Dubai's e-government services fare better than Europe

The online availability of basic services in Dubai is higher than in Europe. Dubai's score of 76% is marginally higher than that of Finland, which holds the fourth position in Europe, according to Madar Research Group.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  January 6, 2004

The online availability of basic services in Dubai is higher than in Europe. Dubai's score is marginally higher than that of Finland, which holds the fourth position in Europe, according to Madar Research Group. These findings are featured in a study on ‘Dubai Knowledge Economy 2003-2004’ carried out by the Dubai-based Madar Research Group, based on a methodology adopted by the European Commission, for evaluating the level of online availability of EU basic public services. The study covered 19 basic services - 9 for individuals and 10 for businesses-provided by Dubai e-government through the Internet as on October 31, 2002, after surveying 226 services. The study placed Dubai's online availability of basic public services at 76.4 %, against Finland's 76 %. Further, the online percentages of basic public services provided to businesses stood at 85.2 % and to individuals at 67.7 %. Some 30% of Dubai government's basic services to individuals got scores that correspondent to the highest possible level of online availability, while 44 % of services provided to businesses also achieved full score. The study showed that 66.7% of the basic services provided by Dubai's free zones to their partners were available online. “The recognition earned by Dubai e-government in different surveys and studies, both local and international, in just 2 years is no small achievement, since European countries have a head start of several years. The fact that we have not only caught up with them, but in some cases even surpassed them is a reflection of the e-vision,” says Salem Al Shair, director e-services, Dubai e-government. Dubai e-government is a government initiative to providing online services through the internet with new channels like mDubai, e4all which uses mobile devices and computers to reach customers or citizens through the e-government portal www.dubai.ae. “The year 2004 will see Dubai e-government adding a host of more innovative services and reaching closer to the goal of seamless integration, the ultimate image of any e-government,” adds Al Shair The 'online percentage' of a service is determined by the extent to which it is possible to carry out a service electronically. The scores were given on the basis of the classification in the four stages of e-government: online information, downloading of applications, two-way interaction, including authentication, and transaction, including handling, decision and delivery. The online services covered in the community category were visas, job search, payment of utility bills, personal documents, car registration, declaration to the police, public libraries, birth & marriage certificates, enrolment in higher education and health-related services. The business services included visas, local fees collection, engineering services (construction), company registration, legal services, customs declarations, environment-related permits, and public procurement and free zones establishment.

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