Dubai: Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the world, it has helped governments to test digital infrastructure and spot the gaps in the system, officials in Dubai have said.
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai Department, said COVID-19 has showed that Dubai has a solid digital infrastructure.
“The government implemented remote work more efficiently in its fourth week. COVID-19 confirmed that Dubai has a strong digital platforms. It helped to determine our needs in enhancing the virtual culture for some establishments,” Dr bin Bishr said during a virtual session held by the Innovation Council this week.
Bin Bishr said that remote working is not about virtual meetings through applications like ‘Zoom’, it also means keeping the work flow and providing good services to customers.
“It is a chance for all government establishments to invest in digital infrastructure and fill the gaps that coronavirus exposed. We are ready to work with any government entity to reengineer their services,” she said.
During the session, Abdulla Ali Al Falasi, director of Dubai Government Human Resources Department, said a final draft is being prepared for remote-work policy for the government of Dubai.
“We were working on a draft of the remote-work policy. It is in the final stages and will be given to the higher authorities for approval,” Al Falasi said.
He pointed out that remote work has many advantages, including reduction in traffic.
“Some employees don’t have a proper home environment for work but they can work remotely from any place they prefer like cafes or parks,” Al Falasi added.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said Dubai Police’s digital platform was a successful tool to deal with an emergency situation.
“It is hard to implement remote work in policing but virtual meetings are useful and Dubai Police have stepped up in meeting management during the crisis,” Brig Al Jallaf said.
He said the Dubai Police chief directed him to have a meeting with many shopping centres in Dubai and the virtual meeting made the task easier.
“Dubai Police organised a virtual meeting with directors of 35 malls within two hours. We meet on a daily basis with executive managers in the government sector in a short time. Virtual meetings cut time and effort. The crisis has enhanced our communication with partners,” he added.
Saeed Al Tayer, CEO of Social Planning and Development Sector at Community Development Authority in Dubai, said the virus has changed many concepts of government work.
“For example, now we have flexible hours for psychological therapy. Virtual platforms help patients and therapists to set a time to meet and get the therapy,” Al Tayer said.