Over 1,000 Dubai government services will be available only online for a whole working week later this month, it was announced on Sunday. According to a tweet by the Dubai Media Office, 40 public departments will be part of the initiative led by the Department of Finance from October 21 to 25 to boost the use of government apps and e-services.
Cementing its commitment to becoming one of the smartest cities in the world, the digital initiative has gone one step further following 2017's debut launch of 'A Day Without Service Centres', by extending it to run for a full week.
During this period, customers will be encouraged to turn to smart channels instead of manned service centres to avail of and complete government services and transactions. All the services offered by the participating government departments will be available only via their mobile applications and websites.
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From paying your bills to registering customer queries, the 'online-only' week aims to make digital approaches to everyday chores a habit, boosting public participation in Dubai's digital transformation drive.
In 2017, 'A Day Without Service Centres' initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was hailed as a great success, with a 30 per cent jump registered in the use of smart channels to process government services. It saw the participation of 36 government entities that processed 31,000 smart transactions worth Dh55 million, as compared to the transactions worth Dh42.2 million made on the previous day.
A report in Arabic daily Al Bayan quoted Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of the Department of Finance, as saying that the initiative is part of the government strategy to complete the digitalisation of all government services by December 2021.
Residents welcome initiative
For tech-savvy teacher Rao G., the move is music to her ears.
"Being a techie, I give this initiative a big thumbs up. I love the idea because dealing with things digitally is way more effective and efficient. Back in the US, I did almost everything online, so as a newbie here I'll be doing the same. With technology, human error is eradicated, and for me, that's a win-win when paying bills."
Abhinav Purohit, a technology expert in Dubai, also welcomed the announcement.
"It's a great thing, especially given that it's been announced just ahead of Gitex Technology Week. It gels well. It just further catapults Dubai to becoming the premier IT destination. It makes good sense to showcase how all these important services can run only online, too. The general global trend is moving towards all digital, so it's well thought through."
Ravi Jani, a long-term resident, said he supports the decision to be more digitally-focused. "Online services are very handy and timesaving. Be it banking or groceries, online services have become an integral part of our daily life."
And Chloe Hartwell said "the more the better". "I love the online services. As long as they are clear and work, I hope they make everything available online."
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