In May 2013, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the start of an ambitious step – UAE’s transition into a smart government. (1)
This step has encouraged all other government entities to follow the same steps and make the transition from traditional ways of governance.
Most government entities in the UAE have an online channel to pay for their services, anyone can apply for their services online and pay through their dedicated website. Furthermore, any utilities can be paid online such as water bills, electricity bills, traffic fines and many more. (2)
There were many government initiatives following Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s announcement of the UAE smart government initiative, which was in line with the UAE’s 2021 vision, and here are a few:
This strategy was set to transform Dubai into an entirely smart city, and under this strategy, 1000 government services would go smart by 2017. It had 6 pillars and 100 initiatives on transportation, communication, infrastructure, electricity, economic services, and urban planning.
Also, Dubai has launched many smart apps so that residents and citizens can pay for all government services such as the Dubai Now app. (3)
100% Paperless Stamp
This strategy aims to build a perfectly integrated paperless government infrastructure that enables the transformation of the Dubai government’s traditional services into digital ones by December 2021. (4)
UAE mGovernment Initiative
Referred to as the Mobile Government initiative, it was launched in May 2013 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum to make government services available around the clock.
Sheikh Mohammed’s objective was to make government services and service centres accessible for all customers wherever they are, through their smartphones. (5)
Smart Abu Dhabi
One of the initiatives that the government of Abu Dhabi has launched is the TAMM service, which is a portal provides all of Abu Dhabi’s government services and information for all citizens and residents without the need to visit government entities or their websites. (6)
This project was launched after the Smart City Initiative announcement to build cities that rely on renewable energy and smart solutions for UAE residents. One of those cities is Masdar city in Abu Dhabi. (7)
Online Payment Options
There are several online payment options that are available in the UAE:
- eDirham: eDirham has been launched by the ministry of finance in 2011 to facilitate paying for all governmental and non-governmental services, and it is widely used by many government entities in the UAE. (8) (9)
- Payment cards for transportation: There are several payment cards that are specifically made for transportation such as Hafilat card in Abu Dhabi for public fares, Nol card in Dubai, which can be used for all transport services, and Mawaqif, for public parking fares.
- Electronic kiosks: Government service providers have installed electronic kiosks in malls, business centres and other public places to make it easier for everyone to utilise their services.
As we have listed in the above, most government entities in the UAE provide online, mobile, and electronic payment services on their websites, and here are 10 of the UAE’s government entities that accept credit cards and online payments:
- Abu Dhabi Police
- Dubai Police
- Department of Health
- Department of Energy
- Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
- Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority
- Federal Electricity and Water Authority
- Dubai Municipality
- Abu Dhabi Municipality
(11) (12) (13) (14)
Pay Online, Simply, and Easily
In addition to the mentioned government services, there are many banks in the UAE that offer a variety of services that allow anyone to pay their utility bills and any other payments. One of the most prominent is ADCB’s simply life, as it allows you to pay any of your bills using your Simply Life credit card, while offering cardholders many great benefits, such as 1% cashback.
Innovative solutions like online payments are made to make life easier and smarter, wherein these advancements are eradicating dated payment methods and bringing the world closer to becoming fully integrated with technology. The UAE has been leading the Middle East in many sectors, and specifically in turning its cities into smart ones, setting an example for all countries in the region.