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Australian delegation visits Dubai Municipality

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, March 09 - 2004 @ 15:22

Steve Bracks MP, Premier of Victoria, who is heading a three-member delegation from the Australian provincial government on a 3-day visit to the country, said Dubai Municipality had taken global lead in providing online services to the public.

He made the remarks during talks held today with Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, who gave the Victorian premier a brief explanation of the 60-plus online services provided by the civic body.

The municipality’s web portal registered a record 300,000 online transactions earlier this month since its launch in October 2004, thus becoming one of the most vibrant e-government portals worldwide. Mr. Sultan had received recently a letter from the computer giant IBM congratulating him on achieving this figure in a relatively short time.

Mr. Sultan told him that Dubai’s e-government market place, Tejari.com, groups all government agencies in the emirate and facilitates their online purchases and contracts.

“These initiatives have helped our customers save a lot of time, efforts and money in availing our services. We may have to wait a bit before we calculate the actual saving this initiative has helped us achieve. However, our objective is to make government services simpler and easier for the public. In that, we have had great success already,” he added.

The Dubai Municipality chief also briefed the delegation on the light rail project, which the civic body is currently undertaking. He said the multi-billion Dirham project, which is expected to complete in 2009, will be one of the best in the world.

Mr. Bracks offered his government’s expertise in various road and transit projects undertaken by Dubai Municipality especially those aimed at reducing congestion in the city’s roads.

He also noted that Dubai and Victoria could enter into a strategic partnership aimed at serving the society in a variety of areas especially health, medical services, training and education opportunities.

Also present during the meeting were Eng. Hussein Nasser Lootah, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Planning and Building Affairs, Mohammed AbdulKarim Julfar, Assistant Director General for Financial and Property Affairs, Abdulla Al Shaibani, Assistant Director General for Technical Services, Abdulla Rafeeu’ Assistant Director General for Environment and Public Health Affairs, and Khalid Mohammed Badri, Acting Director of the Public Relations and Organisations Department at the municipality.

The Australian delegation included Terry Moran, Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Tim Pallas, Chief of Staff to the Premier, Noel Campbell, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, Ehssan Abdallah from the Victorian Government’s Business Office in Dubai, and Jane Wilson, Media Advisor to the Premier.

At the end of the meeting, both sides exchanged commemorative gifts. Mr. Sultan presented the delegation with a replica of the Clock Tower, Dubai’s historic landmark.

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Tuesday, March 9- 2004 @ 15:22 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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