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Abu Dhabi government goes online

The 'e-Abu Dhabi' site will provide access to over 500 government services.

Abu Dhabi government's modernisation drive has been given a major boost with the launch of its own e-portal, which is set to become the most in depth system of its kind in the Arab world.

The new 'e-Abu Dhabi' site will provide a single-point of access to over 500 government services. In an effort to encourage the creation of new enterprises in the Emirate, the e-facility will also include specialised business development pages.

Business users will be presented with options such as 'Business Start', 'Business Support', 'International Trade' and 'Rules and Regulations' to help them develop their own companies.

Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Committee (ADSIC) - the government department behind the initiative - said:
"The site is designed to transcend all government departments, authorities and administrations so that they use it as a vital tool in their efforts to deliver modern services to their diverse customer base."

"It took just six months to develop the site," he added.

Charged with the task of delivering services in an efficient, citizen-friendly way, ADSIC was set up in 2005 as part of the Abu Dhabi government's efforts to modernise its operations.

Last month, the Abu Dhabi government's Environment Agency launched an online e-facility, giving residents of the emirate access to a range of environmental services.

The launch of e-services in Abu Dhabi follows the success of the e-governance program in neighbouring emirate, Dubai. Launched in 2000, Dubai 's e-government project was described in a 2005 UN report as having one of the most impressive levels of progress in the world.

As internet penetration continues to increase rapidly across the region, other Middle Eastern governments are expected to launch their own e-services in the next few years.

According to Internet World Statistics there currently around 19.4 million internet users living in the Middle East. Between 2000 and 2007 internet usage in the Middle East has grown 490.1%, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world.