Abu Dhabi-based National Operations Centre, which plays a key role in crisis management, worked with 60 agencies across the country to monitor the situation during Covid-19 pandemic and implement response plans, a top official said.

The centre, which comes under the umbrella of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), has been working 24X7, 365 days a year, coordinating the management of national resources during emergencies and crises.

Dr Saif Juma Al Dhaheri, Director, National Operations Centre, NCEMA, noted that the centre provides comprehensive information for decision makers to be prepared for any crisis and emergency situation.

“The National Operations Centre was fully activated during Covid-19. We worked with about 60 different agencies locally and nationally. We are connected with all operations centres, such as the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, the Minister of Health and Prevention, and other ministries and agencies as well,” Dr Al Dhaheri told Khaleej Times in an interview.

The centre coordinates the entire operations within the crisis and emergency domain in the UAE.

“We have a liaison officer – a representative from each agency, depending on the hazards itself,” said Dr Al Dhaheri on the sidelines of Crisis and Emergency Management Summit – Abu Dhabi 2023 organised by NCEMA.

Also, according to the nature of the crisis, representatives and experts from concerned ministries and agencies are involved in the coordination and response process.

“During Covid-19, we had 60 people because we needed to connect with everyone, locally and nationally. We have learnt a lot from Covid-19. So, we now know how to bring services to people with normality. We know how to ensure business continuity, how to sustain supply chains etc,” said Dr Al Dhaheri, someone who often addressed the nation during the UAE Government’s Covid-19 media briefings.

Proud to serve people

“We are proud to be looking after our people. We are proud to serve them as we go. We are always available and we are accessible by anyone who needs to talk to us regarding any suspicious risks or threats just in case they occur. Like any natural hazards, other challenges that occur in case of suspicious threats from any international security agencies or any threat on their lives. It can be cybersecurity or any suspicious phone calls or movement around our crucial infrastructure. It could be anything that’s against national security,” said Dr Al Dhaheri.

Asked how the UAE manages to foresee future crises and prepare for it, Dr Al Dhaheri noted that the involved experts and stakeholders follow the trends and have a methodological approach.

“It’s just depending on the trends. There are trends, studies and tools that you can use to see what is the next ‘X’ crisis that can occur,” he said.

“We are here to support the civil part of the government. We coordinate services as they come from the ministries. We work collectively with our partners to find better policies and strategies,” Dr Al Dhaheri added.

To report any suspicious risks or threats, community members can contact NCEMA on 024177000.

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