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'Building a Disaster Resilient Energy Sector in the United Arab Emirates' by Saqer Al Qassimi

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posted on 22.06.2021, 13:43 by Saqer Al Qassimi
SPARC 2021 Poster No. 26

The purpose of this research is to examine the vulnerability and resilience of the energy sector in the United Arab Emirates that shape the development of disaster and resilience planning as well as to identify the barriers this resilience building process could come up against.

To support the attainment of this broad aim this research undertakes a thorough examination of the literature on the subject of disaster risk reduction, vulnerability and resilience helped contextualise these key concepts within the field of emergency management. The elements that shape and build resilience in the energy industry were identified, both at physical (protection of infrastructure and equipment against damage) and organisational level (development of staff competence and leadership).

The risks most relevant to the UAE landscape were recognised as being those related to tropical storms, climate change and geological activity, while the possibility of terrorism, either through physical means or through cyber-attacks, was the most potent manmade threat.

Preliminary results indicate a changing typology of disasters and threats, namely cyber warfare and drone attacks, featured prominently in interviewee’s answers. Preliminary findings indicate the need to involve multiple stakeholders in the disaster risk reduction process, along with the need to implement strict regulation in the sector.

A proactive management and enough resources and capabilities to allocate to disaster preparedness and management were identified as some of the most crucial points for their organisation and for the energy sector in the UAE as a whole. Positive actions can include wider engagement of the relevant stakeholders in the disaster planning and mitigation procedures.