Department of Government Support launches open-data platform

Department of Government Support launches open-data platform

9 Sep 2020
AD Open Data

As part of its efforts to accelerate digital transformation in the emirate, the Department of Government Support in Abu Dhabi, represented by the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), has launched the open-data platform ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’, with a view to enabling the public and private sectors to exchange and share open data with users, start-ups, and academic institutions to improve public services, support decision-making, and strengthen the Abu Dhabi economy.

The project’s launch has come in conjunction with the recent visit of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, to the Department of Government Support in Abu Dhabi, where he was briefed on the Department’s strategy, its plans for the next five years, and the recent updates on the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform.

‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform aims to create a digital ecosystem that provides quick and safe access to reliable data sources, in addition to proactive services that enrich the customer experience. Offering more than 550 open source datasets across 10 vital sectors in 6 different formats, the open-data platform was launched with the participation of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority in partnership with 23 government entities. The launch reflects the ambitious vision of the wise leadership in Abu Dhabi to use Information Technology to serve the community and advance government services by providing a safe environment, enabling government entities to securely share data with users through innovative mechanisms and technologies that guarantee the standards of promptness, efficiency, quality, and transparency.

 Additionally, the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform strengthens cooperation between the public and private sectors and opens up new horizons which make it easier for government entities to share data while securing huge investment opportunities for private sector companies, thus ensuring continuity of success and appropriate decision-making.

 23 government entities are participating in the first phase of ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’, playing an active role in the open-data sharing process, which is considered an essential foundation for achieving the objectives of the Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation strategy. These entities are Abu Dhabi Police, Department of Municipalities and Transport, Department of Economic Development, Department of Health, Department of Culture and Tourism, Department of Education and Knowledge, Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Abu Dhabi Retirement Pension & Benefits Fund, Emirates Heritage Club, Zayed Higher Organization, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training,  Family Development Foundation, Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation, Khalifa Fund For Enterprise Development, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Ministry of Energy And Infrastructure, and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments. The platform covers 10 vital sectors, including agriculture, environment, health, transportation, society, economy, tourism, education, energy, and technology.

Among the objectives of the platform is to strengthen the Abu Dhabi economy, support the growth of key sectors in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision, and the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme. The platform also aims to improve the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi in international indices of open data, increase levels of transparency by providing reliable and updated data at the appropriate time, and improve cooperation between all government entities, helping them to make informed decisions, in addition to facilitating better information sharing between government entities to improve public services in the interests of citizens, residents, and investors.

 The platform was launched under the supervision of the Higher Committee of the Digital Government in the course of its efforts to implement a governance framework across the Abu Dhabi Government and bring about a fundamental change in the concept of government services, moving towards a digital future.

 Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Ali Rashid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Department of Government Support, said he was very pleased with the launch of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform, which contributes to consolidating the position of Abu Dhabi as a leading city in open-data sharing by building and developing the emirate’s digital infrastructure.

H.E. Al Ketbi praised the cooperation between government entities in Abu Dhabi to launch the platform, which is designed to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors and open up new horizons.  

His Excellency pointed out that providing access to data for government entities, companies, and individuals will create social and economic benefits and help them make better decisions based on the accurate and rich information provided by the platform.

H.E. Major General Maktoum Ali Al Sharifi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Police, said: “The Abu Dhabi Police’s participation in the launch of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform was driven by our belief in the importance of open data as a national asset and an important strategic resource. Our participation is also in line with a philosophy that relies on understanding the needs of society and meeting global competitiveness requirements.”

H.E. Major General Al Sharifi explained that the Abu Dhabi Police’s involvement reflected the General Command’s desire to constantly develop its operations by opening up to customers and meeting their needs for data and information access that enables them to learn and share their opinion on the quality of services and activities provided by the Abu Dhabi Police, in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s objectives.

H.E. Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, said: “ADEK’s participation in ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ comes in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s directives, as we are mindful of the importance of providing open data and our role in promoting innovation, delivering added value, developing education programmes and policies, and encouraging knowledge and scientific research by conducting research and studies that are based on the available information and statistics.”

H.E. Al Hammadi added that the programme aims to provide a work environment that enables government entities to exchange digital data and provide a new generation of efficient, fast, and proactive digital services to enrich the customer experience and improve operational efficiency and government coordination.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, said: “The launch of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform marks a new milestone on our journey towards achieving the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Plan to support, enable, and provide a safe, specialised, and proactive digital government system.”

H.E. Abdullah Al Sahi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, said: “Our participation in the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform emanates from the importance of open data in managing cities and improving the quality of life of its residents and visitors. This is achieved by developing systems and services and implementing service projects that meet current and future needs, such as the addressing project for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi that aims to simplify and unify the address system. “We are always looking to leverage all opportunities that help us keep pace with developments, along with our keenness to adopt best practices to build comprehensive and accurate spatial datasets that meet the needs of the public and private sectors, thus supporting our efforts in developing municipal services and an infrastructure to serve the community, and enhance the reputation of Abu Dhabi as one of the best cities in the world.”

H.E Rashid Abdul Karim Al Blooshi, the Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, said: "The economic sectors are the largest beneficiaries of the services of this platform, which depends on numbers, statistics and accurate datasets on which economic indicators, development plans and economic feasibility studies are being built.”

H.E. Al Blooshi pointed out that the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform also connects the private and public sectors digitally by sharing open data with developers and startups to provide basic economic and social benefits, thus enhancing the efficiency of government services, improving the experience of the emirate’s residents, and further easing doing business in Abu Dhabi. 

H.E. Eng. Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Undersecretary of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi, said: “The ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform is an important step towards unifying efforts, coordination and integration between the various entities of Abu Dhabi. It highlights the emirate’s potential and investment opportunities in various sectors, which in turn enhances the emirate’s attractiveness and competitiveness in all areas."

 Al Falasi pointed out that the energy sector in Abu Dhabi offers many promising investment opportunities, stressing that ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ represents an important initiative to highlight these opportunities for private sector investors, as well as a great support for the Department’s efforts to lead the energy transformation in the emirate, thus supporting the government's efforts to achieve the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and the goals of sustainable development."

H.E. Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, said: "Our participation in the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform is encouraged by our belief in its importance and the positive impact it has on Abu Dhabi's tourism ecosystem. We are also of the belief that data and analysis serve as key pillars and invaluable tools for building global competitiveness in the tourism sector. These analytical capabilities enable us to formulate comprehensive development plans, mitigate risk and develop practical contingency solutions to potential issues, which in turn helps to ensure continuous and sustainable growth across the sector."

H.E. Dr. Helal Al Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, added: “Open data is of particular importance as a consolidated framework for providing integrated services that bring happiness to customers and ensure the well-being of society. The ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform will enhance and promote innovation in all sectors in the emirate, including the healthcare sector, thereby improving the efficiency of services and cultivating advanced government systems and performance.”

Abdullah Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Acting Director-General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, said: “Launching the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform is an important step that supports digital transformation and enhances integration and cooperation between government entities and the private sector in the emirate. Having an open data platform across the emirate’s governmental entities provides an innovative and transparent business environment that supports decision-makers in devising plans and policies. It also provides the private sector, start-ups and academic entities with reliable and up-to-date statistics that improve resource efficiency and strategy development. Furthermore, it supports the emirate's leading position in global competitiveness indices, stimulates economic growth, creates new jobs, increases customer confidence and continuously develops government services.”

Al Suwaidi added: “SCAD continues to work with its strategic partners in various government entities to boost statistical work in the emirate according to best international standards. Doing so provides data and statistics that meet the needs of all users and advances comprehensive and sustainable development in the emirate.”

H.E. Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, said: “We took part in the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform as part of our belief in the importance of making data available for various users. Now, 25 years since the agency was established, we have a strong base of environmental data that enables us to implement important measures to ensure environmental sustainability and preserve our natural heritage in cooperation with government entities in Abu Dhabi, thus strengthening the emirate’s leading position in the region and the world.”  

H.E. Dr. Al Dhaheri stressed the importance of ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ in enhancing the data infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, improving the capacity for sharing information and critical data between government entities, enhancing levels of transparency, and supporting more accurate decision making. This will have a positive impact on improving government services, enhancing economic growth, preserving natural resources, confronting climate change, and ensuring environmental sustainability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as shaping the future requires strong datasets to support Artificial Intelligence and analytical modelling programmes.

H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, said: The ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform supports data sharing and the forward-looking strategies developed by ADAFSA, aiming at building an integrated ecosystem designed to create many new opportunities to enrich data to be used in an institutional manner that supports the decision-making system for the agriculture and food sector, in addition to acquiring productive and economically-valuable data to boost investments and achieve a participatory data model to help individuals and institutions, and facilitate their work.

H.E. Al Ameri stressed the importance of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform in enabling the Authority to anticipate new opportunities and challenges, analyse them and set the necessary strategic plans through data monitoring, analysis and optimal employment of human and technical competencies in order to achieve qualitative accomplishments that serve the interests of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency also emphasized the strategic value of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform in meeting Abu Dhabi Government requirements, especially in food security, biosecurity, agricultural sustainability, livestock development and enhanced food safety in Abu Dhabi.

 H.E. Khalaf Abdullah Rahma Al Hammadi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Retirement Pension & Benefits Fund, said: “Open data is one of the main initiatives for the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, given the importance of data and its effective role in building a sound and transparent environment to apply informed decisions and policies. We have taken part in the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform in order to facilitate the access of customers and various partners to government data and services. 

H.E. Bashir Khalfan Al Muhairbi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, said: “We are pleased to participate in the 'Abu Dhabi Open Data' platform, a qualitative initiative that strengthens our role as a governmental entity contributing to the digital transformation of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This initiative plays a pivotal role in data sharing and making it available at the level of the government and private sectors, thus contributing to enabling entities, companies and individuals to access data and benefit from it in many sectors in general, such as the social sector and the housing services provided by the Authority in particular.

 H.E. Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, commended the fruitful cooperation between all government entities that has resulted in the launch of the 'Abu Dhabi Open Data' platform. Al Humaidan stressed that the ZHO’s participation reflects the organisation’s strong belief in the importance of the project and its vital role in providing and exchanging data, and enhancing the community's confidence in the work of government entities by raising awareness on the nature of their work and activities. This, in turn, contributes to facilitating government services provided to all members of society, especially people of determination, and increasing levels of satisfaction and happiness in society.

H.E. Engineer Mohamed Abdel Hameed Al Askar, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, said that the launch of the ‘Abu Dhabi Open Data’ platform is in line with the Authority’smission to enabling, supporting and delivering a digital government that is proactive, personalised, collaborative and secure. He added that the launch of the platform also comes as part of the government’s efforts to benefit from active and safe data sharing to support the decision-making process and enhance government proactivity.

Engineer Al Askar added that the platform aims to enhance cooperation between all government entities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and establish unified frameworks to provide accurate data from all government entities. He confirmed that the platform is also targeting the private sector, research and development institutions, and individuals, thus contributing to achieving economic returns and investment opportunities. 

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