Dubai government service centres go ‘online only’ this week

Dubai wants to encourage customers to use government e-services



Dozens of Dubai government service centres will direct customers to conduct transactions online from Sunday under an initiative designed to increase usage of smart services.

Dubai Media Office said 40 governmental and semi-governmental entities, “along with a number of private entities” will stop executing transactions requiring payment of fees for more than 1,100 services for a full working week.

Instead customers are guided to pay bills, fines and service fees through mobile applications and web portals.

Dubai’s Department of Finance has allocated Dhs1m to be paid as cashback to customers who use smart panels during the October 21-25 period.

Read: Dubai says gov service centres to go ‘online only’ later this month

The initiative comes under the emirate’s wider goal to offer the majority of government services through smart channels by the end of 2021.

Centres will resume offering regular services after October 25.

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in May 2015 that 96 per cent of citizen services in the government’s 337 most important departments had gone mobile.

A new target for 2018 aims to see 80 per cent of government services accessed via mobile devices.

“This goal puts pressure on the government to promote the shift of its services to mobile while ensuring optimum user-friendliness,” consultancy McKinsey and Company said in a 2016 case study.