Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited yesterday (Sunday) Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
Shaikh Mohammad was accompanied by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoun, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and a number of senior officials.
Shaikh Mohammad said that governmental departments, and land, sea and air entry points must be an example in facilitating procedures, respecting people and their rights regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion.
Shaikh Mohammad stressed the importance of developing administrative performance and levels of services at all bodies. He pointed out that routine work and governmental bureaucracy must be avoided because it stifles an employee’s innovation and excellence, which in turn is reflected in services provided to customers.
“We want the UAE to be the first on an international stage, and to achieve this through the hard work and capabilities of its citizens. We are civil people, and it is our right to be pioneers in innovation, excellence and giving in order to uphold the UAE’s reputation and prestigious position,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director of GDRFA, explained the mechanism of work in the directorate, the completion of transactions, and entry permits which include visit and work visas.
Shaikh Mohammad stopped at a number of counters and inquired about the flow of work and the completion of documents and transactions in record time.
Shaikh Mohammad then visited the section responsible for online procedures, where transactions are carried out electronically to save time and effort.
He then visited the residency department and spoke with employees on passport renewal applications for citizens.
Shaikh Mohammad then visited the directorate’s Dana Historical Documents Museum, which has on display passports that were issued prior to the Federation in 1971.
He then visited the strategic and organisational excellence department, which includes GDRFA’s call centre. Shaikh Mohammad was briefed on the department’s duties and responsibilities. Later, Shaikh Mohammad toured the online services section, and viewed a presentation by Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Marzouqi, the section’s director, on services provided by the directorate to citizens and residents, as well as statistics pertaining to the number of customers and transactions completed throughout the year.
The presentation included details on joint projects between the directorate and ministries and federal departments that aim to facilitate the process of completing applications for customers. Among the projects were the e-link projects between GDRFA and the Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Authority, Ministry of Labour, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development and Interpol.
Al Merri pointed out that the directorate completed more than 5 million transactions online, and that more than 500,000 SMSes were sent to the Jadded service (Arabic for renew) in 2012. Al Merri added that more than 3 million online applications were completed during the first quarter of 2013, and that more than 400,000 SMSes were received.
Al Merri also gave a briefing on the number of passengers travelling through Dubai International Airport, which he said amounted to 530 million in 2012. Al Merri said that 1.2 million passengers travelled through Dubai International Airport from August 7 to August 17. He pointed out that more than 470,000 people have travelled through the Hatta-Oman border.
Shaikh Mohammad expressed his satisfaction with developments in the directorate’s performance, especially with regard to the completion of applications.