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Electronic Link is the Answer


Amid people’s concerns and many responsibilities, requesting some official documents and updating them to achieve some transactions, becomes a tedious and tiring matter not everyone can bear, and the ones who do, would bear it grudgingly for the time, effort and money such tasks would cost them, as institutions are far apart, and achieving transactions is different in terms of the time and how it is done, from one federal and local institution to another. And if we as youth possess all the material and human means to achieve our transaction, we can only imagine the suffering which the elderly and people with special needs in the country have to go through when having to complete this kind of transactions and in preparing many documents required to achieve their transitions, which are considered their lifeblood.

The United Arab Emirates is considered today among the countries which has made great strides in the area of electronic services provided by the country’s federal and local institutions, but the reality in some institutions confirms that the progress in achieving electronic transactions is not moving at the same pace, as there is disparity between one department and another, and between one minister and another. Furthermore, despite our keenness as a country on achieving transactions electronically, we are yet to achieve an electronic link between all local and federal institutions, despite the time and effort such link would save and the services it will provide, as it well create one electronic file for each individual in the country, containing social and marital status, health file, family school commitments and other information which would save the person the trouble of having to visit every institution and department separately to prove marriage, divorce or studying continuity, or property list or any other matters requiring confidentiality in dealing by the system.

The unified electronic link might represent a problem to some departments and institutions collecting fees from issuing this kind of documents, but in fact tiring individuals and places too much pressure on them in a country looking to enable its citizens of achieving their transactions via personal mobile phones, while the aspiration of the individuals are still at reducing burdens related to frequent and periodic visits to institutions to issue certificates and documents that are supposed to be of the data included in the a population registered in the country, that is updated on mandatory form to help employees achieve transactions without tiring customers.

UAE Population is not the number that is too high to achieve a database about its individuals, and we now have the ID card which could help, through developing it and reshaping its objectives, to be the link tool between our federal institutions as a first step followed by the local ones.

Electronic Banking

In a recent study conducted by “ATKEARNEY Middle East”, outlooks suggested that the Online Banking in the United Arab Emirates will triple by the end of the next 5 years, and that the actual users of these service will increase by around 25% of the banks customers, compared to 18% currently. The study also suggests that the turnout for using these services among new customers will increase from around 5% currently to more than 25% by the end of the same period.

The study notes that the UAE banks in particular and the GCC in general, owns, more than ever, opportunities to offer their services online, and cited many seasons for that, on top of which economic growth and diversity, as well as the population growth, both factors help widen the banking services market in general, and in parallel with this, the increase of the online banking is from one aspect due to the relative weight of the youth in the society, and on the other hand, the expansion of the middle class.

This is a logical relationship considering that the youth in any society, are often the highest population category that are able to deal with new technology, therefore, the increase in their relative weight in the UAE society and the GCC Society in general, means a matching increase in the number of those able to use the internet as a mean to obtain banking services.

In this context, one cannot consider the study by “ATKEARNEY Middle East” away from the development in the UAE society in general, where the number of internet users is equal to 4 fifths of the population, and in which the PC, internet and modern communication means are used in performing daily work in the governmental and private institutions, and in achieving daily personal issues, as well as the high percentage of Infrastructure Readiness in the country, which was praised by a number of international institutions, especially the “International Economic Forum” in the reports issued with relation to international competitiveness, in addition to the growing role of the banking sector and the financial services in general as a pivotal sector in the UAE economy, under the policy of the country in line with its objectives of becoming an international financial and business center. In addition to that, there is an increase in the large international institutions and companies operating in the country, with its vast connections and what come with that of increase demand on such electronic services.

Although there are still some potential challenges facing the online banking in the country over the coming years, as mentioned in the study of “ATKEARNEY Middle East”, the efforts in place by the country through its various institutions to overcome these challenges, and the policy of openness to the world and the effective merging with the international economy adopted by the country, represents a comprehensive umbrella and fertile environment for the UAE banking sector, helping it to expand locally, regionally and internationally, pushing it to expand in providing its services via electronic means in order to facilitate access to such services from the UAE and abroad.

Saif and Security

In his discussion in the Government Summit sessions, His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister presented his speech in complete clarity and transparency regarding the security of the country. He assured the secure future of the country thanks to God first and thanks to its sons and daughters who are willing to protect it with all their strength.

We felt proud by displaying a new stage in the journey of building the nation led by loyal men and women. They chose to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors in protecting human rights.

We know His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a brilliant minister who was able to change people’s point of view of the policeman; the policeman is no longer that person used by parents to scare their children but he is their friend. Police work was unprecedentedly and significantly developed in the country, but in his direct speech, he touched upon many aspects in the audience’s feelings thanks to his beautiful presentation as we did not feel we were listening to a military person, whose speech usually does not lack warnings, spreading fear, toughness and power.

Saif Bin Zayed said what he wanted regarding the security issue in a smooth manner drawing the attention of his audience. His speech was far from mundane or superficial. He relied on images, storytelling, events, example and situations in addition to his calm and flowing style.

The results of the Government Summit exceeded all expectations and met the citizens’ ambitions and aspirations towards their government, which stressed in the Summit sessions that the citizen is top priority for His Highness the UAE President.

The Ministry of Cabinet Affairs is recognized for its good organization and preparation of this national summit that was successful on all levels in addition to the beautiful and harmonious relationship that links people with their leaders in our country, a relationship desired by people in any part of the world.

We look forward to mini summits similar to this one to be held by the various sectors for their customers to break ice and enable large space for discussion and free expression of their thoughts where they can share their suggestions and opinions in drafting policies and work techniques.


How to be an effective person?


Many people confuse effectiveness with effort, while there is a vast difference between the two, for example: someone might drive a car with high efficiency, but if the he was going the wrong way, then his work would not be effective. And if the airplane flying from London to Moscow deviated one degree off course, it would eventually land in Cairo.

And the one who is always busy may not be effective, as he might be busy doing little things that do not add much to his mission in life, while keeping him occupied from doing the important matters, so the famous rule “I am busy, so I am effective” is not right.

The foundations of effectiveness are the essence before the appearance and the balance between the productivity and the ability to produce.

First: Essence before Appearance:

The purity of essence means that you are a valuable person building your life on the basis of established values like justice, tolerance, honesty and straightforwardness, as with such values you became great in essence and will use that essence in the good, and then become a true effective personality.

The real greatness lies in the greatness within, in your values and principles that colors your entire life, and not – as some might think- in the certificates you own or skills you acquire, as the effectiveness with all its importance comes from within, in your uniformity with yourself, your values and your principles, and many are mistaken when they concentrate on skill acquisition and possession of certificates, and forget about values and principles.

And some would demote skills or belittle certificates, and this is not right, as no one can omit the importance of these means to the development of the nation and the creation of life, but it is like the body, that is worth nothing without the soul, and the soul is that essence inside you.

To explain the difference between the appearance and the essence, picture someone possessing communication skills, and enrolled in tens of seminars about effective convincing and listening, building relations, interesting talk and many others skills. This person is supposed to be an expert in the human relations and influencing others, but that is only the appearance. And if we added the appearance to the essence, the result will sure be effectiveness.

Second: The Balance between productivity and the ability to produce:

Some might consider effectiveness in the form of “The more you produce the more effective you are”, when the truth is that effectiveness is made of two main parts: Productivity or the product, and the source of productivity or ability to produce.

So it is a scale, on the right hand you have productivity and on the left hand you have ability to produce. And if you outweighed and concentrated on productivity, you should expect a dropped health, worn out nerves, sever life pressures, less time with family, lost kids and a long chain of repeated failures and frustrations.

On the other hand, if you outweighed the ability to produce and concentrated on that, then you are like someone who discovered the importance of sports and started practicing it for 10 times a day, while neglecting work and productivity.

Steven Covey says: “effectiveness lies in the balance and the excessive focus on production results in health deterioration, worn out of machinery, bank account drainage and broken relations. And excessive in dealing with the ability to produce is like someone who runs for 3 or 3 hours a day, vain of the ten years he will add to his life, not aware that is wasting it in running”


ID World Abu Dhabi Summit

“ID World Abu Dhabi Summit 2013” starts tomorrow, for which, Emirates Identity Authority invited government bodies, banking, information and telecommunication sectors to nominate their representatives to attend the summit, which starts its activities under the patronage of His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Deputy Chairman of the Emirates Identity Authority.

The summit is part of the technical advancement march started a long time ago by the United Arab Emirates, which had a great influence on motivating growth paces at high unprecedented rates, which made the orientation firm in settling the “Technical Development” in reality, action and culture. It may not be possible to show the full effect during the seventies of the last century, but it will fully highlighted with the 21st Century Generation, that set out like an arrow towards building knowledge bases in the technology field, which bode well for the development and the country achieving leadership status in scientific, practical and civilized areas.

Maybe the interest in the coming generation preceded the technological development itself, as the technology language became common, smooth and easy among the growing generation who took modern means as postulates, necessities and national, individual and community obligations, so they merged with these technologies and it merged in the generation culture, until there is no young man or woman that is linked to the technological culture in its various manifestations, shapes and contents.

Emirates Identity Authority did good by inviting the Higher Education Institutions to encourage students of scientific research to contribute in the summit and view the latest international directions in the areas related to the Advanced Digital ID Systems, which would enable them to prepare scientific researches in the field of digital ID and develop and design innovated software and electronic application contributing to the reinforcement of the “smart” ID card role, increasing its usability and efficiency in facilitating and simplifying the services in the public and private sections in the country.

Such an invitation should be generalized and should become part of the conventions, summits and meetings held by the authorities and institutions, so that the youth would be present in their activities and contribute in their discussions and the shaping of its ideas and recommendations, because the youth may present many creative, excellent and constructive ideas to these summits and meetings, and the youth would also gain the summits and meetings experience, avail fresh information, as the participants in such international summits are keen on presenting the latest ideas and propositions in such areas that develop by the second, especially that the summit will review in its sixth session this year, and over 2 days, more than 50 specialized local and international worksheets, with the participation of an elite decision makers worldwide in many of the areas linked to the “smart” ID systems, and the digital ID recognition systems. This makes it an opportunity for the students and employees of the government institutions to merge in the technological society through summits that combine the scientific visions, academic researches and social discussions carrying the visions of many sectors of the business and other professions’ community.

Emirates ID and the greatest achievement

Some 9 years have elapsed since the Emirates Identity Authority was established in 2004. Subsequently, the Emirates ID entered the post-population registration stage after it had accomplished the greatest achievement of registering the majority of the UAE population in the ID card.

This means that the Emirates ID has a real and official figure of the UAE population, both citizens and residents, by the end of 2012. It also means that it possesses the actual number of the existing nationalities living in the UAE. It further means that it is fully aware of the number of each nationality of the existing communities residing in the state.

It is not only this, but the Emirates ID has statistics for the number of citizens and that of residents and a lot of information, data and characteristics of the segments of the society.

As far as this significant issue is concerned, the Emirates ID is required only to reveal the UAE population and how many of them were registered in the system by the end of 2012, enabling us to be aware of the number of our citizens, which is small and outnumbered by some communities in an unparalleled example all over the world except some neighboring countries that are experiencing the same concerns and harms from the repercussions of the demographic imbalance and the multi-national demographic problems that had and still have a great effect on the national identity.

Taking into consideration the small number of citizens and the ramifications of the demographic imbalance and its effect on the national identity, it is incumbent on us to hasten the pace to find a solution this disorder and correct this inverted situation inverted, which has become the obsession and concern of every loyal citizen to this country. We must find a demographic policy that brings the influx of expatriates into a minimum, particularly the unskilled ones, who no only are unable to serve the UAE’s trend towards a knowledge-based economy but also add the UAE’s heavy burdens and contribute to increasing the demographic imbalance.

Secondly, we must reconsider those communities which outnumber citizens by striking a balance between the two sides and trying to reduce the numbers of these communities as compared to citizens, who should naturally be larger in number.

Excellence in eCommerce

In a recent report on the eCommerce market in the GCC countries by Visa international, one of the world’s leading payment solutions providers, the UAE came first among the GCC countries, account for the largest share of around 60% of the total volume of the market, which was valued at $3.3 billion by the end of 2011. The report clarified that around 42 per cent of the UAE population use eCommerce solutions. According to data issued by the Digital Economy Study Center (MADAR), eCommerce in the UAE grows at an annual rate of 15 per cent. This compares to an annual growth rate of no more than 10 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to cashU, a secure online payment service provider.

Thesestatistics have significant implications for the national economy in a stage that witnesses an increasing importance of eCommerce asextremely beneficial and an effective tool that can be used by businesses to reach new markets, implement promotional campaigns to attract new customers and rapidly interact with the aspirations and tastes of consumers on a regular basis. In addition, eCommerce solutions offer the possibility of expanding activities without the need to bear more operating costs.Aboveall, dependence on these solutions reduces the chances of human errors.

In general, it can be said that the regional superiority of the UAE in the field of e-commerce is attributed to several important factors. These are:First: the favorable and secure environment provided by the UAEfor practicing eCommerce, starting withthe sophisticated and secure technological infrastructurethrough to compact and flexible  legislation to deployment of technological applications among the various components of the society. This has rendered eCommerce a secure and reliable link for settling transactions between the companies producing or promoting a commodity or service on the one hand and customers on the other.

Second:the awareness of the individuals of the society of the importance of eCommerce as an indispensable tool of the modern age, coupled with their adoption of eCommerce as a way for shopping and fulfilling needs and their great confidence in eCommerce as a secure and reliable alternative in order not to be exposed to the risks of electronic information thefts or commercial fraud.

Third: the great importance of the retail sector as a vital activity and a significant source of income in the national economy coupled with the UAE’s interest in the shopping tourism as an alternative for attractingtourists to it. Thishelped expand the movement of companies operating in the trade and tourism sectorin the UAE and motivated them to invest in the electronic provision of their services and accept online payment alternatives as a substitute for traditional payment for settling their transactions with customers.

Fourth: the attention paid by the UAE to the trade sector, coupled with its distinguished geographical location and its ability to play the role of commercial and financial hub at the regional level. This helped the UAE attract a large number of major international companies that depended heavily on eCommerce solutions for promoting and selling their products in the UAE market or regional markets or contactingtheir branches round the world.

The Deadline

The deadline for residency violators will expire next Monday. The two-month deadline will lead to the departure of thousands of workers and residents whose stay in the UAE is mot in line with the applicable laws and regulations. In recent years, the competent authorities tended to stiffen the punishment of the violators of both the labor law and the expatriates entry and residence law with double punishment in case of return. The issue is hot; it was so in the past and will be so in future. What then is the deadline that will expire next Monday for? Why does the Ministry of Interior announce the application of a deadline for offenders during which they can leave the country without paying fines? Why does the Ministry of Interior launch an awareness campaign prior to and concurrent with the deadline? Why do the mass media bother about the two-month deadline and track it almost day after day? What is the deadline “philosophy” for?

Talking sensibly, our organizations aspire for an environment for workers and the population which is as clean and violation-free as possible. They are doing their utmost to reach this goal. The deadline in this context is not and end; it is a way to ease the lives of people, employers, sponsors and the offenders themselves. This is a country of justice and fairness, and those who want to respond to the call of law and order are invited to show up.

The deadline will expire next Monday, what then?

The signals and directives of the Ministry of Interior stressed the importance and need to respond; otherwise, stricter measures will be taken against those who did not benefit from the opportunity. The awaited measures are logical, and from one of its perspectives, the deadline has a message to give to the UAE society: The UAE is determined to address the labor and demographic file. In this connection, the Federal National Council is launching initiatives, and so are the ministries of interior and labor and the Emirates Identity Authority through the ID card and population register system.

The message is meant to be sent to the whole community and to the offenders who did not respond, some of who are citizens, more than others.

The UAE government is very serious about reviewing and addressing the phenomenon with the aim of putting an end to it and minimizing its effects, particularly in terms of  the offenders’ crimes. Hence, every citizen and resident is kindly requested to consider himself as part of the solution, i.e. to start himself first and move then to those workers and sponsored people who call him.

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