- smart dubai initiatives
The Smart Dubai Office has launched an electronic platform dubbed “Dubai Now” during an interactive workshop titled “Smarter Together”. The platform is meant to act as a one-stop shop for all government services in the Emirate of Dubai.
The state-of-the-art platform is the latest in Smart Dubai’s range of smart services; it complements the Dubai Now app – the integrated platform for the city’s services that cater to individuals – which was launched by Smart Dubai in 2015. All services available on the application will be integrated into the Dubai Now website. The step aims to facilitate round-the-clock and easy access to best-in-class services through new channels, which will reflect on the happiness and satisfaction of the residents and visitors of Dubai.
Her Excellency Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, attended the workshop, along with H.E Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, as well as representatives from some of the most prestigious private organisations in the country and members of the media.
H.E. Dr Aisha noted that the initiative echoes the ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. It also follows directive from H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s Executive council, who has called for aggregating all of Dubai’s government services in one place, and to position Dubai as a model for smart and happy cities.
“The Dubai Now platform highlights the importance of close cooperation between government and private entities to offer smart services for Dubai residents,” H.E. added. “Building smart cities requires consolidation of efforts among all relevant organisations, to offer best-in-class services. This will ensure top-of-the-line experiences for all users, which helps achieve the Happiness Agenda set by Smart Dubai.”
For his part, H.E. Wesam Lootah said: “By launching Dubai Now, Smart Dubai will work to consolidate and harness efforts among all government entities. We will spare no effort to provide cutting-edge smart services for users. At the same time, we will encourage government entities to strengthen cooperation and provide a unified centre for services in Dubai, one that caters to companies and individuals alike, allowing for government entities to add or upgrade their services directly.”
“Dubai Now is a comprehensive platform providing more than 55 services from 24 government departments, as well as semi-governmental and private entities in Dubai,” H.E. Lootah continued. “The platform is an extension of Dubai Now’s smart application, which allows customers to access government services easily and seamlessly all from one portal. Smart Dubai continues to drive digital innovation in services to ensure their accessibility to all categories of customers.”
The Dubai Now platform targets all members of the public, the business sector, and visitors. It compiles government services and integrates them in an effort to provide easy and smooth access. The platform includes 11 categories of services: security and justice, public transport, payments and bills, visas and residence, driving, health, business and employment, education, housing, Islam, and miscellaneous.
The smart services provided through the platform include locating the nearest car registration centre; payment of traffic violations, water and electricity bills, and Etisalat and Du fees; topping up Salik and Nol cards; accessing Dubai Customs accounts; and services such as “Ajari”, “Makani”, and “Criminal Case Look-up”. The platform also allows users to donate to Dubai Cares, Al Jalila Foundation, and others.
In addition to facilitating access to services for the general public, Dubai Now allows participating government entities to more easily develop their services, and to choose their designs using a smart library with extensive insight into service design and development. Developers will be able to offer services via the platform, as long as they abide by previously set standards. The Smart Dubai Government then approves the services added to the platform, which is set to soon be open to private companies – this serves to crystallise the cooperation between the public and private sectors in the city.
Dubai Now was named Best Mobile Government Service in the UAE at the World Government Summit 2016, as well as the Best Government Mobile Application in Dubai and the Northern Emirates at the dot Gov 2016 Awards.