National Experts Program | H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi

NEP 3.0

H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi

Abdulla Al Haidan

Mobility and Logistics

The visionary leadership of H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi has helped drive the rapid pace of growth, innovation and transformation in Abu Dhabi Emirate. With more than 20 years of extensive experience in leading government organisations, H.E. has successfully established the highest level of corporate governance in the region, unifying entities that help firmly in positioning Abu Dhabi at the forefront of global business, innovation and positive change.

His excellency has served as the Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), formerly known as the Urban Planning Council (UPC) since 2007 and has extensive years of experience in the fields of management, governmental services, maritime, aviation, infrastructure, urban planning, investment and technology. He holds a Degree in Management from California State University, USA.

As Chairman of DMT, H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi manages the urban planning and transport sectors, three municipalities and its affiliate entities including the Abu Dhabi Integrated Centre (ITC), all of which have combined assets over AED 65 billion with more than 9,000 employees. He has been instrumental in the creation of the DMT’s ‘Complete Sustainable Communities’ initiative – a comprehensive suite of policies, regulations and manuals, which enables planners to design communities that meet the diverse needs of both current and future generations and enhance the quality of life. He is also responsible for the creation, management and implementation of the emirate-wide framework plans within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Aiming at continuous development, H.E. has also overseen as well the evolution of DMT’s digital systems, and its digital transformation program, which allowed it to develop many more tailored online services, and has accelerated the pace of innovation, significantly altering customers’ experience by providing fast access, transparent, and accurate development information to residents and investors, following the governance model, aiming at increasing satisfaction and happiness for communities، which led to Abu Dhabi has been ranked the "Smartest City in the MENA Region" for the second consecutive year. In addition, he set a strategy for Abu Dhabi transportation sector to lead the charge towards best transport operations, by providing a pioneering model for the sector.

Most recently, H.E. Al Ahbabi was appointed Chairman of AD Ports Group, the region's leading logistics, industry and trade facilitator, covering ports, industrial cities, free zones, maritime, logistics and digital. The AD Ports Group portfolio comprises 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, and over 550 square kilometres of industrial zones within the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). H.E. Al Ahbabi serves as the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Emirates Heritage Club and the Committee responsible for Al Reem Island’s critical infrastructure. He also sits on the boards of the Emergencies, Crises and Disasters Management Centre, Etihad Rail, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, and Modon Properties (Modon)، and Board Member of the General Civil Aviation Authority.

H.E. Falah also manages the land, air and maritime transport networks of Abu Dhabi in a pivotal sector that supports the economic and sustainable development of the emirate. In recognition of Abu Dhabi’s achievements in the urban sector - under H.E.’s direction – the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) chose the capital to host the 10th World Urban Forum in February 2020. He has been part of significant milestones in managing the urban development model, which has contributed to a boost in infrastructure and subsequently helped Abu Dhabi to be ranked as the best city to live in the Middle East and North Africa for two years in a row 2021-2020, according to The Economist Annual Intelligence Liveability Index. His efforts in developing the land and maritime transport sectors during the global pandemic contributed to strengthening Abu Dhabi›s position as a leading hub in trade and logistics, and better serving humanity by focusing on the future support of global health services, In addition to establishing Abu Dhabi ports as a leading centre for the distribution of vaccines, medicines and medical supplies, through world-class cooling and cryogenic storage facilities.

Before joining the DMT, H.E played a pivotal role in establishing the first helicopter academy in the Middle East. He was also involved in the launch of a the Yahsat satellite whilst working with the Mubadala Development Company. Other highlights of his career include achieving the privatization of Government services and a global experience in utilities. 

Under H.E.’s vision, DMT has maintained its understanding of the latest urban planning thinking, solutions, and practices, whilst also taking into consideration the wider financial and economic circumstances in the region and world. This ever-developing regulatory framework will result in greater awareness of these assets and help to direct projects towards better liveability within the emirate, whilst conserving and preserving the rich and unique cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi.