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04 March 2024

DEWA inaugurates the first World Excellence Summit

Photo: Dubai Media Office

By Dubai Media Office

Summit to shape future of excellence and sustainability

DEWA is first organisations in the world to receive Arabic version of EFQM’s Module 2020

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is organising the 1st World Excellence Summit, which begins today and ends tomorrow, to promote a culture of excellence and innovation among its staff as well as other employees from federal and local government bodies. Prominent international experts and specialists in excellence and officials from local and international excellence programmes are taking part in the summit.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, inaugurated the summit which convened at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Dr Harland James Harrington, CEO of Harrington Institute, California, USA; HE Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi; HE Dr. Hazza Al Nuaimi, Coordinator General of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme; HE Saif Al Falasi, CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC); HE Abdulla bin Kalban, Managing Director & CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA); HE Ahmad Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower); HE Marwan Al Zaabi - Director of Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme; Russell Longmuir, CEO of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM); and HE Dr Ahmed Al Nusairat, Senior Advisor of Government Performance in the General Secretariat of the Executive Council; attended the opening. Brigadier Dr. Khalfan Sultan Al Kindi, Deputy Director of Human Resources Sector at Abu Dhabi Police; Brigadier Mohammed Ali Almehairi, Director of Security Media Department; and Col. Khalfan Abdullah Al Mansouri, Deputy Director of the Centre for Strategy and Institutional Development at Abu Dhabi Police were also present.

The two-day summit includes panel discussions and presentations on different aspects of excellence. The speakers are world-renowned global experts in excellence including: Suresh Lulla, Founder of Qimpro Consultants and a veteran quality professional for over 50 years; Dr. Stefan Hagmann, Professor of Corporate Governance and Business Development and a full-range EFQM-accredited Assessor Trainer; Dr. Brett Trusko, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Texas A&M University; and Dr. Vittorio Cesarotti, Professor at University of Rome, Italy; among other specialists.

The first day of the summit witnessed the launch of the New EFQM Module 2020 in the Middle East. HE Al Tayer was handed the first Arabic version of the Module by the CEO of the European Foundation for Quality Management.

In his keynote speech, Al Tayer said that DEWA is organising the first World Excellence Summit as a platform for experts and specialists in different areas of excellence. This includes organisational excellence, innovation, project management, governance, and modern technologies; to anticipate and shape future trends for excellence and sustainability.

“In the UAE, and in line with the vision of our wise leadership, we aim to shape the future, and not just anticipate it. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the opening of innovation labs that will focus on predicting the future of energy, aviation, blockchain, and entrepreneurship in AREA 2071 in Dubai, said that the UAE has set a pioneering role model in designing the future thanks to its proactive strategies and ability to plan for and forecast changes and developments in major economic and technological sectors. This makes the UAE one of the countries that are prepared for the future and a leader in employing technology to innovate new opportunities. Thanks to this clear vision, the UAE has become a role model for excellence and leads global competitiveness indices in different areas. Government excellence in the UAE is based on an integrated system to achieve people’s happiness by providing seven-star government services, as well as achieving the best financial and operational results. I would like to commend the government excellence programmes in the UAE. Participating in the local and international excellence programmes has helped us implement the best excellence standards and concepts. This has resulted in enhancing the efficiency, reliability and availability of our services and achieving customer happiness, which was 95% last year,” said Al Tayer.

“In light of rapid changes in the business environment, public and private organisations need to be more agile to continue their sustainable growth. DEWA has enhanced agility and organisational risk management based on a governance model that has four key pillars: Trust, Accountability, Transparency, and Fair Practices. In a move that underlines its leading role, DEWA, in cooperation with the British Standards Institute, has launched the Business Agility Concept and Framework, as the first-of-its-kind in the world. DEWA’s flexibility and agility contribute significantly to its success and excellence. This is done by defining opportunities, analysing the internal and external environment; as well as stakeholders’ needs, and turning them into strategic initiatives. To achieve its vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation, DEWA is keeping pace with modern trends in the business world, such as adopting the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, which has several advantages. Through this model, DEWA set new world records for low tariffs in solar power projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030. The solar park contributes to achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to produce 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean energy. DEWA has won the ‘Innovation in New Collaboration Challenge’ award from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), for the IPP model, beating 40 organisations from around the world. The award’s jury decided to publish the application document presented by DEWA as a global case study. This will allow other organisations around the world to benefit from DEWA’s scientific and innovative approach as well as the impressive results it achieved,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA’s efforts in excellence have resulted in recognition from many specialised local and international organisations. DEWA received the Distinguished Government Entity award by the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) in 2016. In 2017, DEWA was the first organisation to win the Leading Government Entity, according to the fourth generation excellence system. DEWA also won six awards in DGEP 2018. This month, DGEP announced that DEWA will be assessed in the ‘Elite’ category. Three new standards have been added: Organisational Agility, Artificial Intelligence and Data Sciences, and Public-Private Partnerships. In 2017, DEWA won the highest award in the EFQM Excellence Model, becoming the first organisation outside Europe to receive this prestigious award, and the first organisation to get it from first application. DEWA achieved between 750-800 points, leading it to rank in the Platinum category, which includes leading companies and institutions that promote sustainable excellence. At DEWA, we contribute to promoting sustainability and building a green economy. This will ensure a balance between our social, economic, and environmental needs, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. We work to provide safe, sustainable, and reliable energy and water supplies by increasing the share of renewable energy, managing energy demand, and reducing carbon emissions,” said Al Tayer.

“To ensure sustainability of excellence, we adopt creativity and innovation in our strategies, plans, and initiatives. We have developed a special strategy for innovation and the future that is implemented through a framework that uses systems and mechanisms to accelerate the generation and implementation of ideas, as well as developing the necessary enablers. It also includes using the best disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as AI, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), energy storage, blockchain, and Big Data. In an ambitious move to use AI, DEWA launched Digital DEWA, its digital arm, to redefine the concept of utilities, and become the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage. It will also expand its use of AI and provide digital services. Adopting excellence standards has helped DEWA establish its position as one of the world’s best utilities, with results surpassing leading international utilities. Losses in electricity transmission and distribution networks have been reduced to 3.3%, water network losses were reduced to 6.5%, Customer Minutes Lost is 2.39 minutes. The UAE, represented by DEWA, has maintained first place, for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. DEWA has become a global benchmark model,” added Al Tayer.

“Excellence is a continuous and developing journey that requires effective partnerships based on flexible mechanisms that ensure organisational agility and keeping pace with the changes the world sees every day. I extend my thanks and appreciation to the Dubai Government Excellence Programme for launching the new important updates on the Government Excellence System – the Fourth Generation. We will follow these directives to promote the leading role of Dubai Government and continue the excellence journey that started over 20 years ago. I thank all the guests and speakers and hope that this summit contributes to shaping the future of excellence and sustainability. I would like to conclude with the words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his book ‘My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence’ where he said  ‘the race for excellence has no finish line’,” concluded Al Tayer.

Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development & Excellence at DEWA, said that many key excellence programmes are participating in the first World Excellence Summit. EFQM presented its new excellence model 2020. DEWA is one of the selected organisations that tested the EFQM Model 2020 in light of DEWA’s international standing in various areas of excellence. Last year, DEWA hosted EFQM’s Annual Good Practice Visit to review the standards and practices of excellence adopted by DEWA’s divisions in all its activities and operations, and introduce them to the business community.

In addition to DEWA, local and federal organisations are taking part in the summit. These include the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment; the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources; Dubai Police; Abu Dhabi Police; the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai; Dubai Media Incorporated; Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Digital Authority; Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre; and Saudi Food and Drug Authority.