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Naturalisation agency to phase out cash payments

posted on 21/02/2001: 1089 views

The use of cash to pay visa and other fees at the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Administration will be a thing of the past within six months. All payments will be made in e-dirhams or by credit card, officials said. "Since we are a service-oriented department, the focus is on the consumer and how to facilitate his transactions within the framework of the law," said Major Khaled Lootah, head of the DNRA's IT Department. "We started building the necessary infrastructure in preparation for this move two years ago," he added. It is part of a larger scheme to simplify immigration-related transactions through the use of information technology. Col Saeed Mattar bin Beleila, DNRA's Director-General, met the e-government committee on February 19 for preliminary talks on strategy. There are now four electronic systems on the department's website - - said Lootah at a press conference yesterday.

The Department has pursued its strategy using two channels: business to consumer, and business to business. Two services are currently on offer for government bodies and large corporations: e-form ( and online ( The e-form is free of charge and basically involves entering data through the Internet and printing out a receipt. The process is similar to the "brick and mortar" one. It requires a signature and hand delivery to the airport. The online service requires a fee, but it promises a response in 18 hours. Over 5,000 visas have been issued through this method since it was launched in mid-December. However, there are no concrete plans yet to launch similar services for the individual. The DNRA's online services have been developed in conjunction with world leaders in information technology, including NCR, Oracle, Microsoft, Compaq and Symbol Technologies. (The Gulf News)


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