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Hamdan bin Mohammed: Dubai has become the world’s first paperless government

11 Dec, 2021

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, today announced that the emirate has achieved the objectives of the Dubai Paperless Strategy launched in 2018 to establish itself as a leading digital capital and become the world’s first paperless government.

“Today marks the beginning of a new stage in Dubai’s journey to digitise life in all its aspects – a journey rooted in innovation, creativity, and a focus on the future,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan. “As we complete a full transition to a paperless government, we are proud to see the ambitious vision of our leadership being fulfilled by the people of our country who have worked hard to enhance Dubai’s competitiveness as a world-leading digital capital and reinforce its profile as a role model in designing government operations and services that enhance customer happiness.”

His Highness praised the teams working across all participating government entities in the emirate, whose efforts have further strengthened Dubai’s position as a global role model for integrated and sustainable smart cities.

“We mark this achievement with our sights set firmly on the future, and we look forward to providing a fully digital life for residents of the emirate,” His Highness said, adding that the next stage will be marked by advanced strategies to create and enhance digital life in Dubai over the next five decades. The new phase of Dubai’s digital journey will enable and empower future governments to meet the expectations of the residents of a thriving smart city and provide them with renewed opportunities for prosperity, sustainable development, and happiness.

“Four years ago, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had a vision that no Dubai Government employee or customer would need to print any paper document after 2021,” HH Sheikh Hamdan said. “Today, that promise has been fulfilled.”

His Excellency Hamad Al Mansoori, Director General of Digital Dubai, said that the realisation of Dubai’s vision to become the world’s first paperless government is a proud moment for the country. All internal and external transactions and procedures in the Government of Dubai are now 100% digital and managed from a comprehensive digital government services platforms, he noted.

“This achievement is all the more important since it coincides with the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations when we are looking forward to another five decades of success,” HE Al Mansoori added. “This accomplishment, which reflects the determination that drives taskforces and teams across Dubai Government institutions, will have a tremendous positive impact on government efficiency. It will enable the optimal use of resources and encourage the greater use of innovation and technology to design advanced solutions and digitisation of services and procedures.”

His Excellency lauded the efforts to establish a new work culture in the Dubai Government and encourage customers to opt for paperless transactions and digital services in their everyday lives, which saves their time and effort, raises happiness levels and promotes resource sustainability.

With the Dubai Paperless Strategy fully implemented, no employee or customer of the Dubai Government will need to print any paper documents or transactions, unless they personally prefer to do so. Printing can be done at service or typing centres.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was implemented in five consecutive phases, each of which enlisted a different group of Dubai Government entities. By the end of the fifth phase, the Strategy was fully implemented across all 45 government entities in the emirate. These entities provide more than 1,800 digital services and over 10,500 key transactions.

Collaboration and integration among participating entities enabled the automation of processes and services provided to customers, cutting paper consumption by more than 336 million papers. The Strategy also helped save more than AED1.3 billion and over 14 million man hours across the Dubai Government.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was launched in 2018 with an initial group of six entities: Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Department of Economic Development, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and the Department of Land and Property. Stage one helped cut paper usage by more than 72.5 million sheets of papers.

The second phase followed in 2019, with eight additional entities joining: Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Public Prosecution, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Community Development Authority, Dubai Customs, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, who succeeded in reducing paper usage and saving more than 229.5 million sheets of papers.

At the end of 2019, the third phase of the Strategy was announced with a new group of nine entities, namely: Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Dubai Media Incorporated, Department of Finance, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, Dubai Culture, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, and the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department. The group collectively cut paper consumption by more than 12.9 million sheets.

Phase four began in March 2020, with a new group of 10 entities joining the effort to implement the Strategy: Dubai Statistics Center; Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation; Dubai Women Establishment; Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA); Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment; Dubai Sports Council; Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation - Trakhees; Dubai Maritime City Authority; Dubai Air Navigation Services; and Dubai Airports. The group succeeded in reducing paper consumption by more than 11.9 million sheets of paper.

The fourth phase also included the launch of the ‘100% Digital Stamp’ initiative, which aims to honour government entities that make significant efforts to fully implement the Dubai Paperless Strategy and provide smart services supported by an internal digital infrastructure.

The fifth and final phase of implementing the Strategy began in June 2020, with nine new entities joining the effort: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Dubai Future Foundation, Supreme Legislation Committee, Nedaa Professional Communication Corporation, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, Dubai Government Workshop, and the Directorate General of Civil Defense Dubai. The group saved more than 8.2 million sheets of paper in total.

Two additional government entities have also recently joined the Dubai Paperless Strategy: The Financial Audit Authority Dubai and Dubai Chamber. The two entities achieved their strategic goals by 100% and saved more than 938,000 sheets of paper.

The complete digital transformation in the Dubai Government will enrich the smart city experience for all Dubai residents, entirely removing the need for paper transactions and documents – be they handed out to customers or exchanged between employees across government entities. Digitalisation will also help provide exceptional experiences for residents through the DubaiNow application, which allows access to more than 130 smart city services in 12 major categories.

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