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UAE’s robust infrastructure allows for quick pivots in preparation for rainy forecast

UAE’s robust infrastructure allows for quick pivots in preparation for rainy forecast
1 May 2024 18:07

Jessi Amason (ABU DHABI)

As the UAE prepares for another round of unstable weather, government institutions around the country have snapped into action within 24 hours of the National Centre of Meteorology’s (NCM) forecast announcement on Tuesday.

As a wave of rainfall, thunder, lightning, and strong winds is forecast to roll into the country on Wednesday, May 1, much of the UAE’s remote work and distance learning infrastructure has been activated, demonstrating the country’s commitment to the safety of citizens and residents. 

The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on Wednesday, in a post on X, said that the country has raised the “alert level” to deal with the expected weather. 
The UAE Cabinet on Wednesday issued directives to activate the remote work system for all federal government employees on May 2, with the exception of jobs that require a physical presence at the workplace.

The NCEMA, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, called for remote learning to be activated on Thursday and Friday for all education institutions, and for remote work to be implemented for all public and private sector institutions. The authority also said that roads leading to valleys, dams, and locations prone to water accumulation would be closed.

The Government of Dubai on Tuesday announced that the emirate’s public schools and government employees would go remote on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3, when the bad weather is expected to be at its peak. KHDA announced the same for all Dubai private schools, nurseries, and universities. 

 Sharjah’s local Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Team on Wednesday also announced that distance learning would be activated for all schools and higher education institutions, and that Sharjah Government employees would work from home. 

Ras Al Khaimah also announced distance learning for its public schools on Wednesday, a social media post from Ras Al Khaimah Police said.

With more remote operations sure to be announced as Wednesday progresses, the UAE’s powerful ICT capabilities, digital infrastructure, and business flexibility are on display with the quick pivot to the online sphere.

According to the latest available data from the World Bank, nearly 100% of the UAE’s population used the internet as of 2022, making it among the highest rates of internet penetration in the world.

The country’s ICT sector is one of the strongest globally, with its median mobile and fixed broadband internet speeds ranked second fastest in the world, according to the March 2024 issue of the Speedtest Global Index.

The UAE also has a strong commitment to maintaining its continuity of business plans, with the Ministry of Economy continuously developing the country’s flexible business continuity system in accordance with the requirements of the International Standard ISO 22301, the National Standard 7000 NCEMA, and the relevant guides issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

In addition to its abilities to rapidly transfer business and schools online, the UAE is also proactively bolstering its physical infrastructure ahead of the expected rains. The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, for example, announced that its work teams had begun preparing sewage networks, water tanks, and pumps as early as Tuesday.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure on Tuesday also announced that it had started to proactively drain water from dams to reduce pressure and accommodate new rainfall, in addition to cleaning water drains.


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