DPM finalises agreements with four universities

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council signs collaboration agreements with reputable academic institutes to increase local talent and support Emiratisation.

The Department of Urban Planning and Development (DPM) has signed collaboration agreements with four of the UAE's leading universities with the objective of nurturing a talent pool of skilled urban planners. The DPM recently signed Memorandum of Collaborations (MoC) with New York University Abu Dhabi, Zayed University, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and American University of Sharjah to offer internships,

set up student training programmes and integrate DPM planning manuals into the syllabus of a number of degree courses. The DPM's suite of regulations and planning manuals will be included in the curriculum of Urban Planning, Planning and Urban Design and Architectural Engineering courses. Students may also be requested by the

DPM to carry out research projects related to urban planning.

Furthermore, under the terms of the MOCs, the DPM will provide annual internship opportunities for students, as well as the chance to work on some of its key planning and policy projects.

The agreements represent further evidence of the DPM's drive to improve local skills and enhance students' understanding of its role via active collaboration with local academic institutions. The move follows similar recent agreements with Abu Dhabi University and United Arab Emirates University.

"The DPM is dedicated to improving and expanding the range of Emirati talent in a sector that gives employees the opportunity to contribute in shaping the future of Abu Dhabi," said Eng. Abdulla Al Shamsi, Executive Director, Strategic Affairs Sector, DPM. "These significant agreements not only enable the DPM to select candidates from a wider pool of talent, but also represent considerable support for Abu Dhabi's Emiratisation initiative, as part of Vision 2030.

"We look forward to collaborating with universities across the Emirate and the wider UAE to run courses and workshops to share knowledge, build awareness and provide opportunities and exposure to the work of the DPM for our Emirate's next generation.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to nurture a creative Emirati workforce that is passionate about the future of Abu Dhabi, is knowledgeable of our planning manuals and the Estidama programme, and has an understanding of our overarching ethos."

Under the specific terms of each MoC, the DPM will provide universities with training material and manuals related to its regulations, as well as its Estidama sustainability programme, the Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual and the Abu Dhabi Utility Corridors Design Manual. It will also train selected professors to enable them to educate their students.

The DPM will organise workshops, forums and training courses, exchange spatial and physical data for projects executed by the DPM in order to support academic and research activities, and share equipment, devices, systems and laboratories. Students will be fully supported throughout their graduation projects.

Prof. Eric Fouache, Vice Chancellor at Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi said: "We are so honoured to be among the universities in the UAE to collaborate with the DPM to nurture a talent pool of skilled urban planners and work together for the same objective. Based on the fact that we are an Emirati French University, we believe in the capacity of this collaboration to support local talent and the Emiratisation strategy which is aligned with the UAE's vision."

Prof. Fouache added: "We are committed in Paris-Sorbonne University to fully support our local students through offering them all the needed materials and assistance to learn the French language and be able to success in their studies. We also provide all kinds of support to them after they graduate to make sure that they are doing well in their professional careers. Moreover, 35% of our students are UAE Nationals and it's the highest ranking among the other nationalities that we have. This fact showcases their interest to learn new languages, meet new civilisations and earn new skills."

One of the key benefits to both parties is the opportunity for students to gain valuable experience of the DPM's work on a day-to-day basis. Interns will be taught professional and hands-on technical skills and gain experience of an international working environment. They will be given the opportunity to be introduced to the DPM's suite of regulations, manuals and best practice urban planning processes.

"We are excited to sign this agreement with Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council," said Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS. "Collaborations such as these serve as important links not only between academia and the public sector but also between our emirates. We look forward to working with DPM in a number of areas including research activities, organizing forums, and training sessions as well as providing internship opportunities for our students," he added.

The DPM has been successfully offering internships for a number of years. Over 45 interns from the universities that have signed an MoC have gained experience at the DPM. This demonstrates that mutual collaboration is of great benefit to all parties involved - the DPM for having access to a wider pool of talent, the universities for being supported in specific degree courses, but most importantly the students themselves in gaining the knowledge and experience to start their careers in this growing sector.

Eng. Abdulla Al Shamsi commented: "This initiative represents a major milestone in developing future generations of urban planners who will have a big role to play in creating Complete Sustainable Communities and supporting the realisation of Vision 2030."

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