A screenshot of the UAEPASS app. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai – Standing in queues to get government services is now no longer necessary, thanks to UAE’s government departments offering most services online. Now, you don’t even need to have separate log in account details for each of the departments you deal with – whether it is to pay your phone bill, your parking fees or the month’s electricity and water bill. The UAE PASS is the latest step in the country’s digital transformation and provides UAE residents and visitors an easy way manage their government-related work without the need to go anywhere.

What is the UAEPASS?

The UAEPASS was launched in 2018 as part of the UAE government’s long-term strategies – UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.

UAE Vision 2021 aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by the Golden Jubilee of the Union on six basic pillars. One of the six pillars, or national priorities, is providing sustainable environment and infrastructure.

DubaiID, SmartPass and UAE PASS – what is the difference?

DubaiID, as the name suggests, is exclusive for Dubai government related services. For Abu Dhabi and other emirates, residents could register for a Smart Pass. However, the UAE’s move towards providing smart government services has led to the unification of these services under UAE PASS, which provides access to a range of government related services, regardless of the Emirate you are in.

From left: Dr Aisha Bint Butti, Director General of Smart Dubai, Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director-General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Dr Rauda Al Saadi Director-General of Abu Dhabi’s Smart Solutions and Services Authority at Gitex Technology Week 2018, announcing the UAEPASS. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

The UAEPASS is a collaboration between Smart Dubai, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and was launched in 2018.

The UAEPASS allows UAE residents and visitors to access government services and make regular payments, like your home and mobile phone bills, it provides access to services like DubaiNow and even legal processes like applying for your residence visa or buying a property. This is possible using the electronic signature.

Electronic signature

Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

One of the biggest features of the UAEPASS is that it provides users with an electronic signature, which is equivalent to you signing a documents with a pen. Your electronic signature will be legally valid under UAE law. So, whether you are securing a new contract or making a big purchase, like a property or car, if you are using the UAE government’s smart services, you can use your UAEPASS signature. This is the first time digital signature solutions have been provided in the region.

How secure is my signature?

The UAEPASS signature and the online services are secured through various measures to provide a safe operating environment for users. Digital signatures are protected using the SHA-256 hashing algorithm.

SHA stands for Standard Hashing Algorithm, which was built by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US. SHA-256 is a ‘one-way cryptographic function’ which means that it cannot be decrypted back to the original text.

What documents will I need?

You will only need your original Emirates ID.

Can I do it online?

The first part of the registration is online, by downloading the UAEPASS app, but you will need to visit a kiosk for the final physical verification.

Where do I go?

Here is a breakdown of the complete registration process.

1. Download the UAE PASS application on your phone.

2. Scan your Emirates ID, verify the information required from you and set up a pin. This pin number is extremely important, and you are advised never to share it with anyone.

3. Visit a UAE PASS kiosk near you to complete the final verification process. You can find a list of all the kiosks in the UAE here

4. Insert your Emirates ID at the self-service machine and follow the instructions on the screen.

5. Scan your fingerprint.

Once you have completed the process, you will be able to access all available UAE Pass features.

What services can I access now?

The UAEPASS will open your world up to several digital transactions. If you download the DubaiNow app, you can access Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa), Dubai Police and many other government services. You can even get a business licence in 15 minutes, using the ‘Start your Business’ service.

So, welcome the future right now in the UAE.