Dubai mandates use of single digital ID system across government

By on 28/05/2020
The UAE PASS initiative is being driven by Smart Dubai, the government office charged with collaborating with the private sector and with academia to drive technological innovation and the smart city agenda. (Photo by Nizam Abdul Latheef via Pexels).

Dubai residents are to use a single digital identity to access more than 5,000 government services in the city and other parts of the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE PASS, which provides an authorised digital ID through a smartphone app, eliminates the need to physically visit customer service centres and submit paper documents. Through the app, individuals can access government services using a single username and password, and use a digital signature feature to sign official documents.

The app was launched nationally in 2018, but it was announced earlier this month that it would become the sole digital identity used by citizens and expats in Dubai ­– replacing other official IDs. The decision to mandate the pass, made by the Strategic Affairs Council, was motivated by the ID’s potential to drive public service development and to enhance communication between local and federal bodies and the private sector.

It is hoped the announcement will accelerate the rate of adoption – the app has so far been downloaded by 200,000 people – and lay the foundations for digital transformation across government.

The initiative is being driven by Smart Dubai, the government office charged with collaborating with the private sector and with academia to drive technological innovation and the smart city agenda.   

Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, said: “As we launch a policy for UAE PASS being the official gateway to access all Dubai government services, we reap the fruits of years of hard work. This project has grown tremendously, setting an example to be followed in the way of joint government cooperation, and working together to develop national projects that serve all segments of the community, be they citizens or residents, and help them save time, effort, and resources.”

She added that the app, which was launched in partnership with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, supports the Dubai Paperless Strategy and the leadership’s vision “to build future-ready smart cities”.

The decision to make the UAE PASS the sole digital ID for the city forms part of ‘The Digital Future’, an initiative developed by Smart Dubai as part of the ‘Government Development Track’ – a 100-day plan to boost the smart transformation of UAE governments. It is one of six ‘tracks’ announced by the Dubai Council, launched at the beginning of 2020.

About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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