Dubai: Finding your way around Dubai might be a challenge, buy for some, the task can get overwhelmingly confusing when visiting unfamiliar nearby emirates.
To simplify the process of giving directions to buildings, officials at Dubai Municipality are currently working on charting all buildings across the seven emirates.
“The aim is to have all buildings in the UAE installed with a plate, displaying the location’s 10-digit geo-coordinates,” according to Abdul Hakim Malek, director of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department at Dubai Municipality.
Speaking to Gulf News, Malek said the municipality’s smart mapping system ‘Makani’ has already been shared with Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah, “and the deal has just been finalised with Ras Al Khaimah”.
The process of setting up the plates in the Northern Emirates will not take as long as in Dubai, which was rolled out in April 2015 and continues to be installed in different phases across the city.
“Ajman will have 20,000 plates while Umm Al Quwain will receive about 7,000 plates for each building,” said Malek. “We will start focusing our efforts now on these four emirates until they are completed, and only then we will focus our efforts on Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.”
Currently, 50,000 plates have been set up in several areas, including Mirdif, Garhoud and Al Barsha, with the remaining 80,000 expected to be installed by the end of this year.
“The Makani plates in other emirates will look exactly the same but will be of a different colour. For example, the Makani bar in Dubai is yellow, while the one in Ajman will be orange,” he said.
The Makani app is accurate up to one metre of the pin selected on the map, and can also be scanned by smartphones using the QR code reader apps — providing a digital copy of the number that can be quickly shared online.
More good news is in store for taxi users, as Malek also confirmed that the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai will integrate the Makani app into their GPS system.
“This means that customers can give their 10-digit coordinates to taxi drivers, and get to their destination without any hassle,” he said.
The smart mapping system was initially launched to help the delivery-industry, in addition to first emergency responders and courier services, locate residents’ homes.
“Through launching our own app, we can enforce all participating companies to instruct their drivers to use it,” he said.
How it works
Makani plate displays location’s 10-digit geo-coordinates
The plate will be installed in buildings across seven emirates
Dubai Municipality’s smart mapping system ‘Makani’ already shared with Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah; Ras Al Khaimah will follow next
Makani app is accurate up to one metre of the pin selected
RTA will integrate Makani into its GPS system, thus cabbies, emergency responders and couriers could locate homes easily