Dubai Announces Initiative to go Paperless by 2021
In an effort to eliminate the need for physical visits to government customer service centers, Smart Dubai, a government entity, announced earlier this year that it plans to fully digitize its services to residents and expatriates through the use of information and communication technology (ICT).
The smart initiative was launched by Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan at the Future Now exhibit in Dubai Design District. It will enable individuals to find and fill out government forms, renew licenses and documents, pay fines, search for vacant properties and more through an online platform that can be accessed via smartphones. Since the online platform, aptly named Dubai Pulse, was announced in April, all Dubai government departments have been working hard to populate it with data.
Dubai Pulse: Streamlining Government Processes Means Happier Residents and Visitors
“Today, in the era of Big Data, it is essential to have a central platform to house all of the government’s data, a platform that taps into the potential of artificial intelligence to spread happiness among the people,” said Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan.
In an interview with Gulf News at the Dubai Pulse launch, Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, that the platform will help relieve day-to-day stress in the lives of both residents and expatriates by giving them the ability to accomplish much more online, thereby greatly reducing the number of physical trips made across the city.
“What we are trying to do is put people in more mindful situations so that they can plan their lives and be happier,” Bin Bishr told Gulf News. Most people living in major cities can attest to long wait times at government offices. When renewing a driver’s license, for example, simply filling out a couple of forms and having a photo taken can mean having to take an entire afternoon off work.
Not only will individuals benefit from being able to do so much with the click of a button, the environment will benefit as well. The Dubai government estimates that there will be up to 80 million fewer car trips by motorists running errands over the next four years thanks to the Dubai Pulse online portal. A drastic reduction in harmful emissions indeed.
Paperless Dubai of tomorrow: building a smart city
Although the government sector represents a major portion of the new initiative, what does paperless Dubai mean when it comes to other industries?
Earlier this year, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) aligned itself with the Smart Dubai initiative by making medical records electronically available to patients in several of its health facilities. The paperless initiative, deployed in three phases that will see all DHA facilities going digital by November 2017, eliminates the need for manual files and guarantees that patients will have one unified medical record should they visit multiple DHA facilities. The new system also acts as a cross-referencing tool for medication and allergy interactions and will provide real-time notifications of changes in patient medications and conditions.
“Our smart initiatives are aligned with the Dubai Health Strategy 2016 to 2021 and the Dubai smart government strategy, which aims to transform Dubai into a smart city.” said Humaid Al Qatami, chairman of the board and director general of the DHA
With both the government and healthcare sectors of Dubai moving towards total digitization in an effort to provide greater convenience and seamless service to locals and visitors, its only a matter of time before other industries follow suit.
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