All Dubai government service centres will be closed on this day

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday approved 'A Day without Service Centres' initiative, which aims to encourage customers to turn to smart channels to obtain government services and complete transactions.

The Dubai Department of Finance, DoF, has launched the initiative and started co-ordinating with all government entities in Dubai to close service centres across the emirate for a day, on 26th October, 2017. This comes as part of the vital role DOF plays as an established central entity concerned with collecting public revenues for the Dubai government.

Speaking about the project, Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of DoF, said, "Instantly, all government entities across the Dubai government have started co-operating to make the initiative a success. This first-of-a-kind initiative comes in with the supreme directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the world's happiest and smartest city. It is also made possible thanks to the support of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, who is following up on the steps taken in this regard.

"DoF plays a key role towards achieving Dubai's vision and strategy aiming to realise full smart transformation in the emirate. I call on all government service entities in Dubai to enhance such constructive co-operation to make 'A Day without Service Centres' initiative a success.

"Customer service centres will dedicate their efforts on Thursday, 26th October, to spread awareness among customers of the importance of transformation to smart channels to complete transactions, whether via smart apps or the web. On that day, all transactions requiring payments will be stopped for one day at the centres but will remain available through all smart channels.

"As per the aims of the 'Leading and Outstanding Government' theme of the Dubai 2021 Strategy, the Dubai government seeks to make life easier for residents and visitors by providing personalised, coherent, smart, and high-quality services via standardised and co-ordinated channels that suit the needs of all concerned categories on one side, and the nature of government entities integration on the other. And hence comes the vital role DoF plays in cementing such a digital transformation of all aspects of life in Dubai," he added.

Jamal Hamed Al Marri, Executive Director of the Central Accounts Sector at DoF, said that service transactions provided by many government entities in Dubai on 26th October, will be available only via smart channels, including the 'Dubai Now' app and other government apps available on smartphones.

"There will also be the web-based channels via computers, and centres will resume normal operations after that date. 'A Day without Service Centres' initiative will be held annually and will see expansion. Participating government entities have expressed their happiness and excitement to take part in the initiative, and promised to work towards making it a success by encouraging customers to go for smart channels. We are working with various government entities to co-ordinate efforts to prepare all customer segments for digital transformation and encourage them to use e-pay via smartphones or computers.

"I invite Dubai residents and visitors to use smart channels more often to complete government transactions, so it becomes part of the day-to-day cultural evolution, thus keeping up with the digital transformation drive in Dubai. We will announce the names of centres and services that will be suspended on 26th October, so that everybody will be ready to go for smart channels on that day," he added.

On 26th October, service counters at government centres in Dubai will stop receiving customers for the transactions that can be completed via alternative smart channels. However, transactions that require presence in person at the service centres will continue as usual.

Completing government transactions via smart channels helps save time, effort and money by eliminating the need to use private or public means of transport and visit crowded roads and service centres. This, in turn, helps in preserving environmental resources, rationalising fuel consumption, and reducing carbon emissions.