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In the UAE, many federal and local government departments have WhatsApp business accounts, where UAE residents can communicate with them directly. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you need to apply for a government-related service online, you usually have to download an app or create an account. But, if you want to avoid downloading another app on your phone or just don’t have enough space, you can easily complete essential services via WhatsApp, too.

WhatsApp is one of the most used instant messaging apps in the world and is an accessible way for people to reach out to government departments when they need to raise an issue or query.

In the UAE, many federal and local government departments have WhatsApp business accounts, usually powered by a virtual assistant or have a representative who will respond to the user.

All you have to do is initiate the conversation with a simple ‘Hello’ and you can start chatting. Through these WhatsApp services, you can pay for parking, report a crime, or book a doctor’s appointment.

Here are ten government services that are available on WhatsApp in the UAE.

How to identify official government accounts on WhatsApp
UAE Government departments on WhatsApp are business accounts and are verified. There will be a green badge next to the contact's name confirming that this is an authentic business account.

1. Book An RTA driving test on WhatsApp

Whatsapp number: +971 58 8009090

In Dubai, you can easily, book or reschedule a driving test appointment via WhatsApp, according to a recent announcement by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

To book an appointment, customers have to save the number 058 8009090 on WhatsApp and initiate a chat with the ‘Mahboub’ chatbot. You first need to message the RTA number and state that you are interested in booking a road test.

The chatbot will then give you an overview of the service fees, and then you will have to select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to booking or rescheduling the test. Once that it is done, you will be provided with a payment link, and you must the settle the fees with a credit or debit card.

2. Pay public parking in Dubai

Whatsapp number: +971 58 8009090

In Dubai, you can also pay for your parking via WhatsApp, which has the added benefit of saving money for you on the additional 30 fils service charge you incur when using mParking, the SMS service for public parking.

This WhatsApp service is from Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and you pay for the parking by sending a message to RTA’s chatbot ‘Mahboub’ on WhatsApp on the number +97158 8009090.

Here is how to do it in three steps:

1. First, add the number +971 58 8009090 to your contact list.

2. Then send the message in the following format: [Plate Number] Space [Zone Number] Space [Duration].

For example: If you wish to park your vehicle, which has a plate number A00000 in parking zone - 000A - for two hours, you would need to send the following message on Whatsapp: A00000 000A 2

3. The payment for the parking will be deducted in one of the following two ways:

• The amount will be deducted from your mobile phone balance or added to your bill in case of postpaid numbers, according to the parking fee amount.

• Through RTA’s ‘e-Wallet’ account - this service enables you to use your e-Wallet as a method of payment for RTA related services. If you choose this option, you will receive a link to make the payment using your credit or debit card.

Once you have completed the payment, you will receive an SMS confirming your parking ticket. 

3. Stay updated about the UAE's Labour Law and regulations

Whatsapp number: 6005 90000

This WhatsApp number enables companies, employees, and domestic workers to access MOHRE's online services. You can also submit any questions you might have related to the UAE’s Labour Law or follow up on an application. You can also access the Labour Law, and its executive regulations, as well as the law on domestic helpers and other ministerial decrees that regulate work environment in the UAE.

If you want to register a labour complaint or want to enquire about your rights as a worker in the UAE, you must contact the 800 84 for any labour-related complaints or legal consultations.

The service is available 24x7 and it is available in Arabic and English.

4. Apply for a birth certificate

Whatsapp number: +971 42301221

If you have a newborn, it’s hard to take the time out to complete errands and important tasks. In the UAE, you can apply for a birth certificate for your child in a few minutes through WhatsApp.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) introduced the new WhatsApp service in November 2022, and parents can obtain a birth certificate via the Ministry’s dedicated WhatsApp number: +971 42301221.

However, to use this service, the child has to be recently born in a public hospital managed by MOHAP, and you will also need the ‘Qaid’ number of the child.

Parents in the UAE can only get the ‘Qaid’ number once they have submitted certain documents to the hospital when they register for the birth of their child with the establishment. These documents include an attested marriage certificate and both the parents’ passport and Emirates ID copy. You also need to provide your contact details such as an email address and a mobile number.

Applying for the certificate only takes a few minutes and it is issued within two days. It costs Dh65.

For a step-by-step guide on how to use the service, and the details you need to enter, click here.

5. View your DEWA bills and check your electricity and water consumption

Whatsapp number: 04 6019999

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) WhatsApp service, launched in 2019, allows customers to contact and communicate with Dewa 24x7 to receive help with any queries related to their electricity and water connection.

The WhatsApp service is powered by an AI (Artificial Intelligence) Chatbot, that provides a list of services from DEWA, and you have to select the type of service you want.

Through the WhatsApp service, you can view your DEWA bill, and check your consumption by providing your ‘account number’ which is stated on your utility bill. Click here if you do not know how to find your Dewa account number.

6. Report a crime through the Al Ameen service

Whatsapp number: +97154 800 4444

If you have witnessed any illegal activity or are a victim of a crime, you can report it through the Al Ameen Service from Dubai Police.

You can reach out to them by saving the number - +97154 800 4444 on WhatsApp, by calling their toll-free number - 800 4444 - or contacting them via their social media handles - @alameenservice.

The Al Ameen service was launched in 2003, and their services provide safe, secure and confidential communication channels to citizens, residents and visitors. The WhatsApp service is available around the clock.

According to Al Ameen, their representatives will keep your identity and personal details confidential to make sure you do not face any legal consequences.

7. Report abuse or violence against women and children in Dubai

Whatsapp number: +971800111

Victims of domestic abuse or harassment can reach out to the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) through WhatsApp on the number +971800111. Victims can also request for psychiatric, social, or legal advice.

The service was launched in December 2022 and aims to shorten the Foundation’s response time. Apart from the WhatsApp service, DFWAC also has a 24x7 helpline - 800111

8. Book a medical appointment in Abu Dhabi

WhatsApp number: 971 24102200

If you reside in Abu Dhabi you can book a medical appointment at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), health facilities, clinics or hospitals.

Through the service, you can make and manage new and follow-up appointment bookings, cancel appointments, and display all booked appointments.

If you want to book an appointment, send a message to the saved number. You will have to undergo an authentication check using your Emirates ID and registered phone number.

The WhatsApp service was officially launched in 2021, and is linked with the Seha patient portal, ensuring all appointments booked, changed or cancelled are immediately reflected across their system.

9. Report rumours and false news online and get it verified

WhatsApp number: 800 900

If you have seen a rumour or false news related to the safety of food items or personal products spreading on social media, you can simply contact Dubai Municipality on WhatsApp, and a specialised team in the authority will verify the information for you.

Here’s how:
- Save the Dubai Municipality number on WhatsApp, and start a conversation with the virtual assistant ‘Fares’.
- You will then be presented with the menu list. Select the number ‘6’ option, which is ‘DM Rumours’.
- Next, select ‘Register Rumour’ and send the text of the rumour circulating online and the team at Dubai Municipality will get back to you.

You can also access many other Dubai Municipality services on Whatsapp, such as the housing fee calculator, inquire about Dubai Safari Park tickets and report an incident.

10. Get in touch with over 40 government departments through '04'

WhatsApp number: 600500055

Within two minutes, Dubai residents can submit suggestions, comments and complaints to over 40 government entities around the clock through a single platform called ‘04’.

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The ’04 Platform’ was officially launched on March 21 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

To submit queries, suggestions or complaints to local government departments, add the number as a contact and message ‘Hello’ and select your language – English or Arabic. You will then have the option to register a new case, follow up on an existing case, or ask about any additional queries.

11. Alert an emergency or request technical assistance in Abu Dhabi

WhatsApp number: 026788888

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) WhatsApp service was launched in 2021 and is an additional communication tool for emergency cases and allows users to raise an issue and track the status of their requests.

The service also allows Abu Dhabi residents to alert the authority if there is an emergency, for example – cracked roads, pollution, illegal disposal of waste or potholes. You can send pictures to report and document them or share the location of the emergency by forwarding a link from Google Maps. 

You can request technical assistance for emergencies related to the department’s services related to road problems, public safety, or public infrastructure.