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TECHNOLOGY UAE jumps 21 places in UN’s e-readiness survey

South Korea leads the global rankings, followed by Singapore, the US, UK and the Netherlands.

By Naushad K. Cherrayil, Staff Reporter
July 31, 2012

Dubai: The UAE has advanced 21 positions in the global rankings to take 28th place as compared to 2010 and fifth in Asia mainly due to increasing digital literacy, according to the 2012 UN e-Government Readiness Survey.

The report highlighted other notable achievements of Gulf states as compared to 2010.

The survey is carried out every two years and takes a deep look into how countries around the world are progressing towards achieving true e-Government status.

“Countries that lead the index and those that have moved up have moved beyond basic e-services to integrated systems that link different institutions and departments offering a single point of contact to the public. This is where Gulf countries shine,” the report said.

“Although the UN 2012 surveys shows that no country has a single sign on integrated portal, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar are among the ten closest to such a feat,” said Jamil Ezzo, Director General of the ICDL GCC Foundation.

”The UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia also appear in the top 25 leaders of emerging countries in e Government development, ranking 8th, 16th and 21st respectively. This proves the seriousness of the e government agenda cross the Gulf region” he said.

South Korea leads the global rankings, followed by Singapore, the US, UK and the Netherlands.

“The UAE government has been a driving force in expanding its services online and closing the digital divide, as well as embracing the knowledge economy” he said. “However, it is not alone in this regard. For example, Saudi Arabia achieved a best practice case through the introduction of its eDashboard portal, which verifies the identity of the citizen and serves as a single sign on portal. Then there is the Hakooml initiative from the Qatar government, a technology gateway that brings together government services and programs that are accessible through the internet but also mobile devices.”

The report highlighted the rapid progress made by the UAE as best practice case of how effective e-Government can lead economic and social development. With double the population and three quarters of the GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, the UAE has achieved around the same level of online services as those offered in Norway, a global leader in eighth position.

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