All Dubai Government departments to be paperless in four years, says Sheikh Hamdan

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has said all Dubai Government departments will cease to use paper in four years’ time as part of efforts to curb waste.

Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on the plan by Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr. Reem Mohammed / The National
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DUBAI // All Dubai Government departments will cease to use paper in four years as part of efforts to curb waste, the Crown Prince has said.

The emirate will celebrate the last paper transaction by government in 2021 – a highly ambitious target for officials.

The initiative was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

He said digital transactions will save time and effort and that the department Smart Dubai would oversee the project.

Sheikh Hamdan was briefed by officials, including Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office, on the Dubai Pulse platform, which will host all the emirate’s data and form the backbone of operations.

He said: “While we have already seen a great shift towards digital government transactions, I believe that the future of Dubai’s Government will be entirely paper free.

“The Government will set plans and strategies to ensure the best possible standards of living for people and save them time and effort.”

The Dubai Pulse platform will seek to build on the achievements of the Dubai Smart City project, launched three years ago by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “In the era of information revolution, it is essential to have a central platform to house all the Government’s data.”

Last year, the Crown Prince said using Blockchain – a technology that secures digital transfers of data and transactions – would help cut out the use of paper by 2020, according to state news agency Wam.

At the time it was said the move would save 25 million work hours annually and cut almost 100 million paper transactions.

In 2015, Sheikh Mohammed said almost all of the most essential government transactions, such as bills, had been transferred online, but that it was “no easy challenge” and work was still to be done.

The Dubai Pulse platform will compile all data in both the public and private sectors, providing access for the first time to live and up-to-date data about the city .

Its first layer will be free of charge and will cater to the public. The second will offer a thorough analysis of the data for a fee, while the third layer will serve government agencies alone.

The four-year plan offers smart initiatives, including infrastructure, legislation and applications in line with the requirements of the Dubai 10X initiative, which was launched in February to contribute to the implementation of the vision of Dubai as a city of the future.

The plan is also in line with the UAE Centennial 2071, which was launched in March to make the UAE the best country in the world.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “We are looking to build a truly smart city, one that will use technology as the key to a balanced and happy life.”