Dubai breaks another record in the region

October 9, 2017 2:52 pm

GITEX 2017

Countries all over the world are opting for e-government services, in order to facilitate procedures for their citizens and attract investors by simplifying processes and making government information more accessible.

The UAE is taking major steps towards the digitization of its services and has become a pioneer in the region.

What are the latest initiatives revealed at GITEX Technology Week, which show the UAE’s adoption of paperless standards and technologies?

 UAE’s GITEX new initiatives

Two entities in the GCC, which are the Sharjah government and the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ajman, announced that they were ready to connect with their people digitally.

DED’s new e-services include services for agent licensing and economic licenses of businesses and companies, aiming at streamlining government procedures and facilitating different transactions coming from individuals and businesses.

In a statement released by DED, Director General at DED-Ajman Ali Issa al-Nuaimi said: “DED-Ajman’s new e-services contribute as an important platform for a strong start towards enhancing the ease of doing business, while opening new horizons to encourage investors to make maximum use of the economic and investment capabilities available in Ajman, leading to a competitive economy that achieves sustainable development goals by 2021.”

Meanwhile, forty-eight Sharjah government entities are taking part in this technology event, with many of the bodies unveiling innovative digital applications and services, which are key for the digital transformation in Sharjah.

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Thirteen smart applications, six new and updated websites, and an array of digital services are scheduled to be launched at GITEX 2017.

Director General of Sharjah Department of E-Government Khalid bin Ahmad bin Sultan Al Qasimi said: “During the event, DEG will showcase the results of its strategy to support a unified network that connects multiple state entities. The applications, services and websites that will be unveiled at GITEX represent the remarkable efforts aiming at enhancing government integration in Sharjah and the commitment to deliver the most modern services to all its citizens and residents.”

Moreover, Dubai is working on pioneering e-gate system across airports to reduce waiting times for passengers, especially that the airport’s capacity is expected to reach 124 million by 2020, which could create huge crowds.

“We need to find alternative ways to handle border security procedures, in which faster transactions are a priority. That requires a balance between “security, speed and quality of service” that goes beyond traditional manual passport control procedure,” Obaid Mehayer bin Suroor Alhameeri, Deputy Director-General of Dubai’s Directorate General for Residency & Foreign Affairs, said at a conference on Monday.

UAE is certainly keen to facilitate its citizens’ lives, but where does UAE stand among other GCC countries in terms of e-government services?

Read: French tech innovators in force at GITEX 2017

 UN E-Government Development Index

According to the UN E-Government Survey 2016, UAE ranked among the global leaders with significantly high E-Government Development Index (EGDI) levels.

“The Republic of Korea (ranked 3rd), Singapore (4th), Japan (11th), Bahrain (24th), and the United Arab Emirates (29th) are among the global leaders with very high EGDI levels, while Kazakhstan (33rd), Kuwait (40th), Saudi Arabia (44th) and Qatar (48th) are among the top Asian countries high EGDI levels,” said the survey.

While UAE ranks among top countries with very high EGDI, other countries in the GCC, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, have only high EGDI levels.

When it comes to other countries in the Middle East region, Lebanon has high EGDI levels, while Egypt has only middle EGDI levels.

The UN E-Government Development Index measures e-government effectiveness in the delivery of basic economic and social services to people in five sectors, namely education, health, labour and employment, finance, and social welfare.

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Dana Halawi
By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.