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.