UAE - Transport
CEO, Emirates Driving Company
Khaled Al Shemeili is a UAE national with more than 23 years of experience in the leadership, strategic management, and operations fields. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Derby and is currently CEO of Emirates Driving Company.
What is the mandate and vision of the Emirates Driving Company (EDC)?
EDC was established in 2000, and its operations began in 2005. Its main mission is to help customers get their driver’s license for all vehicle categories: light vehicles, heavy vehicles, motorcycle, buses, and so on. In 2021, we had 97,000 customers getting their licenses. In addition, we provide theory lessons for all categories in five languages: Arabic, English, Urdu, Pashtu, and Malayalam. We work to the highest global standards, being members of the International Commission for Driver Testing and the European Federation of Driving Association. We have large facilities, with more than 400 cars for training and more than 500 employees across seven branches: Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Sila, Al Mirfa, Madinat Zayed, Ghayathi, and Delma. Our vision is to convert our services to digital, as we have already started with online theory lessons, where our students can complete their lessons from the convenience of their homes. Our vision is to be the leader in promoting and contributing toward safer roads in the region and our mission is to work efficiently and effectively toward promoting and contributing to safer roads through innovation, collaboration, investment in new technologies, smarter operating, and delivery models. We collaborate with Abu Dhabi Police and the Ministry of Interior. They are our strategic partners when it comes to statistics and data. We also collaborate with the DMAT and ADQCC for post-licensing for school bus drivers, school bus supervisors, taxi drivers, and so on, to ensure driving safety skills for workers and the community. We look to imbed technology and innovation in all the elements of driver education and grow the business horizontally and vertically by expanding driver training to other regions and incubations in smart mobility.
How is the EDC ensuring that it meets the international benchmark when it comes to driving practices and road safety?
EDC became a member of the International Commission for Driver Testing in February 18, 2022. We will be part of the international platform of experts in driver testing to promote UAE achievements in road safety and build our knowledge in new testing processes. EDC will be joining the first physical congress after two years of online meeting due to the pandemic in Italy in June 2022. We have been an associated member of the European Driving Schools Association since 2009. SweRoad is an establishing partner of EDC. It has overseen continuous assessments of training systems since 2000. We have also collaborated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in the UK on the evaluation of our training program and the accreditation of our training institute. We also have ISO certification of quality standards. Within EDC we have introduced a smart parking system that elevates the training quality standard for parking skills for our students. We are also organizing an international driving summit in collaboration with EFA inviting international expert delegates in road safety to discus and improve road safety methods. Also, on a frequent basis, we conduct innovation along with our trainers, giving them the chance to express their opinions and share their innovative thoughts based on their long-term experiences that can be adopted, nurtured, and considered in our training systems.
How exactly is the EDC engaging with sustainability?
Sustainability at EDC has quickly shifted from ad-hoc corporate initiatives to becoming a strategic priority for our 2021-2023 corporate strategy. This has enhanced our existing sustainability-related initiatives while paving the way for a more focused approach. EDC became a United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) participant and voluntarily committed to its sustainable principles in terms of operating responsibly, reporting annually on our ongoing efforts, and engaging locally where we are present. We have embedded eco-driving into our curriculum, providing eco-driving course, with the aims of teaching energy-efficient driving, improving road safety, lowering fuel consumption, and enhancing the local and global environment. In practical terms we have plans to replace our training light fleet to an eco-fleet completely by 2026. We intend to be paperless by 2023 and plan to have 20% of energy supplied by solar panels in our schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain by 2023. We are currently extending our sustainability efforts by developing our sustainability-specific strategy with an emphasis on climate change to ensure ESG is embedded in the organization’s business model. We are engaging with the main external stakeholders of our organization including different governmental bodies to develop better understandings of their strategy, initiatives, and their mitigation policy to reach net zero by 2050. This is an important part that will help us to build our own science-based net zero target. We are also looking at how can we further contribute and collaborate in this mission with different departmental bodies.
What are the key strengths of your brand and what differentiates the EDC from other driving schools?
EDC is distinguished by several factors. Our solid financial position is demonstrated by the fact we are listed on the ADX. We have remarkable training infrastructure across the country. We have been delivering our driver license training for 22 years. Finally, our international accreditation and strong partnerships with ADP and International Safe Roads Group again highlights our proven track record and know-how.
2022 promises to be an exciting year. What are your goals and expectations?
We are working on growing our portfolio to provide safer roads for all users by building our eco system related to the future of mobility and smart transport. We will also aim to extend our current business regionally and globally. EDC has put a clear strategy in place related to its growth for the coming three years including an investments plan in new technologies related to road safety and mobility.
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