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Government services go smart at Dubai expo

posted on 31/03/2015: 1361 views

The latest smart government services and projects are on show at the Dubai Government Achievements Exhibition (DGAE) until Monday.

The exhibition showcases how technology has been transforming the delivery of services over recent years. Many, if not most, services are now available on mobile devices through smart apps.

The push towards smart services is reducing paperwork and waiting lines at traditional service counters — all part of the overarching strategy to transform Dubai into a Smart City, where services are accessible from anywhere at any time.

At DGAE, being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the third time, government departments are promoting their "success stories”, which mostly revolve around technological innovations.

Gulf News combed through the show to highlight some projects at the cutting edge of service delivery.

Dubai Smart Government: New online search engine

Dubai Smart Government (DSG) is demonstrating Search Dubai, a new online search engine that only shows results from Dubai government websites.

"It's like Google, customised for Dubai government services. You will only see results related to our [government] services and websites, everything else will be kept out,” said Wasim Al Ayoubi, senior e-services integration specialist, smart services department, DSG.

He explained that, for instance, a query for "bills” will return the web page of departments such as utility and communication where users can see or pay bills. A similar process will work for "fines”.

What's more, Al Ayoubi added, users don't need to sign in separately for different government websites if they first sign in to Search Dubai using the DSG My ID log in. The option does away with the need to separately register for different websites or remember multiple usernames and passwords.

Dubai Municipality: Fast 3D drone surveys of topography

Dubai Municipality is displaying its new unmanned survey drone that takes thousands of aerial pictures along with capturing topographical and spatial data, which is processed to render one composite 3D image of the survey area.

The image shows elevations, such as hills, and depressions on the surface, which is used to determine what areas need to be "filled” or "cut” to make them level, as part of projects to be built on the land.

The system allows surveyors to cover a wide area, of up to one kilometre square per sortie, reducing the time and effort needed for the same task by humans. The specialised imaging service can be marketed to real estate developers and consultants, allowing the scanning of rugged areas too difficult to reach or cover by officials.

Dubai Police: Radar for special needs parking violations

Dubai Police is displaying their new means of catching traffic violators.

A radar, modelled after the Burj Khalifa, is designed to prevent able-bodied motorists from parking in spaces designated for those with special needs.

"The radar was built by the Police's Traffic Technologies Department,” Major Hussain Ahmad Bin Galaita, Director of the Radar Department at Dubai Police, said. "The radar features two cameras which can take both pictures and video. One camera is aimed at the licence plate of the vehicle while the other identifies the passengers. A steep fine of Dh1,000 and four black points are given to those who illegally park in the special-needs designated zone or fraudulently use the special needs sticker.”

The Burj Tower radar, which uses laser technology to catch speed offenders, was also displayed. It keeps track of offenders on both sides of the road and is capable of detecting various traffic offences, including failure to keep a safe distance.

"We also have another radar which is designated to catch those who unlawfully use the hard shoulder,” Bin Galaita said. "This radar was also designed by Dubai Police.”

Dubai Customs: Smart scans of travellers' baggage

Dubai Customs unveiled an array of innovative projects at the exhibition on Monday. Among them was the Smart Customs Inspection System, which inspects travellers' luggage at airports. The Bags Smart Inspection System has been invented by Dubai Customs and aims to improve the customs experience for air travellers, ensuring smooth and seamless airport procedures.

"The integrated multi-function system is capable of recognising its operator, identifying a passenger's risk level, recommending the safety level for manual inspection referral, and timing the inspection process,” Inspections Manager Ahmad Shehdad said.

"Once the inspection is complete, the system asks for the traveller's feedback and measures their levels of satisfaction and happiness. That way we know how to further develop the system.”

An Advanced Container Scanning System was also displayed at the Dubai Customs stand. The device is the latest world-class integrated system for container X-ray screening and is capable of scanning the contents of 150 containers per hour moving at 8 to 15 km/h — that is one truck every 24 seconds.

Obaid Al Mansouri, duty manager of the Dubai Customs office at the Hatta border, said Dubai Customs had also developed a quad bike to help expedite truck movement.

"The quad bike relieves truck drivers from the trouble from personally going to our offices to clear the entry point. It comes equipped with a laptop but will soon be fitted with a scanner and printer. A number of tedious procedures were eliminated by the simple introduction of this quad bike. Our officers visit the vehicles themselves and finish the inspection process on the spot. As the Hatta road is narrow and subject to bottlenecks, the quad bike quickens the whole inspection process and saves us a lot of time.” – Gulf News -


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