x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Municipal Affairs gets its first website, hailed as 'great tool'

Customers can make complaints, respond to polls, read municipal news and apply for jobs at the department online.

ABU DHABI // The first website for the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) went live to the public yesterday, allowing residents to send in complaints, read municipal news and apply for jobs at the department online. Ahmed Shareef, the undersecretary of the DMA, called the site "a great tool for communicating with our customers and our people" to give them a better understanding of the DMA's function.

"There are a lot of activities that sometimes people are not aware of and maybe we're not communicating with them," he said. "Now, through the website, they can follow with us." The Dubai-based web design company Tacme developed the DMA site, which includes a complaint feature. "Although we are a regulatory authority, there are a lot of complaints coming from the daily operations side," Mr Shareef said. "If the municipality does not meet their obligations for those complaints, they can approach the DMA as a last resort."

The DMA is also offering frequently updated opinion polls. The site will also include a listing of municipal rules and regulations. Huda al Awadi, an IT adviser for the DMA, said having one accessible source that compiles all the municipalities' rules would be more convenient and simplify life for many residents. "Currently, we have loaded the important and recent rules and regulations, but we are updating this to include all the rules," she said.

The DMA, which was created in May of last year, is an umbrella organisation for the three municipalities in the emirate ? Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region Municipality. The site, which is meant to serve primarily as an information portal, will also provide links to the three municipalities' websites. However, Abu Dhabi Municipality's English website, which was slated for a June launch, is still in development.

Salem al Maamari, the executive director of municipal services, said yesterday the website was under review this month. "We are working on it to have it as soon as possible," he said. For anyone interested in applying for a job at the DMA, the website will serve as a recruitment tool. "The municipality is working very hard to train and upgrade the existing training programmes," Mr Shareef said. "It's good to get new blood."

The site can be reached at www.dma.abudhabi.ae in both English and Arabic. mkwong@thenational.ae