Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, launched the 'Dubai Paperless Strategy' during a visit to the Smart Dubai Office headquarters in Dubai Design District.
The new strategy falls in line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city.
“What we are witnessing today is another milestone in Dubai’s journey towards fully embracing smart technology,” said Shaikh Hamdan. “The Dubai Paperless Strategy embodies our leadership’s vision for a smart government that embraces advanced technologies to build a perfectly integrated paperless government framework, and an administration that sets solid plans and strategies to secure people’s happiness and develop their communities to meet the requirements of the cities of the future.”
Shaikh Hamdan was accompanied by the Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai Abdulla Al Basti.
“After 2021, no employee or customer of the Government of Dubai will need to print any paper document,” Shaikh Hamdan said. “This reflects our holistic vision for our role as human beings, not only towards Dubai, but towards the world as a whole. The Dubai Paperless Strategy will eliminate over one billion papers annually used today in Dubai Government transactions.”
Meanwhile, Smart Dubai Office Director General Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr said: “We are currently on an ambitious mission to transform Dubai into the smartest and most successful city in the world – and in record time. As part of our efforts to ensure a safe and efficient experience that caters to the needs and expectations of Dubai’s residents and visitors, we, at Smart Dubai, are constantly introducing bold new projects and services to help us achieve this mission.”
“We have set our sights on fully embracing the directives of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as we formulate strategies and plans to transform government operations into hi-tech, paper-free transactions,” Dr Aisha said. “Our objective is to fully eliminate government paper transactions by 2021, and today, with the Dubai Paperless Strategy, we are taking it a step further by digitising both external and internal processes in government bodies and institutions. This, in turn, saves time and effort for employees and customers across all government authorities, all the while improving the work environment, achieving customer satisfaction and reducing cost and waste.”
In addition, Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG), presented the strategy to Shaikh Hamdan. “The Dubai Paperless Strategy marks the official launch of a new government ecosystem. It is a disruption of the traditional definition and function of a smart government that not only affects Dubai, but stands to influence how cities and nations around the world approach the smart city concept,” Lootah said. “The Strategy also helps promote the use of artificial intelligence across sectors, as envisioned by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, who has referred to AI as the new trend to follow smart governments and an enabler of the future,” he said.
“The 100% paperless transformation will reflect positively on the economy and provide new opportunities for all. It will also empower government entities to reallocate time and resources towards continuously upgrading their services, which, in turn, improves the entire government ecosystem and increases productivity,” Lootah added.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy revolves around three main pillars: Technology, whereby all technological requirements would be provided to ensure paper-free government transactions and procedures. Second, legislation, where the necessary legislative changes are made to regulate paperless transactions in all institutions. The third and final pillar, culture, seeks to take the strategy forward, overcoming cultural barriers of individuals and institutions to promote paperless transactions and procedures.
The strategy is set to expedite the digitization of internal and external (customer) transactions across government institutions. The government will stop issuing or requesting paper documents from citizens, and government employees will stop issuing or processing paper in key or supporting operations.
Several technical changes will be gradually rolled out to implement the strategy. These include increasing automation in government institutions, and tending to both external (customer) needs and internal (administrative and operational) needs, which, going forward, would be conducted through digital IDs, signatures and certificates, as well as secure data available via dedicated platforms. Changes also include legislative adjustments, regulating physical presence at the courts, and the legal requirement to produce paper documents to guarantee the credibility of the transaction.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy is set to be implemented over three stages, based on the number of government departments undergoing a transition to a paperless government.