Abu Dhabi mainland is an island and there are several waterways between smaller islands around it Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has launched the Al Nalia smartphone app to provide access to Abu Dhabi’s maritime safety maps.

Developed in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Maritime and Maqta Gateway - both of which are part of AD Ports Group - the application enhances the safety of marine navigation in the emirate, and ensures the efficiency and ease of use of waterways in Abu Dhabi.

Al Nalia has been introduced as a follow-up to the launch of the Maritime Safety Maps in Abu Dhabi. The two launches demonstrate a qualitative shift in maritime navigation in the emirate by displaying important navigational information, including the major commercial transit lanes and connectivity routes, speed limits, mooring and anchorage areas, and designated locations for motorised and non-motorised recreational maritime activities, in real time.

With its highly interactive interface, the app will help users search directly for the nearest marine facilities, including marinas, slipways, marine fuel stations, and locations designated for recreational activities like jet skis, marine water sports, swimming, and surfing.

Inspired by ancestors

The app has been named after the historical maps used by UAE’s ancestors for navigating local waterways, which also marked information about the harbour and pearl diving sites. The name, Al Nalia, is a homage to the legacy and depth of sailing history in the UAE.

The app offers users with one of the region’s most advanced maritime navigational services for smartphones. It also delivers accurate data directly on global navigation systems such as Google Maps, enabling users to identify the best waterways, routes, and destinations.

The Maritime Safety Maps are available on Abu Dhabi Maritime’s digital portal, while the equivalent Al Nalia mobile app is available on the App Store and Google Play. The app, developed by Maqta Gateway, the digital arm of AD Ports Group, has rendered the maps fully interactive, displaying users’ location in real-time and informing them of any regulations within their current zone.

“The new application contributes significantly to promoting digital transformation in all the quality services Abu Dhabi provides to everyone. Abu Dhabi has developed infrastructure and integrated capabilities in the maritime transport sector, enhancing the emirate’s status as a world-leading maritime hub. The app would undoubtedly ensure the safe and proper usage of waterways for all residents and visitors to the emirate,” said Dr Salem Khalfan Al Kaabi, director general of operational affairs at DMT.

read more

“The introduction of new digital solutions such as the Abu Dhabi Maritime Safety Maps, and now the Al Nalia application, reflects AD Ports Group’s commitment to our leadership’s vision for the creation of a robust national economy backed by innovation. Through close collaboration with key strategic partners, the new application pushes the boundaries of how advanced technology can be applied to both modernising our service capabilities and enhancing the user experience of our maritime community, while also strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading global maritime centre,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO of AD Ports Group.

“The launch of the Al Nalia mobile application is a key milestone in Abu Dhabi Maritime’s continued collaborative efforts to develop truly groundbreaking solutions that will accelerate the digitalisation of the emirate’s maritime industry. By creating an application that overlays Abu Dhabi’s navigational maps with our zoning and safety regulations in a fully interactive format, the Al Nalia app greatly elevates the level of navigational security and efficiency across our emirate’s waterways for both commercial and recreational users,” added Captain Saif Al Mheiri, managing director of Abu Dhabi Maritime at AD Ports Group.

The Maritime Safety Maps have been developed in close collaboration with Abu Dhabi Maritime and Maqta Gateway, as well as the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Command (CICPC).