Siraj Ismail, enterprise risk manager, shows the water taxi and bus routes on the screen during a meeting at RTA’s Crisis Operations Centre in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Siraj Ismail, enterprise risk manager, shows the water taxi and bus routes on the screen during a meeting at RTA’s Crisis Operations Centre in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Inside Dubai's RTA Crisis Management centre

DUBAI // When Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan has an easy day at the office, chances are your commute to and from work went smoothly.

Mr Bahrozyan is the chief executive of the Road and Transport Authority's licensing agency and commander of its Crisis Management Team (CMT) in Dubai.

"The RTA has invested billions of dirhams over the past few years on building and maintaining a transport infrastructure," said Mr Bahrozyan. "The job of the CMT is to support those agencies, protect their assets and ensure continuity of service."

"If there is a breakdown we have to restore it as soon as possible. The issue first goes to the Emergency Management Team. If they are unable to clear it in time it is then escalated to a crisis and CMT is alerted."

The CMT is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mr Bahrozyan's phone is always receiving information on incidents throughout the transport infrastructure.

"Every member of the CMT must assemble at the Crisis Operations Centre within 30 minutes of the dispatch. The first hour of the incident is called the 'Golden Hour.' Our best option is to try to resolve the situation within that time to reduce its impact on other parts of the infrastructure."

The new Crisis Operations Centre is high-tech hub filled with giant screens. The screens broadcast streams from more than 5,000 cameras fitted to the Dubai Metro coaches and stations, various streets across the emirate, marine transit points, and other RTA facilities.

The centre is fully operational only during a crisis, but there are staff on hand to ensure all components of the centre are operational in case an incident should occur.

Ahmad Ali Ahmad is the crisis operations engineer and chief supervisor of the new centre. His job is to monitor emergencies and call in the Crisis Management Team when things go bad.

"We have an alert system that allows us to quickly send out SMSes to the various RTA teams informing them of any incidents," he said.

The RTA has four operations centres: one each for taxis, buses, the Metro and Marine. Crisis Operations Centre is linked to their systems and receives real-time information about any problems.

"The crisis centre has also been fitted with hotlines to various government departments such as the Dubai Police, Dewa, Dubai Municipality, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, Civil Defence, and the ambulance services," said Mr Bahrozyan.

The various bodies run regular drills to ensure they are prepared to work together in any situation. And to be doubly sure, the RTA's new Accident Investigation Centre (AIC) – next door to the crisis centre – has been running simulations of every imaginable scenario.

The AIC was launched this month with the aim of not only providing detailed information during accident investigations, but also to run safety and risk assessments. For example, the centre created a 3-D simulation of a train derailment on the Dubai Metro.

"These scenarios provide our team with invaluable experience in how to handle extraordinary situations in a controlled environment, so should they ever be in that situation they will be respond quickly and efficiently," said Shihab Ahmad Maki, an accident investigation engineer at AIC.

In the event of a real accident, the AIC analyses all collected evidence from an accident site and provides a detailed report to the investigation team.

"We enter all the data collected by the investigators into our system and run a forensic analysis to determine the specifics of the accident," said Mr Maki. "Once we have concluded a report we also create a 3-D model of the incident which we can use for training or assessment.

"We also provide recommendations to the RTA and try to prevent future incidents. These recommendation can range from a need for new equipment, to specification changes or a complete redesign of a system."

While both centres are poised to spring into full action during a crisis, the real hope is that they never do.

"In 2012 we had many emergency situations, but I'm happy to say that none of them were escalated crisis," said Mr Bahrozyan.

"This shows how efficient the EMT is and how good they are at handling emergency situations."

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Manchester United v Liverpool

Premier League, kick off 7.30pm (UAE)


South Africa:
Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wkt), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada
Coach: Ottis Gibson

Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Imrul Kayes, Liton Das (wkt), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (wkt), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.
Coach: Chandika Hathurusingha

Company profile

Company name:+Dharma

Date started:+2018

Founders:+Charaf El Mansouri, Nisma Benani, Leah Howe

Based:+Abu Dhabi


Funding stage:+Pre-series A 

Investors:+Convivialite Ventures, BY Partners, Shorooq Partners, L& Ventures, Flat6Labs

Day 1 results:

Open Men (bonus points in brackets)
New Zealand 125 (1) beat UAE 111 (3)
India 111 (4) beat Singapore 75 (0)
South Africa 66 (2) beat Sri Lanka 57 (2)
Australia 126 (4) beat Malaysia -16 (0)

Open Women
New Zealand 64 (2) beat South Africa 57 (2)
England 69 (3) beat UAE 63 (1)
Australia 124 (4) beat UAE 23 (0)
New Zealand 74 (2) beat England 55 (2)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Law 41.9.4 of men’s T20I playing conditions

The fielding side shall be ready to start each over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed.
An electronic clock will be displayed at the ground that counts down seconds from 60 to zero.
The clock is not required or, if already started, can be cancelled if:
• A new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
• An official drinks interval has been called.
• The umpires have approved the on field treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
• The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
• The third umpire starts the clock either when the ball has become dead at the end of the previous over, or a review has been completed.
• The team gets two warnings if they are not ready to start overs after the clock reaches zero.
• On the third and any subsequent occasion in an innings, the bowler’s end umpire awards five runs.


Saturday, May 16 (kick-offs UAE time)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (4.30pm) 
RB Leipzig v Freiburg (4.30pm) 
Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin (4.30pm) 
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn  (4.30pm) 
Augsburg v Wolfsburg (4.30pm) 
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach (7.30pm)

Sunday, May 17

Cologne v Mainz (4.30pm),
Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (7pm)

Monday, May 18

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (9.30pm)


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today