New address system rolls out in Abu Dhabi – Khaleej Times


New address system rolls out in Abu Dhabi – Khaleej Times.


“Muroor Street, aka Fourth Street, aka East Road, will have a new fourth name: Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This major artery in Abu Dhabi is just one of 12,000 new street names that will be introduced in Abu Dhabi emirate, along with 200 new district names, 20,000 new road and district signs that will ease access to 200,000 addresses.”  

This is very good news for citizens and consumers and  businesses in Abu Dhabi.  And  a couple of things struck me about this news.  First, the project is not driven/executed by the postal service, but by the Department of Municipal Affairs.  The website of this Department states,  “The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) was established in May 2007, and replaced the Department of Municipalities and Agriculture to act as the main focal point of all municipal planning and to oversee public works projects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The DMA aims to produce efficiencies and higher customer satisfaction in accordance with the national Policy Agenda which will represent a new era in municipal services to the  general public. ” 

First, this is not a post office project.  This is perceived, correctly, as a societal benefit that is the responsibility of the municipality as a whole, not of one primary user of it.

Second, the piece outlines some of the work to be undertaken on a neighborhood basis to name streets and roads. Of  course, there are powerful living people and cherished ancestors to be recognized, and a system to do this has been carefully put in place. One hopes this “depolitization” of street naming will be successful.  In many too many countries the egos of powerful people stall the process of street naming, and thus addressing project progress.

Third, the expense of this project can not be understated. Read it to see how many “French-style” street signs (blue and white ceramic placards” will be necessary!  Not the solution for the developing countries with large “unofficial” settlements, a problem still seeking a viable solution.

So, congratulations to Abu Dhabi!

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