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UAE prepares for adverse weather with efficient systems

UAE prepares for adverse weather with efficient systems
2 May 2024 12:02

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 Center 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 NCEMA, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior (MoI), on Wednesday advised all public and private sector entities to activate their remote work systems on Thursday and Friday, with the exception of jobs that require a physical presence at the workplace and those involved in response and recovery efforts.

The MoI and  NCEMA also announced that all roads leading to valleys, dams, and areas prone to flash flooding will be closed, and urged the public to stay away from mountainous, desert, and coastal areas.

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 Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has also advised private sector companies to apply flexible and remote work patterns on Thursday.

“Vital jobs that require working at workplace premises and those of weather condition response teams are exempted from flexible and remote work,” MoHRE said in a statement.

“We urge private sector companies and their employees to keep up with updates issued by authorities regarding the weather conditions,” the Ministry statement said. “All private sector companies are required to comply with the instructions issued by the relevant local authorities pertaining to the weather conditions and their impact on business.”

“We also call on the private sector to take caution and necessary occupational health and safety measures to maintain the safety of workers during weather fluctuations,” MoHRE added.

The Government of Abu Dhabi announced that all schools in the emirate will operate through remote study and all employees of Abu Dhabi Government will work remotely on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3.

The Government of Dubai on Tuesday announced that the emirate’s public schools and government employees would go remote on Thursday and Friday. 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.

The local Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Team in the emirate of Ajman also decided to activate the remote work system for its government employees on Thursday. The team also decided, in coordination with the Ajman Private Education Coordination Office, to switch to distance learning in private schools on Thursday and Friday.
The Fujairah Government also announced that remote work will be activated on Thursday for government employees.

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

As shifts to remote operations continue to be announced, 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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