DUBAI - The UAE has ranked first in the Arab region according to the 2019 Government Electronic and Mobile Services, GEMS, Maturity Index.
Issued by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
, the indicator is a measuring tool of progress at the national level in achieving transition to digital services. It was carried out across 13 countries including, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, amongst others. The GEMS Maturity Index is measured across three sub-indices - Service Availability and Sophistication, Service Usage and Satisfaction, and Public Outreach. According to the ESCWA
report, the UAE achieved a 90 percent score in the 'Service Availability and Sophistication' category. This category uses various metrics to provide insights on what government services are available online or via mobile applications, and also measures accessibility of government data via these channels. Despite scoring 79 percent in the 'Public Outreach' category -- which determines what governments have done to make citizens aware of digital services in vital sectors -- the UAE scored 51 percent in the 'Service Usage and Satisfaction' index. The latter measures how frequent government digital services are used, as well as end-user satisfaction with the digital service. The GEMS index is measured across 84 core services. According to ESCWA
, these services offer a fair representation of government services and illustrate the potential consequences if they are not provided effectively. Core services range across the health, education, work, transportation, tourism and social welfare sectors, among others. Out of the 84 core services sectors, the GEMS Index report revealed that the UAE has a total of 70 that provide electronic services. It noted that e-Government services could be improved in the judicial and immigration services mechanisms -- each of which registered only two e-services provided within the country. Commenting on the results, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, Director-General, said, "Smart and advanced services are the key to customer happiness, therefore, we develop our government services in the UAE, inspired by the directives of our wise leadership, which emphasise on people as the goal and aim of the overall process of digital transformation." "Achieving the first position in GEMS Maturity Index is the result of the collective efforts of the UAE Government towards full digital transformation," he added. The Index allows to track the progress in the transition to e-channels for government service provision, by annual comparison of the national performance. Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director-General for Information an e-Government Sector, said, "This achievement comes one year after announcing the TRA as the entity responsible for smart government and digital transformation of the UAE’s model of digital government maturity." "The UAE model of digital government maturity is a unified reference for electronic/digital government in the UAE, which guides the work on the various pillars of digital transformation, and measures the capability to create a digitally mature government and maintain its stability. TRA has launched the Digital Government Maturity Model to achieve the National OSI, and to reach the first position globally in OSI," he added. According to the TRA, the UAE Government provides about 3,730 federal and local online services through its official portal. It also provides more than 270 procedural services at the federal level.