The use of knowledge management during emergencies, crises and disasters in the UAE

  • Hamad Al Ameri

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Knowledge Management supports crisis, emergency and disaster management in several ways – to pass on information about a situation, provide immediate relief needs and assess the possibility of the situation worsening or stabilizing so that the plan phase for relief can be suitably organized. Knowledge Management strategies are particularly necessary in the UAE because of (1) its terrain (2) the fact that each Emirate has its own ruler with each dealing with emergencies, crisis and disaster in their Emirate through their own agencies (3) shortage of purely national skills at all levels down to the lowest. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) which is the official acronym used was established in 2007 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates in order to address some of these shortcomings. Since then it has organized several training programmes and conferences to hone the skills of its staff, to involve the public and create awareness about ways in which an emergency or disaster has to be dealt with. However, a knowledge management system to improve the speed and quality of response actions in a crisis or disaster is not in place in the UAE although Knowledge Management practices have been adopted in business through the integration of various technologies to acquire and share information and use international best practices and they have been benefited thereby. The thesis aims at presenting methods of dealing with a disaster like an earthquake in the UAE and the flooding at Kalba by NCEMA. In addition four other case studies of very major disasters at the international level have been studied to arrive at lessons for NCEMA if it were to use Knowledge Management strategies through a central control centre to disburse commands and to work along with emergency response systems to guide the concerned teams and on-ground staff to take appropriate action. This thesis does not take into account other factors like political and intra-organisation (or) inter-organisation communication. Once a Knowledge Management platform for UAE is established, strategies for Disaster Risk Reduction should follow. This is beyond the scope of this thesis. The next step would be a unified Knowledge Management system for the GCC countries which could lead to more efficient coordination between the Gulf countries.  
Date of AwardJun 2014
Original languageAmerican English


  • Knowledge Management; Emergencies; National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA); United Arab Emirates.

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