Department of Municipalities and Transport unveils Abu Dhabi Digital Twin project

It intends to promote the foundations and concept of smart cities and initiate and integrate augmented digital reality and metaverses for the emirate in accordance with the highest international standards

The Abu Dhabi Digital Twin project was launched by the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) at GITEX Technology Week 2022. Through the project, the department will be able to use 3D augmented reality to facilitate and support decision-making processes, which is said to be a qualitative leap forward in the emirate’s development of a digital and geographic information system.

The project is said to integrate advanced technology, such as aerial photography, LiDAR scanning and game engines; it intends to promote the foundations and concept of smart cities and initiate and integrate augmented digital reality and metaverses for the emirate in accordance with the highest international standards.

Billed as a first of its kind project in Abu Dhabi, it aims to showcase a comprehensive and accurate representation of the emirate, including the exterior shapes of the buildings. In addition to supporting the real estate market and highlighting landmarks across the emirate, the project provides details of interior structure to enable internal navigation of the buildings to support the speed of response in emergencies and support planning and decision-making processes, the DMT explained.

In July 2022, Lori Hufford, VP of Application Integration at Bentley Systems said that the intersection of digital twins, the metaverse, and the physical world is an ideal place to invest, allowing global teams to collaborate and solve complex infrastructure problems.

“DMT’s participation in GITEX Technology Week 2022 provides insight into the department’s pioneering digital projects that contribute to the improvement of Abu Dhabi’s quality of life, which is in line with the directives of Abu Dhabi’s leadership in making the emirate a global magnet for economic and industrial investments. By creating a complete visualisation of the emirate using 3D modelling, the Abu Dhabi Digital Twin project assists in data analysis, facilitates decision-making, monitors the appearance of the cities in the emirate, and uses virtual reality to highlight the most notable locations for the public,” said His Excellency Dr. Salem Al Kaabi, Director General of Operational Affairs at DMT.

The project will introduce a synchronous representation of the emirate, allowing users, such as planners, engineers, specialists, and public and private sectors, to explore the emirate’s development in 3D and evaluate vast amounts of data. In addition, it will provide decision-makers, experts, and specialists with accurate data and measurements for planning and operations across all critical sectors. It will also offer spatial analysis tools that assist in analysing the effects of various urban planning scenarios for making the appropriate planning decision in each of these scenarios, DMT added.

A complete visual representation of building structures and other assets is developed by integrating the project’s outputs with multiple systems. It also ensures the continuity of updating data, including real estate systems regarding lease contracts, rental indicators, sale and purchase indicators, urban spaces and community facilities, building permits, asset management, addressing, and urban planning, commercial licenses, information about services, community facilities, and inspections, the DMT commented.

Later in July 2022, Omnix Engineering’s Bhaskar Raman told Middle East Construction News (MECN) that in the near future, cloud-based digital twins will serve predominantly as an asset management environment.

The Abu Dhabi government showcased several new initiatives at GITEX 2022 for government services, data, AI, and the digital system across all of its entities. By implementing these measures, the emirate enables, supports, and offers a proactive, specialised, easy-to-use, and secure digital government system that corresponds to international standards. The projects demonstrate Abu Dhabi’s successes in providing a dynamic environment for global investments and regional economic competition, it concluded.

In August 2022, ALEC’s Andy Boutle told MECN that digital construction is critical to sustainable development.


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