilitating the electronic payment of the Abu Dhabi Taxi app, in addition to 42 million rides in public transport buses and the provision of Wi-Fi service for 520 buses.
As for maritime transport, the number of ferry users reached 106,069 passengers, an increase of 17% compared to 2019. In addition, 367 berths were developed in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for 100 million AED, and new water channels were developed, which are the Al-Hiali Canal with a length of 8.9 km and the Jbajibat Canal with a length of 12.5 km. The Cove Marina Canal is 1.2 km long, bringing the total length of waterways in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to 292 km.
More than 150 projects to enhance infrastructure and community facilities
DMT completed more than 150 development projects during the past year in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions, and it varied between infrastructure projects for existing and new areas in the emirate in addition to developing tunnels, streets, bridges and parking lots, and also included the construction, development and rehabilitation of parks, development of pedestrian paths and bicycle paths. In the Emirate, this was in addition to the beautification of the central islands of the streets and green spaces throughout the cities of the Emirate.
Increase in building permits
The remote work system activated by the DMT has proven remarkable success in accelerating the pace of completion of construction permits transactions. A total of 8,946 building permits were issued in 2020, compared to 8,080 licenses through the unified electronic system for building permits, an increase of 13% from 2019, while demolition licenses reached 482 licenses and 787 maintenance licenses.
Strategic partnerships, investment contracts and cooperation agreements
Emphasising the importance of strategic partnerships in achieving the vision of the DMT, the entity has signed several investment partnerships such as the Noor Abu Dhabi project to replace 43,000 traditional lighting units with new lighting units using LED technology that saves energy, which will provide electricity by up to 2,400 million kilowatt-hours, reducing consumption by approximately 76%, equivalent to saving 705 million AED throughout the 12-year agreement.
The DMT also signed a cooperation agreement to establish a settlement centre for real estate disputes, which contribute to settling disputes amicably and enhancing the attractive real estate and investment environment for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The DMT, through Al Ain City Municipality, concluded the first investment contract for natural assets through the Red Sand Quarry in the Saih Lahma area, to create new investment and economic opportunities and to enhance the strategic partnership between the government sector and the private sector and optimum utilisation of natural resources and municipal assets.
Meanwhile, the DMT contributed to the launch of Abu Dhabi Maritime to manage the maritime sector in the Emirate, after an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports, to supervise waterways and marine activities in the Emirate. Abu Dhabi Ports, a subsidiary of the Holding Company, is responsible for managing the waterways and the marine system of the Emirate through Abu Dhabi Maritime, in a move aimed at strengthening Abu Dhabi's position as a leading global centre for maritime operations and activities.