The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government have deepened the relationship between both Abu Dhabi and the South Korean capital with the signing of a friendship city agreement, with DMT also opening the Seoul-based World Smart Sustainable Cities Organisation’s (WeGO) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional office. The move has marked a significant milestone in international cooperation for urban development and transportation innovation.

The inauguration ceremony for the regional office was held in the presence of distinguished guests and high-level officials, including His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of DMT, Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul and President of WeGo, His Excellency Omar Al Nuaimi, Director-General of Corporate Affairs at DMT, and Jung Sook Park, Secretary-General of WeGO. Also in attendance were notable WeGo officials, such as the Mayor of Makati, the Mayor of Ramallah, the Executive Director of Kampala, the Deputy Mayor of Abuja – who also represented WeGO's African Regional Office – as well as the Secretary-General of Tunis.

This milestone follows DMT’s successful bid at the 6th General Assembly of the World Organisation for Smart and Sustainable Cities in Seoul, South Korea. The MENA regional office will serve as a hub for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and capacity-building initiatives aimed at empowering cities in the region to harness the benefits of smart technologies for sustainable urban development.

His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of DMT. Said: "Hosting the WeGO MENA regional office and the signing of the Friendship City Agreement are significant achievements for the DMT and emirate at large. They reinforce Abu Dhabi's position as a leading hub for smart sustainable urban development in the MENA region, showcasing our commitment to innovation and excellence in urban planning and transportation infrastructure. These collaborations further underscore our dedication to fostering international partnerships and driving forward the global agenda for sustainable urbanisation."

The friendship city agreement, signed between His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa and Mayor Oh Se-hoon encompasses various areas of collaboration. These include urban and transport planning, municipal services, autonomous vehicles, public transport innovations, smart city solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and smart systems. Furthermore, the agreement extends to innovative transport solutions, smart infrastructure, energy innovations, data analysis, AI utilisation, open data initiatives, and the promotion of research and development in urban development.

Mayor Oh Se-hoon said: "Today, as we celebrate the official opening of WeGO's MENA regional office and the signing of the friendship city agreement, we stand at the threshold of a new era in urban development. These milestones between Abu Dhabi and Seoul symbolise not just an alliance, but a shared vision of progress and prosperity. In this journey towards a brighter tomorrow, let the exchange of ideas and our partnership become the catalyst for transformative change, inspiring cities around the world."

During inauguration ceremony, senior government officials and international city mayors underscored their shared commitment to urban innovation and excellence. They articulated a common goal – inspiring cities worldwide to embark on similar journeys toward a more prosperous and interconnected urban future.