News

UAE adopts digital identity and blockchain to fight COVID-19

  • Wilbur Rodgers
  • March 30, 2020
  • 2 minutes read
  • 384
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Taking into account the recent Coronavirus outbreak, UAE’s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) has started adopting digital channels for governmental services. The system completes requests by relying on the use of digital identity by individuals, blockchain systems and chat systems. 

Establishing social welfare bodies and issuing marriage licenses are some of the responsibilities of the department.

According to the MOCD, it has started receiving digital documents instead of paper documents through its customer happiness centers (UAE’s version of customer service centers). 

According to Hessa Essa Buhumaid, UAE’s Minister of Community Development, “This step confirms the ministry’s commitment to ensure the continuity and flexibility of all government services in light of the directives of the smart government to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The Emirates News Agency reported that the MOCD has been using blockchain for digital authentication of official certificates and other documents. Currently, the blockchain system can process 2,919 different types of documents. Now, the ministry will provide services through its website and smart applications, with additional support via e-mail and telephone. 

The main purpose is to restrain the public from visiting government offices and service centers. Digital identity is utilized for remotely accessing government services. 

The UAE Pass app is a national digital identity system developed by Smart Dubai, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Abu Dhabi Digital Authority. It allows smartphone-based verification of a user and enables them to sign documents electronically. 

 

The UAE is also coming strong on distributed ledger technology (DLT), with various projects throughout the country. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has developed a blockchain platform for storing healthcare and pharmaceutical data.