x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Abu Dhabi’s population passes 2.4 million and is growing by the minute

The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (Scad) has launched an online, real-time population clock that ticks each time a new person is added to the rolls.

More than 2.4 million people now call Abu Dhabi home, and that number is growing all the time. Jaime Puebla / The National
More than 2.4 million people now call Abu Dhabi home, and that number is growing all the time. Jaime Puebla / The National

Abu Dhabi // There are more than 2.4 million people in the emirate - and in under three minutes, one more person will join the total.

To help keep count of the emirate's population the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (Scad), yesterday launched an online, real-time population clock that ticks each time a new person is added to the rolls.

Unveiled on the opening day one of the first Abu Dhabi Statistics Conference, the clock is part of a plan to make demographic data more relevant and useful.

It is based on the assumption from Scad's research that the population rises by one person every two minutes and 48 seconds.

Scad unveiled two other web services: a purchasing-power calculator and a personal-inflation gauge.

At the heart of it is the promise of numbers becoming information, leading to decisions for people, businesses and governments.

Stephen Penneck, president of the International Association for Official Statistics, stressed the importance of data collection.

"All countries are wrestling with the question of how to get the best value from the data they hold, and how to get statistical knowledge from it," Mr Penneck said.

"It is quite difficult and I am glad Abu Dhabi is tackling it the way other countries are."

The purchasing-power calculator allows users to compare the value of their money with that from a given year.

And with the personal-inflation calculator, users can type in amounts they spend in different categories and calculate their own inflation rate as a percentage for each month or year.

Along the with online services, Scad signed several agreements to cooperate with other bodies to increase its data-collection reach.

Agreements were made with Abu Dhabi Municipality, Department of Transport, Urban Planning Council (UPC), Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the private mapping and surveying company Bayanat, and the global business analytics company SAS.

"Scad has been working closely with various entities in the government, semi-government and private sectors as well as educational and scientific research institutions as they represent sources of vital statistical information in Abu Dhabi," said Butti Al Qubaisi, the centre's director general.

"We always try to build our relations with strategic partners to maximise the benefits from these statistical resources in the emirate, to help us obtain new, accurate and high-quality data according to international best practices."

The conference was set up as part of Scad's initiative to mark the "Year of Statistics", an international awareness campaign involving 1,850 statistics authorities from 122 countries.

Falah Al Ahbabi, general manager of the UPC, said statisticians' work can be applied across many areas of development.

"Statistics in commercial and urban development supports our development framework in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030," Mr Al Ahbabi said. "Our urban development plan was earlier based on research and data generated in-house.

"However, as a result of our partnership with Scad, today we have access to the latest data produced by Scad on our behalf, based on their access to international resources.

"Urban development is at the core of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, and therefore we are certain that Scad's contribution will be invaluable to UPC's plans and urban development in general."

The conference continues today in Abu Dhabi's Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The population clock and calculators are all available on Scad's website, www.scad.ae

ksinclair@thenational.ae