The timeline for the Dubai Government 2021 Initiative. (Dubai Media Office)
The ‘Dubai Government 2021 Initiative’ -- created in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai– was launched by Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
‘Dubai 2021’ -- a first-of-its-kind initiative in the world -- was unveiled during a special session on the sideline of the Government Summit 2014, which opened on February 10 in Dubai.
The ‘Dubai Government 2021 Initiative’ is inspired by Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of the Government of the Future’ launched in 2013. It promotes the adoption of best international standards and practices in the field of government services.
Single application interface
The idea is to provide a single window, allowing the client to access all government services through their own account. This interface is to be designed according to the client's preferences and needs.
Such an interface can also provide the client with uninterrupted updates for all transactions in progress, as well as recalling important dates such as renewal dates of passport, residence, car ownership or licence, and others.
The interface will constantly provide the client with the maturity of financial obligations for public utilities such as water, electricity or telecommunications.
In addition, the client will receive a reminder of the dates of scheduled medical examinations in hospitals and health centres in the public sector, or later in the private sector.
In case the client is the owner of a facility or representatives of economic, commercial or service activity, the interface will enable him to accomplish all transactions related to his business such as commercial licensing or work permits or any other permits or approvals from any other concerned government entity.
Overall, the user, be an individual or institution, would not deal with various government departments, but rather with one entity, which is the ‘Government of Dubai’.
This will be his constant authority and reference in getting a certain service, regardless of which government entity renders this service.
The interface provides additional services using data of client’s geographical location.
The client will be able to identify options for schools or health centres and hospitals or public transport stations or petrol stations, or any services and public facilities located in the vicinity of client’s place of residence or work.
Moreover, the client will be able to design the interface according to his preferences, in terms of adding or deleting services as needed.
He will be able to use the interface as an application to organise his private appointments.
This interface will be a reliable and recognised front gate for electronic payments of all government services, in addition to its being an application for both computers and smartphones.
Access to government services will not be limited to electronic applications, but will be also available through dial-up.
As is the case with the application interface, access to all government services will be available via phone through a ‘unified telephone number’ (Dubai 800) which reaches a unified call centre that will answer all queries relating to government by either a single employee, or through the automated answer mechanism.
All-inclusive employee and accounts director Dubai Government is keen to make the government experience a personal experience. In this, it will benefit from the experience of leading global companies in delivering services, including through an ‘Account Manager’ for clients categorised as distinguished according to the size or nature of their dealings.
The client will be able to communicate with one employee, who is aware of all his transactions, and who can accomplish them for the client, in addition to providing advice and counsel on any transactions related to him personally or his family or the nature of his work.
Unified identification number
Typically, in every government body, it is imperative for the client to present papers, identification and documents to prove that he is the one applying for a certain service such as a passport photocopy, residence or ID, and others. The client is often forced to provide these documents to the same entity repeatedly every time he wants any service.
This process weighs on the shoulders of both clients and government entities in terms of time and effort used in the provision of these documents, reviewing and archiving them.
Instead, the idea of a ‘Unified ID Number’ is to submit these documents by the client once, at the beginning of dealing with any government agency. In return, the client gets a ‘reference number’ that is identified by all entities, and linked to national identity.
This number is used to identify the client both in accessing his account in the unified application interface, or to speak with all-inclusive employee or even to get the service through branches and service centres in various parts of the city.
The unified identification number is intended to lift the burden on the client as well as the service rendering body. It also contributes to raising the level of data accuracy and averts mistakes, in addition to reducing service delivery costs significantly by avoiding dealing with a large number of documents in every attempt to get the service.