Progress for new address system in Abu Dhabi

The capital’s new addressing system for buildings in Abu Dhabi city is complete, the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) said on Tuesday.

According to the DMA, it has installed about 97 per cent of the new street signs in Abu Dhabi city. Sammy Dallal / The National
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ABU DHABI // The capital’s new address system for buildings in Abu Dhabi city is complete, the Department of Municipal Affairs said on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi Municipality said it would continue with the introduction of new street signs, and that the implementation for Al Ain and the Western Region would start later this year.

The new address system, called Onwani, is due to be completed emirate-wide by the end of next year.

Omar Al Shaiba, director of the property and spatial division at the DMA, said: “Now we have completed the address for each building for all of Abu Dhabi city. It’s 100 per cent complete.”

According to the DMA, it has completed about 97 per cent of the street names in the city, and 99 per cent of overhead road signs have been completed on Abu Dhabi Island.

About 65,000 address signs with QR (quick response) codes have been put in place on establishments and buildings.

“In 2015, we aim to complete Abu Dhabi city and, in 2016, we will finish Al Ain and the Western Region.”

Over the course of the project, Onwani will introduce more than 180,000 building addresses and 19,000 street names, with 240 district boundaries reviewed and 49,000 new street and district signs installed.

On Tuesday a new Onwani mobile app was announced to allow people to search for new street addresses. Mr Al Shaiba said the new app would be available for public use in two weeks.

“The new Onwani app consists of inbuilt QR codes too and people wouldn’t need to download it separately,” Mr Al Shaiba said.

The app will be linked to navigation via popular mapping apps such as Google Maps, and will allow the sharing of addresses via social media such as Whatsapp and Instagram.

Saeed Al Ghafli, chairman of the DMA, said: “How we reference the places we live, work and visit really matters.

“The smart addressing system will help the emirate develop by adding value to people’s everyday lives, and to the daily business operations of many entities,” he said.

The Onwani app would grow over time with the roll-out of the address system, he said.

An interactive training workshop on the new unified address system was conducted by the DMA yesterday, which was attended by more than 100 government and private entities.

“The UAE has demonstrated phenomenal growth over the past decade. In order to achieve economic development and the quality of life that is sought, it is vital that the current infrastructure is both expanded and improved to cope with increased demands,” Mr Al Ghafli said.

The DMA launched the Onwani project in November 2013.

The smart address system is intended to improve emergency services’ response times and would also minimise travel time, thus helping to reduce the environmental impact of vehicle use, Mr Al Ghafli said.

The Onwani app will be linked to Darb, an interactive map, and the City Guard