Abu Dhabi Municipality is set to push ahead with more than 30 new municipal infrastructure projects in 2014, MEED’s Abu Dhabi Conference 2013 was told on 9 December.

“In 2014, we expect to receive approval for 34 new projects,” Abdullah al-Shamsi, executive director of strategic planning and performance management, Abu Dhabi Municipality, told the conference. “This in addition to the 65 projects currently under way, so we will be undertaking about 100 projects in total,” said Al-Shamsi.

The projects will include sports facilities, social facilities and enhancement of existing infrastructure. According to Al-Shamsi, the municipality is currently undertaking AED2bn ($544m) worth of infrastructure schemes.

In addition to providing new infrastructure, the municipality is implementing projects to improve efficiency and sustainability of the city’s existing infrastructure. These initiatives include the recently completed project to introduce smart lighting for the link road between Hamdan Street and Sheikh Khalifa Street, and an early detection leakage system for the city’s water network, which is planned to reduce to irrigation and water losses to about 2 per cent, from the current 13 per cent.

The municipality is also taking a lead role in Abu Dhabi’s efforts to become a smart city. Al-Shamsi said that the municipality had completed the first phase of initial studies and had three more phases to complete before it was ready to implement the system.