Dubai: A new national online system rolled out on Tuesday at Gitex will verify smartphone owners’ identities to allow them to access basic government services and conduct sensitive private business transactions in all seven emirates, said officials.
Dubbed UAEPASS, smartphone owners who download the app of the same name from Google or Apple stores will be assigned a secure authenticated digital identity giving them access to federal and local government databases as well as privileges to do high-level financial transactions.
The new system complements the existing Dubai Pulse which already gives online users access to Dubai government services.
The announcement was made between UAEPASS partners Smart Dubai, the Telecommunications Authority (TRA) and the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority.
The system went live on Tuesday and allows users to digitally sign and validate documents, effectively nixing most routine physical trips to government service centres to sign documents.
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, told Gulf News in an interview that “with this pass you can access all the government services whether they are federal or local but it also has a digital signature which will allow you to perform all your transactions listed without the need to visit any centre or to go to any government entity and it is available from today.”
Bin Bishr said there will be two levels of verification with the basic one enabling access to every day government services. A second higher level will allow smartphone users to make large purchases safely and securely from private partners.
“The first one is for any government entity,” Bishr said. “The next level, you can buy a property, sell a car or extract money.”
Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director-General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), told Gulf News that now is a good time to launch a national digital identity for smartphone users given fewer people are using computers to conduct transactions.
He said the UAEPASS is a historical milestone in the UAE’s modern history because it gives everyone a simple mobile identity to do all their business.
“We’re talking about only one digital signature for the whole of the UAE,” Al Mansouri said. “We hope the UAEPASS service, apart from providing a unified service to the customers, regardless of their physical location, will also promote the idea and benefits of having an integrated work environment on local and national levels,” he concluded.
Dr Rauda Al Saadi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi’s Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA), said this “step reinforces our adoption of innovative technologies and our intentions to continue to collaborate with federal and local government entities.”