Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Visitors to public parks and museums in Dubai will be able to use Nol cards to pay the entrance fees, Dubai Municipality officials told Gulf News on Monday.

Nol is a smart payment system for all public transport modes in Dubai, including metro, buses, water buses and taxis regulated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The RTA had earlier this month announced its plan to extend the use of Nol cards as an e-wallet for commercial payments.

The civic body is now working with the RTA to introduce Nol payment for public parks in the emirate by the end of the year, said Mohammad Abdullah Al Zafein, director of the Information Technology Department at the municipality.

“We want to utilise the Nol cards to give access to parks,” he said.

According to Al Zafein, all major public parks that collect entrance fees will be fitted with smart gates to allow payment of entrance fee using Nol cards.

Visitors will be able to use their Nol credit loaded in the plastic card or Smart Nol, a mobile app that works with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Unlike in the public transport system, a family or any group of visitors to parks can use one Nol card to paying the entry fee for multiple visitors, Al Zafein explained.

“We would like to make things easier for people,” he said.

Abdul Majid Al Mulla, assistant director at the department, said the smart payment option will be extended to Dubai museums in the next phase. A time-frame for this was not immediately announced.

Automatic response from call centre

Al Mulla said another initiative of the IT department that will be launched by the end of this month is an automatic response system for the municipality’s call centre with the hotline number 800 900.

If somebody calls up the call centre to make a complaint or for an inquiry and the line is busy as the staff are responding to others’ calls, All Mulla said, the system will cut the call and will automatically call back the customer and connect him or her to a call centre employee when the line becomes free.

This is aimed at cutting the waiting time for callers and avoiding unanswered calls, he said.

Municipality services go smart

The officials were speaking after the municipality’s announcement about transferring all its e-services into mobile services.

As part of the Smart Dubai initiative, all electronic services offered by various departments in the municipality are now available on the mobile platform.

As many as 351 e-services were transferred to 204 smart services and applications on smart devices in the first phase of the initiative. By 2018, the department will complete all its proposed programmes for the Smart Dubai initiatives, the civic body said on Monday.