Live in Dubai? If You Pay Your Bills Online, You Can Redeem It Back!

Published October 22nd, 2018 - 07:26 GMT
Customers will stand a chance to get 100 per cent cashback through withdrawals. (Shutterstock)
Customers will stand a chance to get 100 per cent cashback through withdrawals. (Shutterstock)

Residents will have a chance to get a refund on their government bills or services fees if they pay through online platforms this week, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced as Dubai kicked off the first day of Week without Service Centres on Sunday.

The DOF has allocated Dh1 million to be paid as cashback to consumers who use smart channels to pay their bills during October 21-25 as part of the vast cross-government campaign that will provide 1,100 services of 40 entities online.

"(Customers) will stand a chance to get 100 per cent cashback through withdrawals," the authority said in a statement.

Employees of 100 service centres of 40 entities in Dubai will be on site throughout the week to guide customers to conduct transactions, pay bills, fines, and government service fees through mobile applications and websites. Service counters, though, will be closed.

As the city prepares for a smart transformation by 2021 in line with the Dubai Paperless Strategy, several customers are learning the basics of finishing online transactions as they walk into service centres.

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Others are receiving updates on the government services they can access anywhere in the world.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has allocated teams to guide customers who visit centres through their online applications.

Waleed Al Dhuhoori, head of application development at the DHA's IT department, pointed to the online trend even among residents. "We feel people will welcome this move," Al Dhuhoori told Khaleej Times. "Out of habit, some people still think that physical presence is the only way."

He noted that customers will be able to obtain or renew medical licences for facilities and professionals online anytime and anywhere through the 'Sheryan Medical Licensing System'. The DHA also revealed that medical facility representatives can submit a request online through Medical Education Services if they wish to hold an event at the authority.

Al Dhuhoori said the initiative will allow governments to notice the gaps in their online services and work on improving them. It will also educate people availing certain services online.

The Dubai Municipality has provided iPads and laptops throughout its centres to train customers on smart services. Khater Al Nuaimi, director of municipality centres department, said employees will be ready to answer inquiries by walk-in customers.

He said the municipality is already transforming all its centres into smart halls that recorded a decrease of over 20 per cent of visitors during the first half of this year compared to last year.

"It's a week without waiting, without parking traffic, without papers. Such initiatives enable us and customers to be more prepared for Dubai's complete smart transformation by 2021," said Al Nuaimi. "Today's customers aren't the same as yesterday's. And tomorrow's customers won't be today's customers. The world progresses and we have to adjust."

Over 300 services provided by government and private entities in Dubai Municipality's Al Twar, Al Manara, Al Kifaf and Hatta centers will be made on smart applications and government website.

Meanwhile, students will be able to attest their certificates and parents will sign contracts with schools online.

Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director of customer happiness experience at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said the authority will roll out new smart services this week.

"We will host dedicated information sessions that will showcase our range of offerings - including Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted smart services to encourage people to use smart services," said Al Suwaidi.

The KHDA already provides smart parent-school contracts, online authentication of student report cards, and listing of schools, universities and training institutes in Dubai.

The Week without Service Centres initiative follows success of the initiative's first edition last year, which was organised for one day, after being approved by the Dubai leadership.


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