DUBAI // Dubai Municipality employees who suggested the most innovative ideas to their bosses were honoured at a ceremony yesterday for their contribution to improving life in the emirate.
Of the thousands of ideas received this year, 56 won awards yesterday. Many of those that were honoured had already won international awards, including those that were presented at Ideas America, Ideas Arabia, and UAE Ideas.
It has been 13 years since the suggestion system began, and participants have been honoured annually.
"Our work at the municipality is not just sitting behind a desk," said Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality. "It is very important for directors and managers to go out into the field and get a first-hand view of how their sections are working. This will allow them to pinpoint areas for improvement."
He added that teamwork and knowledge-sharing was essential in forming inventive and efficient solutions.
"Dubai Municipality received 40,980 suggestions this year from 9,420 employees," said Mariam Bin Fahad, the director of the suggestions and complaints department at the municipality.
"It cost about Dh1.9 million to implement the ideas into working systems, but these ideas [resulted in] more than Dh319m in revenue and savings," she said.
Tariq Ahmad Al Shamsi, head of the drainage network section, won the Ideas Arabia award as well as a Dubai Municipality award for his redesign of a water main valve.
"We noticed that the valves that were installed would have a fault almost every year, which would require a lot of effort and cost to repair," said Mr Al Shamsi. "We looked into what exactly was failing in the valve and why, and realised it just wasn't designed to withstand the environment here."
Mr Al Shamsi's new valve design has not failed yet.