The race to transform the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a nation of smart cities is rapidly taking shape after the Sharjah Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) gave 2GIS the green light to develop the emirate’s smart city map.
The Sharjah smart city map will consist of an accurate 3D map of the emirate with an itemized directory and information of existing and upcoming infrastructure in the region.
Belal Beseiso, Vice President of Business Development, 2GIS, said that the development of the Sharjah smart city map and business directory was strategic since 20 per cent of UAE’s population reside in the emirate, while the emirate hosts 45 per cent of the total industrial licenses of UAE. Sharjah, an emerging industrial hub, is also home to a considerable number of expatriates working in the UAE.
As Sharjah continues its firm grip as an economically independent emirate, Beseiso noted that rapid commercial projects and infrastructure development going on in the emirate was part of the reason to accelerate the design of Sharjah’s smart city map.
“As one of the emirates that has made its name as an economic, educational and cultural centre, the smart city map of Sharjah will play a central role in providing visitors and residents a readily available map of the emirate complete with accurate and up to date information of all key facilities and how to reach them.” said Beseiso.
Data collected by 2GIS will be used to develop a digital geographical guide ahead of the upcoming Sharjah Census 2015 exercise. 2GIS will offer its expertise by developing an accurate geographic information system that will manage and analyse all types of spatial and geographical data to help in conducting the population census.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdallah Al Thani, Chairman of Statistics and Community Development Department said, “We are delighted with our cooperation with 2GIS to facilitate providing of preliminary information to support us in conducting the Sharjah Census 2015. This basic information that will be collect about companies and public and private facilities in Sharjah will lead the development of commercial digital interactive guide to the existing facilities in the emirate and connect it with geographic system that will provide the knowledge of the geographical distribution of the facilities and how to reach them, which will serve wide range of traders, investors and the normal members of the society to obtain accurate and fast information about buildings and facilities in the emirate.”
Sharjah, the third largest emirate in the UAE, becomes the third city after Dubai and Ajman to be covered by the now popular international smart city map and business listings application.
“There is a need to take advantage of modern developments and it’s results of electronic devices and smart applications that can facilitate the procedures and services provided to the public. Data gathered through the cooperation between the department and 2GIS will contain vital information include buildings locations, it’s numbers, floors and its use plus facilities names, it’s subdivisions by activities, work time, and how to communicate with them. This will contribute in highlighting the facilities’ activities and services, especially the economic ones,” said Abdallah Al Kadid, Operation Director, Sharjah Census 2015.
Once complete, the Sharjah smart city map will be free to download and will only require a once-a-month internet connection to update. Thereafter users can access the application offline as it can also function fully without web connectivity. The app is available on the Apple App Store, Android Play Store as well as BlackBerry World.
“Sharjah was awarded the title of the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014 in recognition for the great contributions that were achieved for culture at local, Arab and Islamic levels, and this is simply attributed to the unmatched attention and support that is given for culture by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah over the years, and we are proud to start working on the emirates’ Smart city map.” concluded Beseiso.