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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

For a knowledge based society

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The unified addressing system (UAS) in Oman will bring across-the-board benefits to both citizens and residents and help the country achieve its long-term goals.


“The Sultanate of Oman is developing a unified addressing system that will benefit the government’s operations, help it achieve its long-term goals and support the people and businesses,” says a report.


This system, according to the report by Esri, will support Oman’s Vision 2040 goals to facilitate a strong, prosperous and knowledge-based economy.


The global market leader in geographic information system in the report titled “Oman’s unified addressing system will have broad benefits”, said that one of its primary goals of Vision 2040 is the digital transformation of government services in the country.


“The implementation of a GIS-based UAS is a key driver for that transformation,” the report by Jim Baumann of Esri in the ArcUser Summer 2022 points out.


The report with quotes from different government officials asserts that the national UAS will bring numerous benefits to the government and the people of Oman.


Although Oman has a population of more nearly 4.5 million people, current address data existed only for the cities of Muscat, Suhar and Salalah. This impeded the development of the location intelligence needed by decision-makers in government and business.


State-owned National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) has been given the mandate to implement a UAS for Oman in coordination with municipalities, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, and Royal Oman Police.


“The Oman National Spatial Data Infrastructure initiative is the key driver of our National Unified Addressing System,” Hassan bin Alawi al Ghazali, an engineer and the director-general of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure at NCSI, was quoted as saying in the report.


The initiative provides a framework for geospatial standards, policies, institutional arrangements and technology infrastructure. The framework is necessary to coordinate, facilitate and support the sharing and utilisation of geospatial information across multiple government organisations in the Sultanate of Oman.


The UAS is part of a larger plan in Oman to achieve geo-enabled digital transformation throughout the country. It includes the addresses of all buildings and residences in the country, and we are currently in the process of completing this step.


As a valuable source of statistical data and information, the UAS will enhance national security by providing information to better integrate intelligence, plan operations, manage national security threats and improve disaster preparedness. It will be an essential first step in the development of Oman’s Smart Cities plan.


According to the report, UAS will support national and regional planning and decision-making processes related to urban expansion.


“This data will help with planning public services, such as postal delivery, education, health services, sanitation, public transport and utilities. It will also improve tax collection and utility payment systems, thus increasing government revenues. Eliminating duplicated paper work will improve government efficiency and reduce operational costs for transportation and logistics sectors,” points out the report.


The UAS will help attract high-tech industries to the region, creating new investment opportunities, and it will also be attractive to tourists visiting Oman.


For the people, the report says, will bring numerous benefits. By more reliably routing ambulances and the police in towns, cities and rural areas, emergency services response will improve, saving lives and property. Reduced travel times also will improve the delivery of goods. Official records, such as ID cards, residence permits, driver’s licences and other government-issued documents, can now include addresses.


@samkuttyvp


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