ABU DHABI // Litter in your street? A pothole in the road? Snap it with your phone's camera, and a few clicks later the relevant authorities will be on the case.
That is the promise of CityGuard, a mobile app launched yesterday to give residents a quick response to issues in the community - anything from road or traffic problems to environmental hazards, even emergencies.
The app identifies where the report comes from to help authorities pinpoint the problem. Users will be notified of the progress of a complaint within 48 hours, with the aim of the relevant authority resolving the issue within a week. Emergencies will be dealt with immediately.
"This is a unique service in the GCC region, which will further facilitate residents to get their issues resolved at the earliest possible time," said Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, director general of Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre.
During an 18-month trial, 1,500 complaints were made using the app and 80 per cent were resolved, Mr Al Mansoori said.
"Abu Dhabi is a fast-growing business hub and an attractive tourist destination. To maintain the city's appeal and further strengthen its international image, safety standards and quality of our services for residents and travellers play a crucial role.
"To that end, the new application aims to encourage both residents and tourists to join the Government's efforts in resolving problems quickly and effectively."
Mr Al Mansoori demonstrated the ease of using the app, which is available in Arabic and English, to quickly report and track non-emergency issues of public concern.
"A minute or so of finger-tapping is all it takes to document an issue by taking a photo or recording a video or audio and reporting it directly to the Abu Dhabi contact centre", he said.
The CityGuard app is downloadable free from app stores for Apple, Android and BlackBerry phones, and from abudhabi.ae by clicking on the CityGuard link on the homepage.
The app has a built-in interactive map to pinpoint the location of the incident. Information received is recorded on a database and forwarded to the concerned government department for resolution.
The complainer can then track the progress of the report through the app, via the Abu Dhabi e-Government website or by calling the contact centre on 800 555.