Digital Dubai

Dubai Officially Becomes The First Government To Go 100% Paperless

We've been hearing for years now about how we're heading towards a paperless society.

It's been a long time coming, and there's still plenty of paper out there. But the Dubai government has made a huge step in becoming the world's first government to go 100 percent paperless.

It's the culmination of a three-year project.

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The Dubai Paperless Strategy, an initiative launched back in 2018, sought to turn the Emirate of Dubai into the world's first fully paperless government.

It took three years, but Dubai has finally reached the milestone and gone fully paperless.

Dubai's Crown Prince made the announcement.

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Sheikh Hamdan din Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, sent out this tweet to commemorate the occasion.

"Today marks the beginning of a new stage in Dubai's journey to digitize life in all its aspects, a journey rooted in innovation, creativity and a focus on the future," he announced.

The move saves some serious money.

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According to the Times of India, Dubai's move to go paperless will save it $1.3 billion Dirham, or $353,924,467 U.S. dollars, and a staggering 14 million individual man hours.

Clearly, the initiative is economical as well as ecological.

How does the strategy work?

Unsplash | JJ Ying

As detailed on the official site for the Dubai Paperless Strategy, the move is aimed at marking Dubai a "smart city of the future and improving happiness levels for staff and citizens alike — saving time, resources and the environment."

It eliminates more than one billion pieces of paper.

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That means that all office memos, all letters and all forms of communication that are traditionally printed on a piece of printer paper are done electronically. It's a massive undertaking. The demand for paper shredders has most likely plummeted.

The government will no longer issue paper documents.

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That means that for the 3.3 million people who live in Dubai, bureaucratic paperwork will no longer be paperwork. It'll be fully electronic.

"That means the government will no longer issue or ask for paper documents across all of its operations," says the Paperless Strategy's site.

What could the savings do?

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"By eliminating the 1 billion pieces of paper used by the government each year, we could save enough money to feed 4 million children, prevent 130,000 trees from being cut down, and save 40 hours of productivity to give people more time to spend doing what they love," reads the site.

Government agencies were given incentives to follow the plan.

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Dubai issued a '100% Paperless' stamp to government entities that were proactive in fully implementing the plan as a way to congratulate the early adopters. The stamp is one of six initiatives that were designed to get agencies on board.

It'll be interesting to see who follows suits.

Unsplash | David Rodrigo

We're moving away from paper gradually, but it's a slow process. It'll be intriguing to see if Dubai's bold move spurs other governments around the world to follow suit and eliminate paper waste entirely.