Dubai: Close cooperation between government and non-government entities and telecommunication operators in the UAE is required to achieve the transformation from eGovernment into mGovernment, Ahmad Abdul Karim Julfar, the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group told Gulf News on the side lines of the Mobile Government Forum.

He described this transformation as a drastic leap in the governmental system.

“While the year 2000 marked a radical transformation from classical government into electronic one, today the change into mGovernment is another turning point in the UAE history.”

“To adopt this transformation, there should be a kind of partnership between government entities, telecom operators, banks, central banks and credit cards firms,” Julfar said.

“Apart from this we have all the infrastructure to achieve a smooth transformation into mGovernment including the legal framework, purchasing power and technology adoption.”

The rate of smart phone adoption in the UAE is high, recorded at more than 50 per cent, and will definitely enhance this transformation.


Pointing to the potential investment in the mobile services sector, Julfar said that while the volume of investment in mobile services reached Dh50 billion so far, it is expected to double in the next five years to up to Dh100 billion depending on proper planning and execution.

However, he said that one of the main challenges is the banking system which needs to upgrade its services to facilitate the payment system.

Expecting the number of mobile services to increase drastically, Mohammad Nasser Al Ganem Director General of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said that the first step to achieving this transformation is “to develop a concrete strategy then we are working on developing mobile payment portal that allow one authentication to all government services processed under a highly secure environment.”

Proper coordination

UAE telecom operators du and etisalat will play the role of enablers in the eGovernment initiative. Stressing the need to an eco-system, Osman Sultan, CEO of du said that an integrated comprehensive system of technical solutions that serve most government departments allow proper coordination, full integration and consistent data flow that will lead to this transformation.

Although infrastructure is essential in this transformation, tools and government initiatives in addition to the platform to deliver these services are also an integral parts in this transformation,” said Sultan.

Integrated approach through a unified system of administrative, infrastructure, information and core services connectivity in the field of mGovernment accelerate the transformation, he added.