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| 23 September, 2017

Dubai ruler pushes for 'smart' services

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends the Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse.  Image used for illustrative purpose.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends the Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Caren Firouz
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved on Saturday an initiative titled 'A Day without Service Centres'.

Launched by the Dubai Department of Finance (DOF), the initiative aims to encourage customers to turn to smart channels to complete government services and transactions. Transactions requiring payments at customer service centres operating in Dubai will be stopped for one day. The DoF has started coordinating with all government entities in Dubai to implement the initiative to close service centres across the emirate for a day on October 26, 2017.

"Instantly, all government entities across Dubai government have started cooperating to make the initiative a success," said Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, DoF director-general.

"Customer service centres will dedicate their efforts on October 26 to spread awareness among customers of the importance of transformation to smart channels to complete transactions, whether via smart apps or the web. On that day, all transactions requiring payments will be stopped for one day at the centres, but will remain available through all smart channels," Al Saleh added.

Jamal Hamed Al Mari, executive director of central accounts sector at DoF, said service transactions provided by many government entities in Dubai on October 26 will be available only via smart channels, including 'Dubai Now' app and other government apps available for smartphones. "There will also be the web-based channels via computers and centres will resume normal operations after that date," he said.

The initiative 'A Day without A Service Centre' will be held annually.

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"We will announce the names of centres and services that will be suspended on October 26 so that everybody will be ready to go for smart channels on that day," Al Mari added.

On October 26, service counters at government centres in Dubai will stop receiving customers with transactions that can be done via alternative smart channels. However, transactions that require presence in person at the service centres will continue as usual.

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