Dubai Customs’ Smart Refund Initiative Supports Dubai in Hosting Expo 2020

Press release
Published December 3rd, 2017 - 07:01 GMT
Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih
Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih

Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said that the “Smart Refund” initiative supports artificial intelligence efforts as a huge project within the Five-Decade Government Plan 'UAE Centennial 2071'. The new initiative also supports Dubai Customs’ smart system which is intended to facilitate Dubai in its hosting of the internationally renowned Expo 2020 exhibition. He explained that the Smart Refund initiative is the first of its kind in the region, and it helps clients refund insurance they paid easily.

The Smart Refund initiative was shortlisted to the final stage of Hamdan bin Mohammed Programme for Smart Government award based on public voting from 23rd November to 7th December 2017.   

The system automates document verification process using a virtual robot without human intervention. Dubai adopts and develops the latest technologies to maintain and boost its status as a global hub for trade, business and tourism, and in order to facilitate trade and make its clients happier.    

The initiative eliminates human errors in data entry and reduces time needed to refund customs insurance from 7-9 minutes to just one minute. Cost was also reduced by 80% which meant AED 23.5m in savings, and led to 99% client satisfaction.

Musabih added: “Following the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we, at Dubai Customs, work hard to support the UAE competitiveness worldwide. This is why we keep developing and innovating smart systems and initiatives like the Smart Refund. Dubai external trade grew 13% to AED 344b in Q3 compared to AED 305b in the same period last year which urges us to adopt the latest technologies to maintain the control over the huge flow and volume of goods into Dubai”.

On her part, Ghanima Ibrahim, head of customs insurance department said that the new initiative helped customs declarations increase to 702,000 between January to September 2017”.

Hussam Juma, Director of Service Innovation Department and Innovation Team leader at Dubai Customs, said the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart Government Program actively contributes to materializing Dubai Plan 2021, by leading the smart transformation drive via implementation of Artificial Intelligence technology applications in the UAE. Dubai Customs is a strong contender to win this year’s cycle of the Smart Government program through its cutting-edge Smart Refund that ushers in a new era in customs business and service delivery”. 

Background Information

Dubai Customs

Dubai Customs is one of the leading government departments taking part in enhancing sustainable development and promoting Dubai’s image worldwide, turning it into a principal capital, business and tourism destination, as it facilitates smooth movement of legitimate trade and leverages economic and social development, the matter which is consistent with its slogan stating "gateway to Dubai’s prosperity", because prosperity is usually based on free trade through a safe, fast and practical environment to meet the needs of people and adapt to their requirements. This in addition to DC’s main role to protect society and borders against those who try to smuggle prohibited substances to or through Dubai threatening the community safety and security.

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