Roads and Transport Authority
Every year the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai spends over 70% of their annual budget on assets. But to them its money well spent and may prove to be more cost efficient. Spending billions of dollars on Dubai’s metro, roads, land and marine transportation, RTA are the pioneers of asset management in the region and the first to obtain accreditation to PAS 55 on their Asset Management System, and as such are urging other UAE organizations to invest in looking after their infrastructure through strategic asset management.
This will be one of the topics discussed at the first Government Asset Management Congress 2012 held in Dubai.
A relatively new concept, asset management has been rapidly gaining momentum in the UAE for the last few years. Organizations have realized that failure to invest in the proper management of infrastructure will lead to unnecessary costs and neglect in infrastructure.
“The frameworks of strategic asset management teach us to manage the whole life cycle of our infrastructure in order to save the government billions in the long-run. This means that we have to start from the planning stage through design, acquiring, operating, maintaining all the way to retiring or replacing the asset. This applies to our roads, rail, land and marine transport to ensure that they are sustainable and reliable. We have learnt to manage them and to ensure that our assets have a long life. The public need to depend on infrastructure that is safe and reliable because it impacts them,” said Adi Omar Al Deesi, Director of Asset Management at the RTA and one of the main speakers at the congress.
Al Deesi said that the RTA has already seen the fruits of implementing asset management in Dubai adding that they were the first organisation in the Middle East to practice strategic asset management. Al Deesi who dubbed the process as “life-cycle management” said it leads to a reduction in operating cost, improvement in customer satisfaction and revenue sustainability. He said that it was one of the most pivotal facets of the current RTA strategic direction adding that it was a move away from building or acquiring new assets and focused on optimizing the use of their current portfolio.
“We have seen the benefits of asset management to the government and the public. Approximately 70% of our annual budget is spent on assets, be it acquiring, operating or maintaining them. This includes looking after our roads network, buses, taxis, rail and marine transportation. It goes towards providing the best service to our customers, so our infrastructure can be durable and safe for those who use it,” he continued.
Dr Najib Dandachi, Asset Management Director for TRANSCO and also a key speaker at the conference, said that there are massive opportunities for government infrastructure utilities to achieve “great financial saving”.
“Given the high annual growth that these government utilities are faced with, there are serious challenges which can only be managed properly through a disciplined approach like the strategic asset management which allows consideration of whole life costing,” said Dandachi.
He added that it was encouraging to see the growing interest in the asset management concept in the Middle East.
The congress will be the first opportunity of its kind in the region and will see the participation of senior figures from a host of government organisations across the GCC. The conference takes place from May 27 until May 29 at the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, and UAE. Speakers for the conference include, Abdulla Ali Al Madani, CEO, Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, RTA, UAE, John Arnup, Director of Global Engineering, DP World, UAE, Mel Karam, Director of Asset Management, Southern Water, UK and many more.