In line with the common aspirations to position Dubai as a premier Smart City, the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Municipality to facilitate knowledge transfer, sharing of data and practical experiences, and developing human resources in the areas of space science, remote sensing applications, space communications, and navigation systems using global satellites.
The MoU was signed by Eng. Abdullah Mohammed Rafi, Deputy General Manager of Engineering & Planning, Dubai Municipality and Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs, EIAST, in the presence of a number of senior managers and officials from both parties.
H.E. Yousuf Al Shaibani, Director General, EIAST, stressed the importance of building a fruitful cooperation with Dubai Municipality, meeting the highest scientific and technical competence standards. This is in support of the UAE’s vision to transform itself into a major hub for satellite manufacturing. He emphasized EIAST’s commitment to prioritize the future needs of Dubai Municipality in terms of developing engineering designs for satellites such as satellite images applications to contribute to the efforts of achieving comprehensive and sustainable development.
Al Shaibani, said, “We are confident that the new MoU will be a significant addition to our extensive network of strategic and strong partnerships with the industry leaders locally, regionally, and internationally. This partnership undoubtedly supports our efforts to reinforce UAE’s position as one of the world’s developed countries in line with the vision and directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.”
For his part, Rafi stressed that Dubai Municipality is keen on establishing strong cooperation and strategic inter-dependence with institutions and groups of public welfare and community services. The commitment demonstrates Dubai Municipality’s efforts to develop and create effective, easy-to-use, smart services for the community.
Rafi expressed his pleasure with Dubai Municipality’s strategic partnership with EIAST, which leads the march of scientific progress and technical innovation in the UAE. He stressed that the joint efforts in the fields of knowledge transfer, human resources development, remote sensing applications and space communications will give positive results in terms of supporting the vision of Municipality Dubai centered around making Dubai as one of the most sustainable cities in the world in preparation for ‘Expo 2020.’ He said Dubai Municipality is looking forward to benefiting from EIAST’s high level of expertise and advanced technologies. The partnership, will contribute to the success of the municipality’s projects that embody the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Salem Al Marri, said, “Our new partnership gains a strategic dimension of being a pillar for employing our vast experiences and developed technologies in the field of space industry to support ambitious projects of Dubai Municipality, which represent an important pillar to advance excellence and leadership pursued by the emirate under the policy of our wise leadership. We look forward to exchanging knowledge and recent research work with Dubai Municipality. Both organizations will also organize joint conferences, interactive workshops, and specialized exhibitions for satellite imagery in the field of remote sensing and geographic information systems. The field would represent an added value to the framework of Dubai Municipality.”
Under the MoU, EIAST will provide Dubai Municipality with multispectral space images satellite and high quality Panchromatic images of Dubai. Dubai Municipality, on the other hand, will provide Ground Control Points, spatial and geographic data to support the projects and initiatives of EIAST.
The MoU also provided a platform to promote prospects for cooperation between the two parties through exchange of practical experiences and development of human resources in the areas of space and science, including space science, remote sensing applications, space communications and global navigation systems using satellites. Both sides agreed that EIAST would help Dubai Municipality to complete the database information of the geographic information system. It would also assist in enhancing the efficiency of monitoring and prediction of natural hazards such as sand storm forecasting, monitoring and forecasting of fog, analyzing water quality in the Emirate of Dubai.
EIAST will provide services to help train the staff of Dubai Municipality and refine their skills and technical capabilities through cooperation in the areas of research, training and exchange of information and knowledge as well as organizing conferences, workshops and shows related to applications of satellite imagery in remote sensing area and in the field of geographic information systems. The two parties will also cooperate in all areas, activities and systems to share data to serve the public interest in Dubai.
The two parties agreed to form a joint working group to oversee the implementation of the MoU and ensure the exchange of data between them. They are also discussing the possibility of allowing Dubai Municipality’s various departments to use satellite images. The departments include Environmental Management, Survey Department, Department of Agriculture, and others. The joint working group will also discuss the possibility of technical cooperation between the two parties so that EIAST could take into account the needs of the Municipality when designing the specifications of future satellites as well as when studying the programs and available tools. These tools may be effective and useful in terms of utilizing geographic information systems and remote sensing. The working group will also ensure that the two parties will obtain the required data to face future challenges and to allow them to perform any task that may be assigned by either party and is required to implement the MoU.
EIAST was established by the Dubai Government in 2006 to encourage scientific innovation and technological progress in Dubai and in the UAE. It also aims to develop the scientific skills and knowledge of Emiratis. It is mainly involved in outer space research and development; satellite manufacturing and systems development; space imaging; and ground station services and support for other satellites.