Dubai becomes world’s first paperless government
December 2021: Officials in Dubai confirmed that the emirate had become the world’s first paperless government, thereby achieving the objectives of the Dubai Paperless Strategy which was launched in 2018.
With the Dubai Paperless Strategy fully implemented, no employee or customer of the Dubai government will need to print any paper documents or transactions, unless they personally prefer to do so. Printing can be done at service or typing centres.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy was implemented in five consecutive phases, each of which enlisted a different group of Dubai government entities. By the end of the fifth phase, the strategy was fully implemented across all 45 government entities in the emirate. These entities provide more than 1,800 digital services and over 10,500 key transactions.
Collaboration among participating entities enabled the automation of processes and services provided to customers, cutting paper consumption by more than 336 million papers. The strategy also helped save more than Dhs1.3bn and over 14 million man hours across the Dubai government.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy was launched in 2018 with an initial group of six entities: Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Department of Economic Development, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and the Department of Land and Property.
Stage one helped cut paper usage by more than 72.5 million sheets of papers.
The second phase followed in 2019, with eight additional entities joining: Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality; Dubai Public Prosecution; Knowledge and Human Development Authority; Dubai Health Authority; Community Development Authority; Dubai Customs;and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, who succeeded in reducing paper usage and saving more than 229.5 million sheets of papers.
At the end of 2019, the third phase of the strategy was announced with a new group of nine entities, namely: Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Dubai Media Incorporated, Department of Finance, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, Dubai Culture, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, and the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department. The group collectively cut paper consumption by more than 12.9 million sheets.
Phase four began in March 2020, with a new group of 10 entities joining the effort to implement the strategy: 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 – Trakhees; Dubai Maritime City Authority; Dubai Air Navigation Services; and Dubai Airports. The group reduced paper consumption by more than 11.9 million sheets of paper.
The fourth phase also included the launch of the ‘100 per cent Digital Stamp’ initiative, which aimed to honour government entities that make significant efforts to fully implement the Dubai Paperless Strategy and provide smart services.
The fifth and final phase of implementing began in June 2020, with nine new entities joining the effort: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre; Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects; Dubai Future Foundation; Supreme Legislation Committee; Nedaa Professional Communication Corporation; Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation; Dubai Government Workshop; and the Directorate General of Civil Defense Dubai. The group saved more than 8.2 million sheets of paper in total.
Two additional government entities also recently joined the Dubai Paperless Strategy: The Financial Audit Authority Dubai and Dubai Chamber. The two entities achieved their strategic goals by 100 per cent and saved more than 938,000 sheets of paper.
“Four years ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had a vision that no Dubai government employee or customer would need to print any paper document after 2021,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. “Today, that promise has been fulfilled.”
As part of its digitalization efforts and to support customers through the transition, the government’s DubaiNow app now allows access to more than 130 smart city services across 12 major categories.