Dubai becomes first government to go paperless, saving $350 million

Dubai crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said on Saturday that the city has launched a 100 percent paperless plan

Dubai crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said on Saturday that the city has launched a 100 percent paperless plan, which is a huge step toward sustainability. The prince emphasised that the Emirati state is the first in the world to make such a daring decision, citing savings of 1.3 billion Dirham ($350 million) and 14 million man hours.

All internal and external transactions in the Dubai government will now be 100 percent digital and administered through a comprehensive online service platform, according to the initiative, which was unveiled on December 11 by the Dubai Media Office.

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The Dubai Paperless Strategy, which was established in 2012, stipulated that no government employee or consumer would be required to print documents unless they so desired. All printing will be completed at service or typing centres that have been officially hired to do so.

The Paperless Strategy has been implemented in five phases, according to a new release quoted by Gulf Business. A distinct set of Dubai government agencies has been enlisted for each step. Around 45 Emirati government agencies will be able to provide more than 1,800 digital services and 10,500 significant transactions by the end of the fifth phase.

“The attainment of this aim represents the start of a new stage in Dubai’s journey to digitise life in all of its dimensions – a journey rooted in innovation, creativity, and a focus on the future,” said crown prince Sheikh Hamdan in a statement on Saturday.

Prince Shiekh Hamdan went on to say that the government also wants to apply advanced regulations to create an updated digital experience in Dubai over the next 50 years, which is a much-needed step in the wake of global climate change concerns.

He also stated that digitisation will “meet the aspirations of the citizens of a thriving smart city and give them with renewed chances for wealth, sustainable development, and happiness,” in the hopes that the new phase will “enable and empower” future governments.

For the uninitiated, the Dubai Paperless Strategy was launched with an initial set of six entities: Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity, Dubai Water Authority (DEWA), Department of Economic Development, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Department of Land and Property.

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According to a statement reported by PTI, the paperless government’s first phase reduced paper usage by 72.5 million sheets. In the second phase, eight Dubai entities joined the initiative.

With the inclusion of nine more departments to the initiative, Dubai cut paper use by an extra 12.9 million pages by the end of 2019.

Overall, the policy has saved the Emirati state more than 1.3 billion dirhams ($350 million) and over 14 million man hours across the Dubai government, according to the crown prince’s statement.

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