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.
It was launched in the presence of more than 3,500 leaders from the government and private sectors as well as representatives of major organisations from around the globe.
Sheikh Hamdan’s initiative translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the ‘Government of the Future’, which aims to provide services that not only answer citizens’ and residents’ aspirations, but also exceed those aspirations to accomplish people’s happiness – the top priority of the government and the main goal stressed upon by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed on every occasion and event.
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.
During the 1st Government Summit in 2013, Sheikh Mohammed summarised his vision stating that he wants round-the-clock service to be provided such as those offered by airlines; and that he want the country to offer such warm hospitality services akin to those provided in five-star hotels; and that the transaction processes be carried out as smoothly as those by banks.
Path to the Future
On the occasion of the launch of Dubai 2021 initiative, Sheikh Hamdan stressed that the Government of Dubai will lead the way towards the ‘Government of the Future’. He pointed out that in the coming phase, the government will not only concentrate on short-term inspirational goals but will stretch still beyond the farthest horizons in search of innovative and pioneering ideas to be adopted by the government.
Sheikh Hamdan affirmed that such an initiative will further strengthen Dubai’s position as a model for the rest of the world.
The Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council expressed confidence over the ability of Emirati youth to implement this initiative in the same spirit with which they carried out previous accomplishments that have positioned the UAE prominently on the world’s development map and gained the world’s attention.
Sheikh Hamdan called on all government bodies and departments as well as all employees to offer full cooperation to make the initiative a success so that it would positively reflect on the society and would achieve the happiness of each individual.
Sheikh Hamdan said: “We are fully confident of Dubai Government’s ability -- represented by its leadership and employees -- to promptly achieve its ambitious objectives, and even more.
“They have always worked hard and with dedication in favor of the public’s interest. We believe that the time has come to employ this outstanding expertise and skill which they have accumulated over the years to impress the world by what this Government can provide not only to Dubai, but also to the world at large."
He noted that the ambitious vision set by the UAE supreme leadership requires everyone to rise to the level of their ambition towards the future.
“The UAE’s major development objectives cannot be achieved without the energy, sincerity, determination and concerted efforts to find and institutionalise a mechanism which ensures ongoing modernisation of the government civil service.
“Such a mechanism is required to improve services according to best international standards; create the environment that is an incubator to innovation and creativity and which confirms our ability to continue to achieve our great ambitions for the future of country in the light of the directives of its wise leadership to make the country a role model from which the world can learn useful lessons in the field of government action,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
"We are all invited, more than ever, to actually work as one body. I realise that some of us are not able to reach the finish line ahead of others, but what matters this time is that we arrive together --the stronger gives a hand to the weaker to get to the year 2021 as the whole world witnesses that Dubai Government has achieved the objectives it had defined,” he added.
More than just a Government
The Dubai 2021 initiative seeks to entirely reshape the experience of government, and transfer it to an unprecedented level globally.
It aims to compete with the latest of the concepts of service in the private sector and to go far beyond dominant perceptions about the development of services, concepts regarding focus on the client, or even those relating to the promotion of efficiency, effectiveness and excellence.
The initiative aims to bring about a real revolution in the concept of government service, adopting an approach that makes the client feels he is the focus of the service. Meeting his expectations is the ultimate concern of the government.
All relevant elements related to government work have been taken into consideration in building the components of the Dubai 2021 initiative, keeping in mind the perspective of clients dealing with the government on the grounds that it is ‘one platform’ which delivers integrated service.
The Dubai Government 2021 initiative aims to achieve integration and harmony of roles played among government departments and bodies.
Its objective is to provide a single interface, a unified identification number, one telephone number, one location and one employee through whom the user could have access to public services effectively, easily and speedily.
Among the most important principles underlying the initiative is setting a new framework for the relationship between users and the government, copying the method adopted by major private sector institutions in their dealings with their outstanding customers.
This initiative will focus on each user as a ‘distinctive client’ who enjoys attention and care, including allocation of a personal page for each user and a special account through which the client can perform various government transactions.
The client, through the personal account, can also communicate with one official who can meet all his demands for government services.
Dubai 2021 is an attempt to establish a new concept of government service, which will compete, in terms of quality and efficiency, with similar services delivered by the private sector.
The initiative aims to shift from the current concept of "speed" in delivering service to the concept of "immediate service" by the year 2021, through the employment of the most efficient technology.
This will not only contribute to reducing time, but will also have an evident and tangible impact on reducing costs associated with providing those services.
As an additional feature, the client or user will get ‘a unified identification number’ through which he can access all the desired government services in an easy and handy manner - this adds a new dimension of comfort to clients.
A Government founded to serve people
Since the launch of the vision of the ‘Government of the Future ‘by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, all efforts have been aimed to develop and update government work relating to the improvement of services provided to the clients.
All efforts are also aimed at the development of general policies which push the wheel of development forward and to achieve organisational excellence in general. Development is no longer needed for its own sake, but rather for higher ends that can be achieved according to a specific format as expressed in the vision.
Implementation and timeframe
It is expected that all steps set forth in this initiative, including the outputs and achievements will be completed within the timeframe specified for the initiative, which runs until 2021.
The timeframe has been set in line with the timelines for updating the Dubai Strategic Plan in accordance with the ongoing process led by the Executive Council, and the national agenda launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It is so timed that the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates will witness the new face of Dubai Government and establish a qualitative leap that assures the well-being of the individual and society alike.
The initiative’s implementation includes developing a well-defined strategy and objectives.
It is governed by performance indicators to be monitored by the Executive Council to ensure its effectiveness to the possible highest standards of efficiency.
Joint action and coordination among government departments will be made, both by those providing direct service, or those developing policies and legislations, or those who provide back-end support such as financial, administrative and legal.