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The virtual conference held by GDRFA Dubai on Wednesday Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai is keen to transform innovation ideas into real projects like the smart tunnel at Dubai Airports or issuing entry permit in 15 seconds via the 50+ project, a top official said on Wednesday.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, General Director of GDRFDA-Dubai, said that innovation is part of the department’s strategy to speed up work and provide the best services to customers.

“Innovation is a priority by providing an encouraging environment to our employees and transforming ideas into real projects to develop customer services,” Maj Gen Al Marri said during an Innovation Virtual Conference.

“Exchanging expertise in innovation conferences will have a positive impact on developing work by creating unusual solutions for the current and future challenges,” he said.

Organised by GDRFA-Dubai, this year’s innovation conference witnessed 3,696 participants from inside and outside the UAE.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said the focus will be on new generations to develop work in the UAE.

“We will encourage youngsters to complete their studies and conduct research. Since 2017, UAE has published more than 700 science studies in the AI sector. Data has become the future oil in the world and we work to have infrastructure to collect and analyse the data. UAE has 10 supercomputers for AI and research,” Al Olama said during the conference.

GDRFA smart projects

First Lt Khalaf Al Gaith, director of Innovation Section at GDRFA-Dubai, said that some key innovations became real projects like the smart tunnel that uses facial recognition to make the traveler's journey easier and smoother at the airport.

He said that the latest project is Smart Hatta Border which is in its pilot phase and aims to speed up traffic at the borders.

He said that travelers will pass the quick track which will read the vehicle plate number and facial recognition to complete procedures in crossing the border without human intervention.

Dubai’s customer happiness

Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, secretary-general, Executive Council of Dubai, said during the virtual conference the strategy and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance innovations based on the right choice of officials has helped increase the customers' happiness rate.

“Innovation can be linked to customers’ happiness. This strategy contributed in increasing the happiness rates from 69 per cent in 2015 to 85.2 per cent last year,” Al Basti said.