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UAE ranks 5th in transactional services and 12th in web measurement in latest UN eGovernment survey

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 12 - 2008 @ 16:43

The survey also placed the UAE 32nd among 192 UN Member States in the 2008 eGovernment Readiness Index, while the country achieved the 12th position in the web measurement index, which rated the online presence of national websites and selected ministries, including health, education, welfare, labour and finance. The UAE also has the highest web measure index in the region, which reaffirms the country’s commitment to setting the highest standards of eGovernance excellence.

The survey also referred to the UAE Ministry of Labour’s website in particular as an excellent example of a ‘one-stop-shop,’ where visitors can avail of transactional features such as payment by credit card, online submission of forms and permits, and the creation of personal accounts. The site responds to emails and online inquiries within a specific period of time and is one of the few sites to incorporate an electronic signature.

Salem Al Shair, eServices Director, Dubai eGovernment, which has pioneered the implementation of eServices and led the regional eGovernance drive, said, “These major achievements are a result of the hard work and dedication of all the eGovernment entities in the UAE, and I commend the efforts of the IT team in all ministries, especially the Ministry of Labour, for contributing towards the robustness of UAE’s eGovernance framework. While the UAE can be proud of its achievement, we should not get complacent, since there is still a lot to be achieved in this domain.”

“The UAE’s strong performance in global e-readiness reflects how the country is effectively using the Internet as an instrument for economic growth and human development, mainly through improvements in telecommunications infrastructure, human resources, and legal and policy framework. The results will serve us well in preparing further strategies for ICT development by focusing on how to improve the distribution and utilization of online services,” he added.

Dubai eGovernment recently announced that the various initiatives it implemented in 2007 have contributed to the exponential growth of online services offered to citizens, residents and visitors of Dubai. Dubai eGovernment has revealed that over 1,700 online services have been launched in different government departments, or a phenomenal 81 per cent digital adoption rate of the more than 2,300 government services in Dubai.

Dubai eGovernment’s exceptional performance has been in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, to speed up the digital transformation of government services in the emirate. Key highlights of 2007 also include an ISO 9001:2000 quality certification and an award for being the ‘Best eGovernment Programme in the Middle East’ during the Leaders in Dubai Summit.

“Dubai eGovernment has worked hard for the past six years to achieve our ultimate goal of full eGovernance, and I am overwhelmingly pleased to see the excellent results of our efforts. In 2007, Dubai eGovernment has institutionalised several key initiatives to bolster Dubai’s transition into a comprehensive knowledge-based economy,” said Al Shair.

During the past year, Dubai eGovernment reported a substantial increase in the usage of its various online facilities. In the first nine months of 2007, over 140,000 calls have been facilitated by Ask Dubai, a unified, multilingual 24-hour contact centre that handles public enquiry and feedback, with the Department of Economic Development (DED) registering the highest number of enquiries at 55,389.

Dubai eGovernment’s ePay program, a secure and reliable platform for online payments, has collected a total amount of AED 245 million, or 4.7 times more than the AED 53 million collected in 2006. The government mobile SMS service, mDubai, also witnessed over 7 million SMS messages exchanged between government departments and customers, with a majority of the text correspondence relating to flight services and tracking, and traffic fines.

Also in 2007, the ‘House of Expertise’ project, a knowledge-sharing initiative that leverages Dubai eGovernment’s extensive experience and knowledge in eGovernance, has been utilised to help implement the Federal UAE eGovernment Program, which initially includes six federal entities. Other key developments were a debit payment facility established with leading banks in the UAE; an MoU with DED to create a unified portal for investment and business opportunities; and the expansion of eLearning resources to more than 3,000 bilingual online courses.

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Tuesday, February 12- 2008 @ 16:43 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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