The move to ease people’s and businesses’ interaction with the Government, which started back in 2000, marks the eTransformation Journey in Dubai, Ahmad Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai e-Government (DeG), said in an interview with Gulf News.
He was speaking at the 32nd edition of Dubai Gitex Technology Week highlighting the importance of this event in increasing the attention of public and private sectors to the benefits of technology adaptability as well as accelerating the eTransforamtion.
“Our primary goal is to enable our government partners to display their services effectively and interact with all the customers, while at the same time reflecting an integrated approach through a unified system of administrative, infrastructure, information and core services connectivity in the field of eGovernment,” said Bin Humaidan.
The DeG is participating in Gitex with a larger combined stand of 2,700 square metres this year to host 26 government entities.
As more and more Dubai residents become comfortable with payments on the internet, a big percentage of payment for government services moved online. Commenting on the growing popularity of ePayments, he said: “The mission continues to move forward to the next phase of government integration at all levels. In the coming years the gap between manual and electronic payments will narrow down to become marginal in terms of payment transactions.”
Every year the eGovernment signs several agreements during Gitex to enhance the integration of e-services between government bodies through which transactions move freely across various departments.
“The result was an integrated comprehensive system of technical solutions that serve most government departments and provide the foundation for a fully integrated government,” said Bin Humaidan.
Dubai launched its e-government services in 2000 for the efficient delivery of official services, such as business registration, licensing, immigration and visa-related services, government permits and renewals for healthcare services, driving licences, etc. Since then it has taken off, while other governments in the Arab world are still catching up. However, its expansion can only be successful with wider internet penetration in the Arab world.
“When the e-Government was first launched, the electronic infrastructure in government departments was not at the same level as each department was using its own applications and data,” explains Bin Humaidan.
In about 10 years since the introduction of e-Government, the number of e-services has grown from 14 to over 2,000. This means that the penetration of e-services in the public sector has reached 90 per cent with 46 per cent integration among government departments.
“We could convert 90 per cent of the conventional government services into online services. The mission continues to move forward to the next phase of government integration at all levels,” said Bin Humaidan.
He further said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with the UAE Central Bank to expand the scope of its ePay gateway by including new banks. By connecting with the UAEswitch at the Central Bank, the eGovernment will allow corporate or individual customers to settle government departments’ fees through its ePay portal using ATM cards or credit cards.
These payment options will be added to the existing ones, thereby opening new channels for customers and increasing the number of banks on the ePay gateway from the current four to all 46 banks using the UAEswitch, he explained.
Bin Humaidan said that e-Government has launched two new mobile applications, mPay and The Dubai Government app.
While mPay app can be used for Dewa bill payments, Dubai Police fines and recharge of RTA Salik, the Dubai app can be used to access data on government entities, their location and contact details as well as submit electronic complaints and feedback.
Real time news feeds are enabled through a centralised Twitter wall and the latest events in Dubai can be accessed through the Dubai Calendar feature. The app can also access more than 1,600 places of interest, show latest events and news and links up with Dubai.ae for a comprehensive resource of information and eServices from Dubai Government.