United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UAE SDG Data Hub, A whole-society approach to reach the SDGs


    The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC) serves as the Secretariat of the UAE National Committee on SDGs. It consist of 16 federal level entities, mandated to report and monitor progress made towards the SDGs. The SDG Data Hub (the HUB) serve the purpose to track, monitor and report milestones and progress towards the implementation of the SDGs to UAE Cabinet and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The HUB, with four main pillars, Open SDG indicator data at Emirate-level, Data Stories, Initiatives, Media, serve as a centralized platform to decision makers whilst educating and engaging the whole-of-society about SDGs.


    SDG 17 is at the core of the SDG. To enhance public awareness & partnerships for the goals, the FCSC established a multi public/private partnership, & UAE society, to expedite awareness & engagement with the SDGs. The HUB serve this vision & is integrated with the UNSD Open SDG Data Hub. The former feeds the latter with SDG indicator data (at sub-national level), data stories, & mainstream initiatives. Innovative & smart technology serve the core of the Hub that leverage Esri’s GIS technology ArcGIS. The Hub introduced ‘initiatives’, a pioneering element to connect the world with UAE best practices to enhance sustainable development & reflect the UAE’s ‘easy-to-adopt’ approach in addressing SDGs. It also reinforces public participation through calls for action within the initiatives, through public surveys, or other data interaction tools

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    SDGs can only be achieved through an all-of-society engagement approach. Transforming the UAE’s sustainability aspirations into initiatives makes it easier for all-of-society to participate & implement the SDGs. The global pioneering element ‘initiatives’ (best practices) create awareness, engage, & maintain all-society engagement with the SDGs & serve to educate & increase SDG knowledge through interactive & engaging tools (surveys, newsletters, polls). ‘Initiatives’ inspired UNSD & other countries to explore potential adoption to their hubs & spur a knowledge-sharing platform to all-society

    Implementation methodologies

    Identifying a groundbreaking global initiative: FCSC did researched to determine the groundbreaking global initiative & the best avenue to report & monitor progress made towards the SDGs, with consulting stakeholders that resulted into identifying the collaboration between UNDESA & Esri Global Inc. Establishing a global partnership: In March 2018, FCSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Esri to officially become part of Phase2 of the FIS4SDGs, afterword, the project commenced. Identifying the scope: It included evaluation of data readiness that are geospatially referenced (at emirate level), open data, & ready to report to the UNSD. Additional requirements included data stories from national stakeholders, & initiatives related to the SDGs. Initiatives is a pioneering element that is applaud by the UN as a best practice & inspire other member states to introduce the initiatives on their respective pages Identifying stakeholders in the UAE: The stakeholders had to surpass the requirements, which included data readiness; open data indicators related to the SDGs & projects that can feed data stories module or initiatives module. Developing the Hub Content: 1.SDG Data–data was collected & SDG indicators were calculated based on the methodology, then it was geo-coded to convert to GISlayer, then published as web map services. 2.Data stories, related to a specific SDG & consist of interactive storymaps. These stories allowed system-to-system collaboration by sharing dynamic stories from entities GIS platforms to the Hub.3. Initiatives–FCSC, in collaboration with its partners, introduced the initiatives element. Initiatives include the goal & description, progress made, interactive maps & whole-of-society engagements through surveys.


    At the time of writing, the Hub saw more than 60,000 visits to its 14 initiatives, 11 data stories, & 44 SDG Indicator data sets at sub-national level. The Hub’s tailored digital marketing campaigns reached 30,000+members of civil society, & 300,000+ global society members through national, regional & international conferences, including the World Data Forum 2018-Dubai, GITEX-Dubai, GIS for a Sustainable World–Geneva, UN 50th Statistical Commission-New York, & virtual events such as Esri User Conference 2020.The HUB has been recognized globally & won three international awards, including the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award 2020, IdeasUK 2019 Special Judges Award, & Excellence in GIS Implementation 2019 by GISWORX. Lessons learned include that small actions has great impacts on society through surveys, polls, and geo-located centers to dispose of waste.

    Factors and Constraints

    The Hub utilizes technology & data for good by creating a joint platform on the national & global level as data & projects is shared in a Smart time, & resource efficient approach. It promotes government information sharing as the technology allows existing data from multiple sources for SDG monitoring & report it directly to UNSD. It also engage public by increasing their awareness on SDGs through data stories, initiatives, media, & calling for their action. It showcase innovative ways the UAE is joining hands for a better world, through collaborative model. All to address the SDGs on one page.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The HUB is a centralized platform to connect & highlight UAE SDG actors from the public/private sectors through state-of-the-art web technology. Entity systems connect in a smart & sustainable manner to share, raise awareness, engage, educate, & encourage change behavior whilst building all-of-society’s capacity through SDG data stories & initiatives. It further connects UAE best practices to the global community & inspire adoption of practices internationally, whilst connecting with the UN Open SDG Data Hub. The latter feature UAE best practices & open SDGindicator. The HUB connect all-of-society through tailored social media campaigns, as to surveys & mobile-applications. The HUB is growing at a fast pace locally, with multiple entities wanting their SDG-initiatives to be featured, & internationally through UNSD encouraging member states to adopt the ‘initiatives’ element. The HUB encourage all-of-society to adopt sustainable living that will accelerate SDG implementation

    COVID-19 Impact

    As a response to COVID-19, through the Hub, a dedicated page was launched to highlight the UAEs efforts & number of actions in response to the global pandemic while linking it to the SDGs. The page also includes a dashboard of the latest COVID data in the UAE. Another feature in this page is 1Map for health facilities that represent a home page for all health facilities related information like Health Facility Locator app that can help the public to locate health facilities & COVID-19 testing centers & give planners & decision makers at a glance insight about health facilities capabilities (bed capacities, manpower, type of facility, governmental or public owned, etc.).

    Contact Name
    Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre
    Geographical coverage

    The SDG Data Hub is implemented in the UAE, through a global partnership. The Hub has elements of sub-national practices (SDG Indicator data), and global influence (UAE best practices to world) whilst being connected to the Open SDG Data Hub by UNSD.

    24 October 2018 (start date)
    31 December 2030 (date of completion)
    More information
    United Arab Emirates
    United Arab Emirates
    Contact Information

    Reem , Senior Projects Executive