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TRA conducts emergency plan exercise at Dubai HQ

The Sada Al Barq exercise was last conducted in June 2013

Photo used for illustrative purposes only.
Photo used for illustrative purposes only.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently coordinated the second phase of the Sada Al Barq exercise at its headquarters in Dubai, where it reassessed the current National Emergency Plan (NEP-T) in place for the UAE’s telecommunications sector.

The exercise, which updated procedures to ensure maximum effectiveness in times of emergency and crisis, also established the lines of responsibility and increasing levels of coordination between federal and local institutions.

"The safety and security of UAE telecommunications is a national priority,” said H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director general, TRA. “In order to safeguard telecommunications sector and its critical infrastructure, the TRA issued the National Emergency Plan in 2011. The plan informs strategy and contains an integrated action plan that outlines procedure behind a coordinated response in the event of a national emergency."

Al Ghanim added: "The Sada Al Barq exercise is essential as it enables us to comprehensively review emergency procedure, assess the readiness of concerned parties, identify any weaknesses and ultimately, investigate ways we can improve the plan by leveraging international best practice.”

The Sada Al Barq exercise comes in line with the National Emergency Plan developed for the telecommunications sector, which provides the necessary foundation for effective and coordinated response to emergencies in the country. The plan is aimed at addressing emergencies that affect or may affect many parts of the infrastructure.

This practice aims to verify the effectiveness of the plans and instructions issued by the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, and to ensure the readiness of licensees for emergencies, whether in terms of possessing the necessary capacity to deal with such cases, or in terms of effective communication between the various parts of the system on the management of operations during crisis and emergency.

This is the second Sada Al Barq exercise managed by the TRA, with the first taking place on 25 June, 2013. This year's exercise agenda focused how to respond to sabotage attempts as well as which discussing how to roll out procedures to ensure business continuity and the restoration public services such they be affected.

A post event report containing procedural recommendations was submitted to the TRA shortly after the event concluded. During the discussion forums at the event, participants praised approach taken by the UAE in proactively coordinating efforts in this field while expressing confidence in the evident national capacity to respond to potential emergency situations, especially in the field of ICT.

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