Municipality of Abu Dhabi City holds workshop about requirements, standards of new building permits

Abu Dhabi: The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City has recently held an workshop spotlighting the requirements and standards of the new Building Permits Issuance System, in collaboration with consulting and contracting firms operating in the building ‘&’ construction sector, along with its strategic partners, in order to introduce the mechanisms of issuing building permits throughout all project phases, starting from the initial application and finishing up with the final handing over.

Engineer Salah Awad Al Sarraj, Acting Executive Director of Town Planning Sector, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, said: “The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City is constantly striving to improve processes and performance in order to bring service offering to world-class standards in terms of streamlining ‘&’ simplifying procedures of issuing permits, and at the same time ensure project completion in a way that serves the best interests of all parties.”

“The recent revisions introduced in the new building permits issuance system would fulfill the aspirations of customers and prop up the monitoring and executive standards of building and construction projects,” continued Al Sarraj.

He also underlined the importance of adopting the global standards in the field of security, safety and the environment, besides addressing all sustainability requirements in projects construction.

Delivering the opening speech in the Workshop, Engineer Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Director of Building Permits, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, said, “The Municipality, in cooperation with its strategic partners, was keen on revamping the building permits issuance e-systems and improving the overall performance by reducing the time needed to complete transactions without compromising the quality performance and accuracy of execution, while complying with the standards of security and safety of buildings and installations.” The Workshop touched on several important topics, including Customer Services Procedures Manual.

Reviewing the objectives of the Manual, Engineer Mohammed Abbas said, “The Manual epitomizes the wise vision of the Government of Abu Dhabi 2030, and comes in the context of the ongoing efforts aimed at raising the bar on performance of government institutions, and upgrading the business processes as well as the achievements made; which are aligned with the drive of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City aimed at improving the performance, and simplifying the procedures associated with the provision of customer services in order enhance customer satisfaction rating.”

“The Town Planning Sector,” he added “accounts for 40% of total municipal services associated with various building permits for all customers including contractors, consultants and developers. It also seeks to reduce the frequency of customers’ inquiries, be it over the phone or by visiting the premises of the Municipality just to inquire about the steps and documents required to avail the service. Therefore, the Customer Service Procedures Manual was issued in September 2012, in implementation of our leaders’ directives.”

“The key objectives of the Manual include clarifying procedures, measures and documents required to obtain a permit in accordance with the law and Executive Regulation in a streamlined and simplified way in order to save the time spent in transaction processing, and cutting the number of visitors making the long journey to the Municipality’s Office just to inquire about something.

The Manual also aims at minimizing the number of complaints received by the Municipality regarding the completion of service procedures and expediting services provided by engineers ‘&’ auditors, thus giving customers an idea beforehand about procedures and steps required to obtain the service, without needing further guidance as regards incomplete requirements,” he continued.

“The Manual also aims to support the electronic drive adopted by the Municipality as it will be available online for all customers, thus providing informational support to the role of the Municipality as a service entity that contributes significantly to delivering world-class services to clientele in terms of accessibility and clarity.

“A new Arabic version of the Manual will soon be released containing the standard requirement procedures for issuing development project permits, in addition to the Procedures Manual of the Building Maintenance Section, and Procedures Manual of the Soil Engineering Section,” he continued .

Among the key aspects discussed in the Workshop, Engineer Naji Elyas Nassar, presented a working paper on the new developments of sustainability which included reviewing the scope of requirements, Estidama Buildings ‘&’ Villas Program, recent developments of application ‘&’ required documents, and the transaction flow chart.

“Estidama Program, which applies to private villas, privately-owned buildings, and privately-financed mosques, has three requirements namely: reducing domestic consumption of water ‘&’ power to the minimum, disposing of hazardous materials, and pledging not to use hazardous materials such as asbestos (ACM), wood processed with chrome-coated copper arsenates (CCA), which is used in outdoor constructions and prone to frequent and close friction, and the wood used to build umbrellas and playground equipment and barriers,” he further added.

“The new system will be put into effect as of 1 November 2012,” he continued. “All transactions prior to this date will be reviewed by Estidama Team, therefore architectural regulations shall be enclosed when submitting documents to Estidama Section. In addition, all new transactions will not be approved by Estidama Section before satisfying Estidama requirements as stated before, in order to cover them in the architectural review,” concluded Elyas.