With thousands flocking to Dubai for COP28, the government has implemented a comprehensive plan to ensure public health and safety. Amidst this significant influx, Dubai welcomed 140 heads of state, over 70,000 delegates, and an estimated 400,000 visitors, adding to the city's existing population of over 3 million.
The responsibility of maintaining public health, encompassing everything from food safety to city cleanliness, falls upon Dubai Municipality. Collaborating with local agencies and private companies, the municipality leverages its mandate of overseeing public services and facilities to make Dubai a more sustainable, beautiful, pioneering, and liveable city.
Organised into seven distinct sectors and agencies, each with specific tasks, Dubai Municipality operates under a unified vision: to solidify Dubai's position as a leading city of the future.
Dubai Municipality is leading on public safety, including overseeing elevators and escalators, is the Environment, Health Safety Agency. The municipality is also responsible for the safety of water systems and indoor air quality. This agency also oversees the implementation of pest control operations by approved companies following strict standards.
The Food Safety Department has one of the largest tasks. With roughly half a million mouths to feed during COP28, it is up to this unit to ensure food safety at the event site and the headquarters of delegations and accompanying events. Compliance is key to food safety. Inspectors visit all food and beverage suppliers during the event to ensure they meet the requirements. They supervise the delivery, preparation, and serving of food across all locations. Similarly, inspectors collect food samples to be tested in laboratories as part of the food safety plan. The Dubai Central Laboratory tests more than 3 million products each year.
In addition, the UAE Food Bank team is ensuring that any surplus food is being collected and sent to its distribution centres. It collected 550kg of food items in the first four days and distributed the food to 2,200 beneficiaries.
During COP28, Dubai Municipality's Waste Operations Department ensures the efficient management of 40 tonnes of waste per day. With its partners, Dubai Municipality is ensuring that 30% of the waste is recycled, 35% is converted into organic fertiliser, and the remaining waste is sent to the Warsan Waste to Energy plant, which is converted into power.
Dubai Municipality also oversees the drainage and recycled water network, ensuring it is ready to operate at maximum capacity whenever needed. This includes preventive maintenance of the drainage pumping stations connected to a central monitoring system. Dubai Municipality, in partnership with the Expo City team, also verified the integrity of drainage and rainwater slope lines at Expo City using CCTV.
The municipality has crews continually remotely inspecting and cleaning wastewater and rainwater lines. The same teams are checking entrances to the collection lake at Expo City and responding to reports of drainage in the area. The 10.3 m diametre Deep Stormwater Tunnels are also showcased at the Dubai Municipality stand in the Energy Transition Hub.
Maintenance, cleaning and responding to reports under Dubai Municipality's scope of work are critical to the smooth running of an event as large and complex as COP28. Tying all these responsibilities and departments together is Dubai Municipality's command and control centre.
A single, joint operations room is overseeing the management of each department's activities, ensuring they respond to tasks. The control room coordinates between teams and relevant government agencies, as well as Expo's management, to monitor the entire event and respond to any challenges related to Dubai Municipality's responsibility.