Today, Dubai has successfully established over 1000 smart services via two dozen government departments, and private sectors – within a stretch of three-year. According to Smart Dubai, the initiator of all the programmes, happiness across the emirate has increased by 3%.
The pace at which digital transformation is taking place in the city shows that Dubai will soon become a paperless economy. We have already explored the development of public services in 2018, and now we move ahead to witness the achievements in 2019.
The First Phase Of Paperless Strategy – Accomplished
Dubai launched its first phase of paperless strategy in February 2018 with the goal to make the city fully digital by 2021. Now, the first phase is complete and the results are much better than expected.
Six government bodies of Dubai namely Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water (DEWA), Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Land Department (DLD), and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have successfully reduced their paper usage by 57% in the first phase of paperless strategy. The percentage has exceeded the initial target that was set for 50% and the departments have achieved this in less than a year. The first phase has saved 37 million papers in total and as Dubai turns into a fully digital city it will save 1 billion papers.
The city is aiming to enhance customer happiness, intensify government efficiency, improve Dubai’s international competitiveness and make it as one of the leading sustainable cities in the world. These have been the key drivers behind the augmentation of the strategy.
Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) stated that smart transformation cannot be achieved if just a part of the city performs transactions digitally while the paper is still being wasted for other transactions. He also added that the transformation should be an integrated experience that will save each resident of Dubai 40 hours annually which would otherwise be wasted in travelling between service centres to process different types of paperwork.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy is designed along three fundamental pillars, as described by Lootah.
- Technology, through which digital platforms and solutions are employed to enable paper-free government transactions and processes.
- Legislation, in which the vital legislative alterations are made to regulate paperless transactions across all organisations.
- A paper-free culture, through which the city intends to defeat the cultural barriers of individuals and institutions to encourage paperless transactions and processes.
UAE PASS App – The First National Digital Identity And Signature Solution
The UAE Pass app is the first digital identity platform launched in Dubai at Gitex Exhibition 2018 in October last year. The application was launched as a result of the joint efforts of Smart Dubai and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority and in association with the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC). The application is a part of the first phase of the paperless strategy that came to end just a few months back.
The app will enable users to provide their identification to government service providers (both local and federal) in all the emirates of UAE through a smartphone-based authentication system. In addition, it will also allow users to sign documents digitally with an advanced level of security.
As a part of the UAE government’s goal to eliminate paper transactions and achieve digital transformation, the residents and visitors will be able to access government services via their smartphones with a single set of login details – without any hassles.
Until now, Smart Dubai has integrated seven government organisations into the UAE PASS platform which will ultimately cover the entire United Arab Emirates in the consecutive phases.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Police, Dubai Department of Economic Development, Dubai Land Department (DLD), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Civil Defence are among the seven government entities that have been integrated into the digital platform so far.
As per Wesam Lootah, “The ambitious national programme for digital identity is a key pillar in the process of enabling many digital transformation initiatives at the local and federal level. It also supports the objectives of the Dubai Paperless Strategy to create an advanced paper-free future for government services – an important element of transforming Dubai into a smart city.”
“We all work in line with the directives of our wise leadership that the smart government is a comprehensive project for both federal and local entities, providing customers with an integrated, interactive and happy experience. Hence, the cooperation between DEWA and Dubai Smart in completing the first phase of UAE Pass is a promising example that would lead to more results and achievements in the next phase.”
Now, the second phase of the paperless movement is here and Smart Dubai is working with nine government entities to go fully paperless by 2021.
Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Dubai Prevent Road Accidents
The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has long been working on using the power of artificial intelligence in all sectors of traffic management. And now it has successfully launched its ‘Raqeeb System’ which aids in watching the well-being of 300 bus drivers in Dubai.
Deployment of this AI-powered system has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of accidents that are caused due to tired bus drivers on the roads of Dubai. The system found out that five out of eight accidents occur each day due to fatigue or lack of attentiveness.
Raqeeb System has been able to reduce the number of exhaustion-related accidents by 65%, as per RTA. Currently, the authority has introduced the system into two of its Dubai Trams on a trial basis. The system is one among the 75 AI projects which are established as part of the Smart City and Artificial Intelligence Programme across the emirate.
The AI-based initiatives involve the installation of surveillance cameras in over 10,000 taxis. This step has led to 83% increase in customer satisfaction, as per RTA.
Another initiative to monitor bus lanes has decreased the number of bus lane violations by 83% and improved the punctuality of buses by 20%.
Furthermore, a smart pedestrian signalling system has been established in 15 locations. This system increases or decreases the time required for the pedestrians to cross a road depending on the foot traffic present at a particular time.
As it is known that Dubai is one of the places where passing a driving test is tricky, even the learner’s drivers’ skills are now being tested using Artificial Intelligence technology.
The RTA has conducted the smart yard for testing trainee drivers in 14 locations which was completed successfully. The smart city has transformed driver testing vehicles into smart vehicles that are competent in detecting the testing manoeuvres and measuring the driver’s response to each one.
The smart yard is equipped with sophisticated cameras and sensors connected to a central processor capable of gathering information and automatically detecting errors. The system is able to provide the test results automatically – whether the driver has failed or passed.
UAE aims to be one of the leading AI-powered countries in the world and ‘The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031’ is moving rapidly to fulfill the vision across every sector of society including government services, healthcare, mobility, education and more.
We will get come back again with more interesting advancements in the Middle East region!