By Greg Wilson
A study by Madar Research indicates that Dubai’s online government services are on a par with those of leading European Union states.
A study conducted by local analyst group, Madar Research, indicates that Dubai’s online government services are on a par with those of leading European Union states. The research group benchmarked Dubai’s services using a standardised methodology, established by the European Commission to gauge comparative progress of e-services development.“Dubai government has made significant progress in 2002 in migrating its basic services, especially those offered to businesses, on the Internet,” says Abdul Kader Kamli, president & research director, Madar Research. “The benchmark test gave Dubai an overall score similar to that of the United Kingdom, which ranks fourth in the European Union in terms of the online availability of basic public services,” said Kamli.According to Madar, Dubai scored 76 points out of 100 in the test, which measured the services' online availability and the level of that availability — whether a service could be fully completed and transacted through the internet.The benchmarking covered 19 public services — nine for businesses and 10 for individual users — that are considered essential, or are most commonly used by companies and the general public in the emirate. The services related to visa and driver's license applications, birth and marriage certificates, job search, utility payments, registration of new companies, municipality permits and fees, customs declaration and other basic services.The study, which was completed in December 2002, also identified that 44% of the ‘business’ e-services are fully transactional, compared with 30% of individual services. Some basic e-services are still under development. The benchmarking test is designed to measure the online availability of services and does not constitute an evaluation of any other criterion for online services such as ease-of-use, functionality and accessibility over a single platform or personalisation.