Dubai: Dubai Police have become a member of the European Emergency Number Association (Eena), after its participation in Eena’s lastest conference held in Warsaw, Poland in April, a Dubai Police official said.

Brigadier Omar Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director of the Command and Control Centre at the General Directorate of Operations at Dubai Police, said that the department was invited by Eena to showcase the 999 emergency line experience at the conference, in order to make Dubai Police a member of the association.

Eena is a Brussels-based NGO set up in 1999 dedicated to promoting high-quality emergency services reached by the number 112 throughout the European Union.

The Eena members include more than 1,000 emergency services representatives from over 70 countries world-wide, 70 solution providers, 15 international associations/organisations, 150 Members of the European Parliament and 60 researchers, according to Eena’s website.

Brig Al Shamsi said that Eena aims to create a unified emergency number 112 for all emergencies, which they have already succeded in doing in multiple cities.

“In some European countries, each emergency service, such as civil defense and police, have different numbers, and also have different numbers in different cities within the same country,” he said, adding that in the UAE they have a unified number emergency number 999 for any emergency, whether it is a fire, a medical emergency, an accident or anything else.

Currently, tourists calling 112 or 911 in Dubai have their calls routed to Dubai Police.

“We have a goal to unify all the emergency numbers of the Arab countries,” Brig Al Shamsi said.

The Command and Control Room at Dubai Police has received more than seven million calls on the 999 number over the past three years. In 2011, there were more than 2.4 million calls, in 2012 there were more than 2.3 million calls and in 2013 there were more than 2.5 million calls.

Brig Al Shamsi said that they receive an average of 500,000-600,000 calls per quarter. “Most of the calls we receive are traffic related, and most of those calls are to report minor traffic accidents,”

“When someone calls 999, 97 per cent of the time officers pick up within 10 seconds.” He added that in the past three years, their patrols’ average response time to emergency calls was 10 minutes, which is above their 15-minute target for emergencies and the 30-minute target for non-emergency cases.

The department, he explained, has call-takers that can speak English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Hindi, among other languages.

Statistics from the department also showed that there was a 96.5 per cent customer satisfaction with the 999 call centre over the last three years, and 94.7 per cent satisfaction rate for the same period for the department’s patrols.