Wednesday 19 May 2021 - 7:48:05 am

Smart Dubai announces latest updates on progress of Dubai Paperless Strategy


DUBAI, 1st March, 2021 (WAM) -- Smart Dubai revealed the progress 41 government entities have made in implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy, where they sought to reduce their paper consumption by half within the first six months of joining the effort, and continue moving forward towards 100 percent digitisation by the end of 2021.

The figures were announced during a virtual session Smart Dubai organised with Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive Council of Dubai; Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director-General of Smart Dubai, CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, and Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, in attendance, along with Directors-General and officials from government entities that are taking part in implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy.

Collectively, large entities successfully cut their paper consumption by 83.86 percent by December 2020, which is equivalent to 232.07 million sheets of paper. Meanwhile, medium entities reduced their consumption by 76.23 percent or 10.64 million sheets, whereas small entities achieved a 77.3 percent reduction in consumption, equivalent to more than 27.17 million sheets of paper.

Smart Dubai awarded the 100 percent Digital Stamp, which recognises the government entities that have fully implemented the Dubai Paperless Strategy, to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council, and the Dubai Statistics Centre.

DEWA saved 22.63 million sheets of paper it normally uses every year, while Dubai Municipality saved 20.9 million sheets, the Dubai Sports Council 408,623, and the Dubai Statistics Centre eliminated the use of 172,129 sheets of paper used annually, edging closer to the goal of 100 percent digital transformation of the city.

In addition to the results, Smart Dubai announced the beginning of the countdown to establish the Dubai Government as the world’s first paperless government by fully implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy across all government entities in the emirate. No Dubai Government entity will issue any internal or external paper documents after 12/12/2021, running completely paperless transactions.

While congratulating the four entities that earned the 100 percent Digital Stamp, Younus Al Nasser said, "With clear directives and a constant overview by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Paperless Strategy is an important milestone in the Dubai Government’s digital transformation, and a key factor in the effort to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city on Earth."

"And now, the countdown has started as the Dubai Government prepares to completely do away with paper across all government entities by December 12, 2021. The close collaboration among government entities and the tremendous efforts they have put in played an immense role in achieving this objective. We are confident that the strong partnership between Smart Dubai and various government entities will expedite the city’s comprehensive digital transformation," he added.

For his part, Wesam Lootah noted, "The total decrease in paper consumption for all entities implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy was 82.82 percent, saving 269.8 million sheets of paper."

"Overall, the Strategy helped save AED1.13 billion, over 12.1 million hours of labor, and 32,388 trees that would have been cut down to produce paper," he added.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy was rolled out over several phases, each of which bringing in a new group of Dubai Government entities looking to cut their paper consumption by 50 percent in the first six months.

Group one brought the initial six entities into the strategy in February 2018. These were the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, 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 percent by the end of 2018.

In February 2019, group two joined the initiative with nine new entities, bringing the total number of participants to 15. This group consisted of Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Public Prosecution, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Community Development Authority, Dubai Customs, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), and Smart Dubai. The group took part in 64 workshops, cutting its paper consumption by 57.5 percent by the end of 2019.

Group three was brought in September 2019, where nine additional entities joined the effort, bringing the total to 24 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 workshops and managed to reduce their paper consumption by 60.4 percent by April 2020.

In February 2020, group four saw the largest single intake of new government entities with 10 Dubai Government departments joining the strategy, bringing the total to 34 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. The group participated in a whopping 98 workshops, cutting their paper consumption by 62.77 percent by November 2020.

In March 2020, group five joined the initiative with seven government entities, bringing the total to 41 government entities. The seven entities taking part in this phase of the Strategy are the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Dubai Future Foundation, Supreme Legislation Committee in Dubai, Professional Communication Corporation (Nedaa), The Executive Council of Dubai, and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. They collaboratively managed to cut their paper consumption by 89.89 percent by December 2020 – which is 5.1 million sheets of paper, out of the total 5.69 million sheets they previously consumed.

The Dubai Paperless Strategy is set to be implemented across all Dubai Government entities in order to digitize key government services, and for citizens and residents to benefit from the DubaiNow application where all Dubai Government to individual services will be offered through one unified platform. 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.

The Strategy was designed with three primary objectives in mind: to meet and satisfy customers’ need and provide seamless, integrated, and proactive services; ensure global competitiveness and position Dubai as the world’s leading digital city; and boost government efficiency to save operational costs and ensure better utilisation of government resources through streamlining and digitizing processes and services provided to individuals and the business sector.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR