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Dubai aims to eliminate paper from government transactions by 2021

Dubai aims to eliminate paper from government transactions by 2021

On February 5, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The
Executive Council of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, launched
the “Dubai Paperless Strategy”. The aim of the strategy is to ensure that after
2021, no employee or customer of the
Government of Dubai should need to print any paper document.

The government will stop issuing or requesting paper
documents from citizens, and government employees will stop issuing or
processing paper in key or supporting operations. This would require digitisation of all internal and external transactions
across government institutions.

The Strategy is in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE
and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a smart city.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy is set to be implemented in
three stages, and it is built around three main pillars: 1) Technology, whereby all required technologies
would be provided to ensure paper-free government transactions and procedures;
2) Legislation, wherein the
necessary legislative changes will be made to regulate paperless transactions
in all institutions; and 3)  Culture, which seeks to take the
strategy forward, overcoming cultural barriers of individuals and institutions
to promote paperless transactions and procedures.

Planned technical changes to be gradually rolled out for the
implementation of the Strategy include increasing automation in government
institutions and tending to both external (customer) needs and internal
(administrative and operational) needs. Going forward, these transactions would
be conducted through digital IDs, signatures, and certificates, as well as
secure data available via dedicated platforms. (These steps would require
strong foundations, such as the launch
of the ‘Dubai Pulse’
platform last year, to serve as a central platform for
compilation of all data available to both the public and private sectors. It
will provide access to live and up-to-date data about the city through an
interactive dashboard.)

Changes also include legislative adjustments, regulating
physical presence at the courts, and the legal requirement to produce paper
documents to guarantee the credibility of the transaction.

“What we are witnessing today is another milestone in
Dubai’s journey towards fully embracing smart technology,” said H.H. Sheikh
Hamdan.

“The Dubai Paperless Strategy embodies our leadership’s
vision for a smart government that embraces advanced technologies to build a
perfectly integrated paperless government framework, and an administration that
sets solid plans and strategies to secure people’s happiness and develop their
communities to meet the requirements of the cities of the future,” he added.
 
Smart Dubai Office (SDO) Director-General Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr
said, “We are currently on an ambitious mission to transform Dubai into the
smartest and most successful city in the world – and in record time. As part of
our efforts to ensure a safe and efficient experience that caters to the needs
and expectations of Dubai’s residents and visitors, we, at Smart Dubai, are
constantly introducing bold new projects and services to help us achieve this
mission.”
 
“We have set our sights on fully embracing the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan
bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as we formulate strategies and plans to
transform government operations into hi-tech, paper-free
transactions,” Dr Aisha noted. She highlighted the time and effort
savings that would be achieved for employees and customers across government
authorities, along with the improvement in work environment, raising customer satisfaction
and reduction in cost and waste.

H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government
Establishment (SDG), commented, “The Dubai Paperless Strategy marks the
official launch of a new government ecosystem. It is a disruption of the
traditional definition and function of a smart government that not only affects
Dubai but stands to influence how cities and nations around the world approach
the smart city concept.”

“The 100% paperless transformation will reflect positively
on the economy and provide new opportunities for all. It will also empower
government entities to reallocate time and resources towards continuously
upgrading their services, which, in turn, improves the entire government
ecosystem and increases productivity,” H.E. Lootah added.

He also said that the Paperless Strategy will help promote
the use of artificial intelligence across sectors. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler
of Dubai, launched the UAE
Strategy for artificial intelligence
last year. ­­
 

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