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Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA-Dubai

GDRFA-Dubai to launch 30 new smart services soon

: Wednesday, August 06 - 2014 @ 12:39

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has unveiled a package of new Smart services which Emiratis, residents and companies can access on their smartphones and tablets. With this launch the GDRFA-Dubai has completed the first stage of Smart services that witnessed the launch of 28 services meant for the visitors, residents and companies. Thirty more Smart services will be launched in the second stage.

The Director General of GDRFA-Dubai Major General Mohammed Al Marri said: “The move is aimed to make government services available on smartphones and tablets, so that customers can manage their applications round the clock anywhere.”

The new Smart services help customers submit their applications and follow up as conveniently and as fast as possible; yet security or privacy rules have not been compromised. The initiative is in line with the Smart government drive initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2013.

In his message, published in the August issue of Manafez Dubai — the official bilingual newsletter of GDRFA-Dubai, Major General Al Marri assured the users complete privacy and confidentiality. He said: “When we talk about information we simultaneously take into account the privacy and confidentiality with no room for manipulation and unauthorized use. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to privacy, which is an integral part of our traditions, principles, values and religious believes.”

He also announced that the first half of 2014 saw a 30 per cent increase in the number of residency visas issued compared with the same period in 2013. There were 570,917 new residency visas issued in the first half of 2014, up from 436,993 issued in 2013.

He said that the country has also seen an 8.14 per cent increase in passengers entering and exiting the UAE which reflects the growth in the country’s economy and tourism sector. In the first half of 2014, 21,865,088 passengers entered and exited the country, compared with 20,219,288 in the first half of 2013.

“We anticipated those increases and we increased the number and trained our employees. We also developed the e-Gate counters to make the process of entering the country smoother,” he said at a Press conference organized to announce the launch of Smart initiatives by the GDRFA-Dubai.

Major General Al Marri said, “Overall, the GDRFA completed 31,032,662 applications in 2014, which is 8.88 per cent more than 2013. He added that there was a decrease in the number of reports of absconding domestic workers which, he said, was because of awareness campaigns that the directorate ran on social media. There were 14,150 complaints last year compared to 14,741 in 2012.

In his message to the newsletter, Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, stressed on the need of strengthening international cooperation.

He said: “We believe that the security challenges faced by borders control authorities all over the world are similar and intertwined and unless we stand firm shoulder to shoulder, loopholes and shortcomings will be utilized by the organized criminal gangs, smugglers, human traffickers and all sorts of law-breakers to pass safely. International cooperation has been a great source of knowledge to develop our policies, systems and procedures.”

In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Captain Khalid Ahmad bin Mediya Al Falasi, Assistant Director General of Smart Services Sector at GDRFA-Dubai, said that the GDRFA-Dubai aims to enlist half-a-million people annually for its Smart services applications over the next six years.

He said that the GDRFA-Dubai has already finished the first stage of Smart services that witnessed the launch of 28 services meant for the visitors, residents and companies. Thirty more Smart services will be launched in the second stage. Thus, a total of 58 out of 97 services delivered by GDRFA-Dubai will be Smart by the end of the second stage.

Captain Khalid stressed that Smart services save time and efforts and boost GDRFA-Dubai’s reach, performance and delivery. He also emphasized that the protection of data confidentiality and privacy, as per the best global security standards, remains the top priority for GDRFA-Dubai.

Statistics suggest that the number of clients enlisted in Smart services applications reached 1,100 until July 13. About 5,679 applications were downloaded between June 20 and July 13, 2014.

The newsletter has also highlighted the findings of the International Labour Organization’s new report titled “Global Employment Trends 2014” which reveals that the weak global economic recovery has failed to lead to an improvement in global labour markets, with global unemployment in 2013 reaching almost 202 million.

Another study reveals a big demand for Global Citizenship programmes from the Middle East, while Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt have the highest number of UHNW second citizenship applicants.

The newsletter also focuses on the new models for travel and tourism which propose a fully integrated Smart Travel model designed to unlock growth and job creation in the travel and tourism industry.

The newsletter also declares that His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the promotion of 311 non-commissioned officers and personnel of the GDRFA-Dubai, including one officer promoted to the rank of Brigadier and six other officers to the rank of Major.

Manafez Dubai also depicts an infograph illustrating how smart gates, developed, manufactured and operated by emaratech, GDRFA’s strategic partner, are used to speed-up travellers through passport control in only 15 seconds. Registration for using smart gates is available at departure and arrival halls at Terminals 1 and 3 at the Dubai International Airport. It is also available at GRDFA, Emirates Airlines and dnata headquarters.

In the UAE News section, the newsletter reveals that the new terminal at Dubai International Airport will open for trials in August, in preparation for its official opening early next year. The new terminal will cater to over 100 airlines and increase Dubai International’s capacity to 90 million passengers a year when it opens in the first quarter next year. The publication also provides details about the Ministry of Labour’s initiative to replace the old plastic labour cards and paper employment contracts with electronic ones.

In the opinion section, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, US Customs and Border Protection, highlights that passenger pre-clearance helps address security challenges, while Charles L. Prow, General Manager, Global Government IBM, discusses how effective identity management is becoming a critical issue for governments worldwide.

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Wednesday, August 6- 2014 @ 12:39 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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