Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dubai address system revamp will help public locate places easily

Dubai address system revamp will help public locate places easily
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter GULF NEWS Published: June 08, 2008, 00:06

Dubai: Dubai will radically revamp the addressing system to help the public locate addresses easily in the fast growing city.

"The expansion of the city warrants the need to have a state-of-the-art addressing system,"said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

He said the RTA has decided to improve the existing addressing system to make it simpler for residents and visitors.

The existing road numbering system will be abolished and the new system will be based on the street names and house or building numbers. A new Directional Signage System will be introduced to make it easier to locate an address.

"The authority wants residents to shift from the landmark-based address system to real address system, because the city is expanding. The new system will also help materialise plans to deliver mail and utility bills at doorsteps in addition to making it easier for people to locate addresses," a senior official told Gulf News.


He said the RTA wants people to use real addresses instead of post box numbers.

A committee consisting of top officials from leading government departments, including the Dubai Road and Transport Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Emirates Posts Holding Group, Civil Defence Department, Dubai Ambulance Services and Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, met at the RTA office to deliberate on the new addressing system and decided to bring major changes to the existing one.

"After meetings with our strategic partners, we have decided to overhaul the existing addressing system in a way that help residents, visitors and emergency services reach the desired destinations easily," Al Tayer said.

The project for the comprehensive address system, including the building numbers, roads and street names and numbers, and the community numbers had first started in the early 1980s in Dubai. So far, about 70 per cent of the city has so far been covered.

The decision was taken after a study conducted by a RTA consultant that revealed difficulties currently being experienced by residents and visitors of Dubai in locating their whereabouts.

The consultant also revealed that that even police and the Civil Defence vehicles found difficult in locating venues of emergency callers as they are unable to accurately describe their locations.

Also, majority of the people do not understand the existing addressing system because it is complicated.

The new addressing system, which will be implemented in phases, will use road names and sectors as a basis for the addressing system.

"The new system does not require to modify the existing building numbers and it will be easy to integrate the addressing system with the Directional Signs System," said Al Tayer. Currently, road and street numbers are used in most of the areas for directional signs. Al Tayer revealed the change will be made only to directional signs and not the overhead support signage; a matter which will save time and effort as signage will have to be modified in accordance with the requirements at site.

The pilot project for the new addressing system will run for a three-month period after which the results of the experiment will be evaluated.

The Jumeirah-3 area has been selected for introducing the new addressing system, and a sector of Shaikh Zayed Road from the 2nd to the 4th Interchange has also been selected to implement the Directional Signs System.

Maps required for the system will be produced and intensive awareness campaigns will be carried out to educate the public on the optimum use of maps.

An intense media and promotional campaign will be launched to introduce the system to the public and how best they can benefit from it.

How it works

* Under the new system, road names will be used instead of the road numbers such as (24Abu Hurairah Road/Jumeirah, Dubai). It has also been agreed to replace road numbers with new ones.
* Areas will be divided into sectors consisting of several districts, but building numbers will remain the same.
* Names of roads and sectors will be used on the new directional signs instead of names of areas, as is the case in the applicable system.
* The project, which is modelled on the global positioning systems, includes designing and production of Traffic Control Means Guide, and preparing maps of directional sign locations using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other similar systems.

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