Dubai paperless strategy: 42 entities have now joined the effort to achieve Dubai paperless strategy

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was rolled out over several phases, with each phase enrolling a new group of Dubai Government entities

Younus Al Nasser

Younus Al Nasser

  • The list has now grown to include a total of 42 entities, with every group exceeding its six-month target to cut paper consumption by half.
  • By October 2020, the Strategy had already led to savings of AED 1.09 billion, 11.6 million hours of labor, and 30,804 trees
  • The DubaiNow application has processed 11.7 million transactions worth more than AED 6.1 billion over its lifetime. 
  • The ‘100% Digital Stamp’ initiative was launched to recognize entities that made outstanding efforts to implement the Dubai Paperless Strategy. 
  • 182 users have access to the Dubai Paperless Strategy Achievement Dashboard.

Dubai: – Forty-two government entities have now joined Smart Dubai’s ambitious Dubai Paperless Strategy, exceeding their original targets of cutting paper consumption by 50% in the first six months of joining.

By October 2020, the strategy had already led to savings of than AED 1.09 billion, 11.6 million hours of labor, and 30,804 trees that would have otherwise been used to produce paper.

Smart Dubai revealed the new figures at the 40th GITEX Technology Week, held at the Dubai World Trade Center from December 6-10, 2020, where its pavilion, themed ‘Inspiring New Realities’, brings together 20 government entities who will showcase advanced solutions being built by Dubai Government to accelerate the city’s digital transformation.

On a related note, Smart Dubai announced that its flagship DubaiNow application has also registered significant growth, with the number of services on offer exceeding 120 from 34 government and non-governmental entities, classified along 12 different categories. The application processed 2.8 million transactions worth AED 1.5 billion from January to November 2020. This brings the total number of transactions processed through DubaiNow over its lifetime to 11.7m, with a total value of more than AED 6.1bn. The app now has 526,914 registered users and recorded 84.1% on the Happiness Meter, having been downloaded 476,758 times on iOS and 958,105 times on Android.

His Excellency Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai, and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, said: “The Dubai Paperless Strategy was launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai to digitize internal and external government transactions, rendering them completely paper-free, and making the Dubai Government the first administration in the world to completely forego paper transactions.”

“As the government entity tasked with embracing new technologies and using them to make people’s lives easier and happier, Smart Dubai was entrusted with spearheading the effort to implement the Strategy across all Dubai Government entities,” H.E. Al Nasser added. “We have made great strides in our mission, with the list of participating entities growing with every group that joins, and with paper usage rates falling across the board and exceeding all objectives and expectations. These achievements bring us ever closer to our leading objective of establishing Dubai as a world-leading smart city of the future.”

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was developed around three main pillars: Legislation and internal policies that allow for digital transactions; Digitization and automation of processes through digital systems; and full Integration between entities. It identifies two types of paper: Discretionary Paper, printed out of preference and not part of any operational process; and Process Paper, which is a requirement for completing operational processes. The Strategy aims to identify all the manual processes that require paper usage and render them 100% digital.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was rolled out over several phases, with each phase enrolling a new group of Dubai Government entities with the objective of reducing their paper consumption by 50% in the first six months. The list has now grown to include a total of 42 entities, with every group exceeding the 50% target at the six-months mark. Furthermore, a series of workshops were held with each joining group to gather the baseline and subsequently define paperless plans.

Group one brought the initial six entities into the strategy in February 2018. These were the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Department of Economic Development, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and the Dubai Land Department. The group exceeded its set target, cutting their collective paper consumption by 57% by the end of 2018.

In February 2019, group two joined the initiative with eight new entities, bringing the total number of participants to 14. This group consisted of Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Public Prosecution, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Community Development Authority, Dubai Customs, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The group took part in 64 baseline workshops, cutting its paper consumption by 57.5% by the end of 2019.

Group three was brought into the fold in September 2019, where nine additional entities joined the effort, bringing the total to 23 Dubai Government entities taking part in the initiative: The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Dubai Media Inc., Department of Finance, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, and the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department. The group took part in 59 baseline workshops and managed to exceed their target of 50% and reduce their paper consumption by 60.4% by April 2020.

In March 2020, group four saw the largest single intake of new government entities with 10 Dubai Government departments joining the strategy, bringing the total to 33 entities. These were the Dubai Statistics Center; Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation; Dubai Women Establishment; Security Industry Regulatory Agency; Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment; Dubai Sports Council; Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC)/Trakhees; Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), Dubai Air Navigation Services and Dubai Airports. The group participated in a whopping 98 baseline workshops, cutting their collective paper consumption by 62.77% by November 2020 exceeding their target of 50%

2020 also saw the launch of the ‘100% Digital Stamp’ initiative, which seeks to recognize entities that made outstanding efforts to implement the Dubai Paperless Strategy, offering their services via fully digital mediums backed by an efficient internal digital infrastructure. The ‘Stamp’ is awarded every six months to government entities that have fully implemented the Strategy, in an effort to guarantee that paper will no longer be requested or produced at government entities – whether in customer transaction or intra-governmental operations.

Finally, group five – the most recent group to enroll in the strategy – saw nine new entities join the effort in May 2020: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre; Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects; Dubai Future Foundation; The Supreme Legislation Committee in the Emirate of Dubai (SLC); Professional Communication Corporation (NEDAA); The Executive Council in the Emirate of Dubai (TEC); Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF); Dubai Government Workshop (DGW), and Dubai Civil Defense (DCD). The group is taking part in an ongoing series of workshops that seek to define paperless plans for participating entities, with the end goal of cutting paper consumption across the nine entities by 50% by December 2020.

On the same note, Smart Dubai went on to reveal that significant progress has been made on the Paperless Dashboard, where, as of June 2020, 30 entities and 182 users have access to an automated paperless achievement dashboard, which was launched for government entities to track their progress, offering advanced analytics and tools.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy is set to be implemented across all Dubai Government entities in order to digitize key government services. The strategy focuses on enhancing and improving services and internal processes, through digitization, elimination of unnecessary documents, and further utilization of intra-governmental shared services provided by Smart Dubai.


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