Abu Dhabi Municipality has completed a study of its smart city goals and has set a three-year roadmap, Husain Mohsen al-Saeedi, section head of the municipal assets sector, told MEED’s Smart Cities conference on 9 September.

The study involved alignment and preparation of stakeholders; visits to model cities around the world, including London, Barcelona, gap analysis and recommendations. The first year of the plan that has been developed will be dedicated to project planning, the second to implementation and the third to completion.

Abu Dhabi’s plan has six pillars, tying together what has previously been a disjointed series of initiatives: smart infrastructure and initiatives; smart buildings; smart municipal services; public and community engagement; smart municipality; and smart cities municipal governance.

Smart infrastructure involves looking at water and irrigation. The upstream stage of this is now finished, said Al-Saeedi, with the implementation of a new system for monitoring pumping stations to establish which areas in the emirate need the most water, and allocating water to those areas.

The next stage will involve downstream monitoring of water usage and efficiency. Smart lighting will also be introduced, with LED technology. They can also be dimmed to save electricity.

Smart buildings will involve integrating smart city guidelines into the Abu Dhabi building code. This will hold guidelines for LEDs, solar panels and the adoption of the Energy Star initiative.

Smart municipal services will introduce digital signatures, the rollout of mobile services each month for six months, and will allow the public to make municipal services enquiries from their smartphones.

To get the public engaged with Abu Dhabi’s smart cities drive, the municipality will be launching an e-library, and interactive maps and smart signage in malls and other public areas. Abu Dhabi Municipality’s headquarters building will stand as a smart building showcase to inspire and educate the public and developers.

The municipality’s own smart drive will require them to update their IT systems and expand their apps, integrating all municipality services with a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. The system for issuing permits, such as no objection certificates (NOCs) will also be automated, and a database of residents compiled to anticipate and forecast the demand for services.

Finally, the smart cities municipal governance pillar of Abu Dhabi Municipality’s plan will require setting up a smart cities office to oversee the development of the UAE capital to try to realise its vision of being one of the top five smart cities in the world.