Regional Focus: Advancing fire readiness in Dubai

Share this content


IFSJ navigates the recent developments and challenges of fire safety in Dubai

Dubai, a city synonymous with architectural grandeur and rapid urban development, faces unique challenges in fire safety and environmental management.

As one of the world’s most dynamic urban landscapes, the emirate’s approach to fire safety and environmental responsibility is of paramount importance.

Balancing the demands of its expansive infrastructure with the need for effective safety measures, Dubai’s civil defence and safety authorities are tasked with a complex and evolving mandate.

This includes not only safeguarding the city’s iconic skyscrapers and bustling commercial centres but also ensuring the well-being of its diverse population.

The strategies and collaborations formed in this context reflect Dubai’s commitment to addressing fire safety concerns while aligning with broader environmental goals.

As we delve into the intricacies of fire safety in Dubai, it is crucial to understand the multi-faceted approach taken by the city’s authorities, encompassing advanced technology, international cooperation, and proactive policy-making, to navigate the challenges of maintaining safety in an ever-changing urban environment.

World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance

The UAE Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Dubai, announced the formation of the ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’ during the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28) in Dubai.

This alliance, aiming to reduce global carbon emissions from fires, aligns with the International Climate Change Law Enforcement (I2LEC) initiative.

The ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’ was inaugurated at an international conference titled ‘Eco Readiness’, focusing on global cooperation to mitigate the environmental impact of fires.

Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and declarations of intent were signed with various national and international firefighting organisations.

His Excellency Lieutenant General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defense, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)’s on behalf of the UAE with leaders from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) of the UK, National Federation of French Firefighters (FNSPF), Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI), Fire Protection Association (FPA) of Australia, and International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF).

Additionally, ‘Declarations of Intent’ were signed with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of the USA and the National Fire Agency (KNFA) of South Korea.

The signatories, representing over 56 countries, aim to enhance global security, disaster prevention, and community well-being.

The Dubai Civil Defense’s involvement in these MoUs reflects its commitment to environmental stewardship as part of the ‘Eco Readiness’ programme of the UAE Ministry of Interior.

This programme assists nations in reducing fire-related carbon emissions, striving for global climate neutrality.

It features a centralised platform for a global fire incident database, analysing fire incidents to determine their carbon emissions.

The data is shared with firefighting organisations worldwide, focusing on reducing fire incidents and their environmental impact.

In collaboration with the private sector, the Dubai Civil Defense has launched the ‘Heat Map of Environmental Crimes’.

This project offers insights into environmental crimes, linking them to climate change and facilitating data exchange between countries.

The ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’, led by the UAE, integrates strategies to reduce carbon emissions, and improve fire management mechanisms, identification of fire locations, and analysis of their causes.

This alliance emphasises global environmental security and safety.

At the ‘Eco Readiness’ conference, His Excellency Lieutenant General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matroushi expressed gratitude to the attendees and emphasised the conference’s support for COP28 objectives.

Presentations were made by Afaf Al Muhairi, Director of the Strategy and Future Department, and Major Essa Al Mutawa, Director of the Control and Inspection Department, discussing environmental preparedness and objectives for Civil Defense agencies.

A representative from the UAE Ministry of Interior highlighted the role of the International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC), launched in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in tackling climate-related challenges and crimes.

The I2LEC aims to coordinate and enhance the efforts of the global law enforcement community in this regard.

International collaboration

On December 1, during the COP 28 World Climate Conference, the signing of an MoU between and CTIF and the Dubai Directorate for Civil Defence took place.

CTIF President Milan Dubravac delivered a poignant speech in conjunction with the MoU signing, a momentous occasion also witnessed by numerous organisations worldwide.

The MoU outlines a framework for collaboration, emphasising the reduction of harmful effects of fires and hazards.

Key points of the agreement include:

  1. Organising awareness forums to disseminate vital information aimed at mitigating the impacts of fires and hazards.
  2. Collaborative efforts in aligning laws and standards to bolster fire safety and public education programs, sharing best practices and research globally.
  3. Joint initiatives in conducting awareness conferences, training, and certification programs to enhance knowledge and expertise in fire safety.
  4. Active participation in fire research, analysing data, assessing economic impacts, and making international comparisons.
  5. Cooperative endeavours in disseminating fire prevention and safety information to the public, particularly at the community level.
  6. Fostering dialogue and information exchange among members of each party.
  7. Annual consultation meetings between key contacts from each party to evaluate current agreements and explore potential projects within the MoU’s scope.

The ceremony also saw participation from other associations and countries, each making their commitment through individual MoUs.

This collective effort marks a pivotal step in advancing global fire safety standards and environmental stewardship, resonating with the core objectives of the COP 28 World Climate Conference.

Enhanced fire safety and rapid response

Earlier this year, in a significant move to bolster fire safety and emergency response in Dubai, the General Directorate of Dubai Civil Defence and the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MBRHE) formalised a collaboration through an MoU.

Signed this August at the Dubai Civil Defence headquarters, the agreement marks a strategic effort to integrate systems for monitoring residential property incidents and to ensure prompt communication in the event of a fire.

The MoU, reflecting a shared dedication to reinforce strategic cooperation with Dubai government institutions, is to enable personnel from both organisations to respond swiftly to fires, providing necessary housing solutions to affected families.

A pivotal aspect of this agreement is the focus on collaboration with insurance companies to expedite the damage assessment and compensation process for insured properties.

Additionally, a joint database is being established to study the causes of such incidents and develop strategic prevention plans.

To ensure effective implementation and address potential challenges, both parties have established a joint working team tasked with coordination and monitoring.

An integral part of the MoU includes a survey of elderly citizens’ homes and a promotional campaign for the fire alarm system ‘Husnutak’.

This campaign aims to increase the installation rate of the system in homes of elderly citizens, thereby enhancing the safety and security of residents and protecting them from fire accidents.

Excellency Lieutenant General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director-General of Dubai Civil Defence General Directorate, and Omar Hamad Bushahab, Executive Director of MBRHE, represented their respective organisations in the signing of the MoU.

H.E. Matrooshi emphasised the importance of the Husnutak device in all residences to boost safety and security.

He highlighted the MoU’s role in enhancing the efficiency of firefighters and rescuers, supporting fire prevention, and ensuring rapid response to incidents.

Bushahab reiterated MBRHE’s commitment to productive collaborations with strategic partners in Dubai.

He expressed that the MoU with Dubai Civil Defence would significantly improve the quality of life of citizens by deploying advanced safety and protection solutions in residences.

He also mentioned the partnership’s role in augmenting MBRHE’s capability to rapidly respond to emergencies, identify their causes, and work with relevant authorities to develop strategic preventive measures.

This collaboration is a step forward in safeguarding the lives and properties of residents affected by fire incidents.

FSAI exhibitions

The General Directorate of Dubai Civil Defense’s participation in the Fire & Security Association of India (FSAI) exhibition has been notably successful.

The FSAI, recognised as Asia’s largest organisation for safety, fire, and security professionals, acknowledged the effectiveness of the Dubai Civil Defense Readiness program during this event.

The delegation, led by His Excellency Major General Jamal bin Aded Al Muhairi, Assistant Director-General for Resources and Support Services, attended the FSAI convention in India, which caters to safety, fire, and security professionals.

The international association expressed appreciation for the proactive and evolving role of the Dubai Civil Defense Readiness program.

The focus of Dubai Civil Defense’s participation was to showcase the Dubai Civil Defense Readiness program.

This program is dedicated to protecting lives and property, integrating environmental readiness, and leveraging scientific and technological advancements to reduce carbon emissions from fire incidents.

Its proactive approach in predicting and implementing preventative measures contributes to the reduction of fire incidents and carbon emissions.

This program aligns with the United Arab Emirates’ broader goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, as part of its efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

A collaborative approach

As these initiatives and collaborations come to fruition, the United Arab Emirates stands as a pivotal player in the realm of environmental stewardship and fire safety.

The ‘World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance’, established at COP28, along with the strategic MoU between Dubai Civil Defence and the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment, represent significant steps in international collaborative efforts.

These initiatives, involving over 56 countries, are geared towards improving global security, disaster prevention, and community well-being.

Key strategies include the establishment of a global fire incident database, the ‘Heat Map of Environmental Crimes’, and numerous strategic partnerships, all aimed at reducing fire-related carbon emissions and advancing towards global climate neutrality.

The UAE’s role in these developments reflects its commitment to environmental conservation and represents an important contribution to the global effort in addressing climate-related challenges.

Looking ahead, these initiatives set an example for collaborative and strategic approaches in harmonising environmental protection with fire safety.

This article was originally published in the January 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox