New street signs will soon make it easy to find any destination in the emirate. The new address system will assign 12,000 new street names. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The roads to your workplace in the emirate of Abu Dhabi could soon feature new names, while your workplaces and homes will soon have their own unique addresses.

Finding different locations, such as your favourite restaurant or sports club, will also become easier, as a newly launched addressing system works to assign unique street names by the end of 2015.

The system, Onwani Unified Addressing and Wayfinding System, has already begun reassigning street names in the capital, senior officials at the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) said at the official launch of the project yesterday (Tuesday).

“New road signs with unique street names have been set up in Al Falah area, Al Bahia area, Mariah Island and the old Al Nahyan camp area. By 2014, all streets in the capital at least will have unique names, and the same will be achieved in Al Ain and the Western Region by the end of 2015. This will make travelling and finding locations much easier,” Dr Abdulla Al Beloushi, committee chairman and executive director at the DMA, told Gulf News.

At present, many streets in Abu Dhabi have multiple names, making it difficult for residents and visitors to find particular locations. In addition, streets in Abu Dhabi have the same name as streets in other parts of the emirate, which can add to the confusion. Officials said at the press conference that duplication of street names will be eliminated by Onwani, which will introduce 12,000 new street names. Accordingly, 20,000 new road and district signs are expected to be set up. “The new street names, which are being selected by a specialised committee, reflect Emirati culture and highlight the history of our country and region,” said Majid Al Mansouri, chairman of DMA.

For example, Muroor Road, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares, is expected to be renamed Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street, and the name will be featured on all street signs and databases, Al Beloushi said. This will eliminate the mix-ups that arise at present, because the road is also known by multiple other names, including Fourth Street and East Road.

“Another new street name that will reflect the UAE’s heritage is Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Street, which is expected to replace the name Najda Street [also known sometimes as Bani Yas Street],” he added.

The system is being spearheaded by the DMA, the entity which oversees municipal activities in the emirate, and it will be implemented by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Al Ain Municipality and the Western Region Municipality in their own areas.

As reported by Gulf News following an exclusive interview in February, Onwani, which means ‘My address’ in Arabic, will also ensure that each home, office or location has a unique address featuring the building number, street name, city name and emirate. As a result, 200,000 addresses will be simplified.

Elaborating on the major advantages of Onwani, officials said that it will enable emergency response services to find and reach the location of an incident quicker. Residents and visitors will also be less likely to end up at the wrong location because of the uniqueness of street names, which is in turn expected to reduce travel time and energy consumption.

“Tourism will also be promoted, and commercial delivery and distribution will become easier and quicker with more effective ways of finding locations,” Al Mansouri said.