United Arab Emirates, 15 November 2015 – The University of Salford, United Arab Emirates (UAE), has joined forces with the Abu Dhabi Police to train and educate specialist Emirati agencies in leadership and disaster management.
In collaboration with the police force, experts from the University of Salford delivered a specialist workshop entitled ‘Achieving Leadership in Disaster Management’. The session gave relevant organisations and stakeholders from across the UAE the opportunity to learn, discuss and debate the best way to handle disasters in the region. These situations could range from natural disasters such as an earthquake to man-made incidents like an oil or gas explosion or terrorist attack.
The UAE is one of the fastest growing nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, both in population size and economic growth. This rapid expansion has seen significant changes to the country’s infrastructure and built environment. These changes would be heavily impacted by any natural disaster or man-made emergency.
The event, which was opened by the University’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Marshall, and Chair of the Salford UAE Advisory Board, Dr Alaa Garad, was backed and attended by The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).
The NCEMA is the body responsible for regulating and coordinating all efforts of emergency, crisis and disaster management in Abu Dhabi. It is also responsible for the development of a national plan for responding to emergencies, working under the supervision of the Supreme Council for National Security.
Issues covered included three specific areas of disaster management at a regional and international level. These were ‘Collaborative Risk Assessment Environment in Disaster Management’; ‘The Strategic Approach to Emergency Preparedness in the UAE’, and ‘Community Centred Disaster Management within UAE: Challenges & Opportunities’.
The workshop sessions were delivered by academic experts from the University of Salford’s internationally renowned School of the Built Environment. The School is recognised as one the best in the UK and globally ranked in the top 40 by the prestigious QS World University Rankings. It works closely with professional institutions such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB); The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and The Royal Institute of British Architect (RIBA)
The academics were:
· Professor Vian Ahmed, Professor in Built Environment and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at School of the Built Environment
· Dr Aziz Zeeshan, Programme Leader for the MSc in Construction Management
· Professor Terrence Fernando, Scientific Director of the THINKlab
The academics worked in collaboration with representatives and stakeholders from police forces across the UAE to deliver the workshop.
The workshop was also attended by stakeholders from the UAE Space Agency, the country’s Ministry of Defence and the senior representatives from the gas and petroleum sectors. The industry and government figures were joined by academics from Abu Dhabi, Khalifa, Sharjah and Zayed universities.
Hasan Altug, Regional Director, Middle East, at the University of Salford, said: “The University is committed to building long-term partnerships in the UAE and developing new academic and professional collaborations in education and industry across the region, and this includes going beyond the usual industry, education and policy areas to more niche, but equally important, sectors such as disaster management.”