Page 1

Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

30 per cent surge in UAE residency visas this year

www.manafezdubai.com

Issue 4

August 2014

GDRFA-Dubai saved AED145 million through integrated financial plans

New biometric capture solution targets APC kiosks & eGates

Smart travel models by WTTC Global Employment:

Weak economic recovery does not extend to jobs Captain Khalid bin Mediya:

GDRFA-Dubai to launch 30 new Smart services soon


Welcome Message

The Smart State M illions of people around the world dream

of living in a developed country where they enjoy the highest and best services that are in a way free from hassles, complexities and routines. Media reports from around the world testify to the tremendous advancement in every domain benefitting the UAE citizens, expats and visitors in their day to day lives. We are happy to see the Smart services recently introduced by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) as the first fruits of more than 1000 Smart services to be introduced by the Dubai government in line with its Smart government strategy in three years time. It goes without saying that we started planning for the launch of our Smart services from the very first day of the announcement of Smart government initiative by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai in May 2013. In fact, our lead in introducing Smart services is the fruit of scientific and wellresearched efforts to decide which services we should start with; what obstacles stand in our way; what options available to us; what criteria should be in place and what segments of our customers we should target first. No customer service-oriented organization is able to satisfy the customers and make

them happy without access to accurate, comprehensive and latest information about them and their favorite communication channels. A Smart government needs a Smart country and a Smart country needs Smart citizens whose lifestyles, work culture and social lives are not prepared for wasting time by lining up in long queues, carelessness and slackness. When we talk about information we simultaneously take into account the privacy and confidentiality with no room for manipulation and unauthorized use. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to privacy, which is an integral part of our traditions, principles, values and religious believes. Armed with such philosophy, we believe we are able to build bridges of confidence with our customers and encourage them to be truly Smart citizens in a truly Smart country governed by a truly Smart government.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 1


GDRFA Message

GDRFA

in History

t

October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department

t

October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.

t

1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.

t

1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex

t

1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith

t

2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila

t

1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort

t

1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

Our Vision The UAE to become one the safest and most secure countries in the world.

Our Mission To work efficiently and effectively to enhance the quality of life for UAE society through security, transit, rehabilitation, residency services and secure the safety of lives and property.

Our Values t t t t t t t

Justice Work with team spirit Excellence Good cooperation Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

Strategic objectives t Strengthening of security and safety t Ensure readiness and preparedness in disasters and crises t Enhancing public confidence in the effectiveness of the provided services t The optimal use of security information t Secure the provision of all administrative services in accordance with standards of quality, efficiency and transparency

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: amer@dnrd.ae Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae

Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae


Contents

GDRFA News GDRFA-Dubai supports DIHQA

HH Sheikh Mohammed promotes 311 GDRFA-Dubai employees

P4

P7

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

UAE News Concourse D trial operations in August

IMF finds UAE’s economic recovery solid

P 18

P 19

Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor

Middle East News GCC tourist visa lilcely to get nod this year

Oman records 14.8 per cent growth in private jobs

P 25

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri

P 23

Deputy Director General

General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Akram

International News Chinese local government hives to foreign talent

Silk Road ministers agrees visa facilitation

P 26

P 27

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707

Weak economic recovery does not extend to jobs

Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website

www.naddalshiba.com

Email

info@naddalshiba.com

P 31 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 3


GDRFA News

HH Sheikh Mohammed promotes 311 GDRFA-Dubai employees H is

Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the promotion of 311 noncommissioned officers and personnel of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), including one officer promoted to the rank of Brigadier and six other officers to the rank of Major. He has ordered the promotion of Deputy Director General GDRFADubai Brigadier Obaid Moheir bin Suroor to the rank of Major General. Major General Mohammed Ahmad Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA-Dubai, said that 76 women were among those promoted. He said that this generous gesture from H.H. Sheikh Mohammed reaffirms his keenness to award diligent Emirati employees who exert the highest level of efforts in the service of the people and nation.

the performance of the directorate and all its relevant departments, which will achieve H.H. Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to make the UAE the best in all fields and governmental sectors, benefiting both Emiratis and residents.

Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Interior, to follow up on the performance of all relevant bodies and departments affiliated to the Ministry of Interior to ensure that they achieve greater He called upon all GDRFA staff levels of excellence and innovato use their experience and knowl- He also noted the directives of tion in services rendered to the edge and contribute to enhancing His Highness Lt Gen Sheikh Saif public. 

100+staff companies can renew residence visas online

T he Director General of General Di-

rectorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, has announced that the Directorate has enabled the companies re-

4 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

cruiting over 100 employees to renew their residence visas online. The authorities have seen a quantum leap in transactions and projects over the first half of this year. He said the GDRFADubai has enabled the companies re-

cruiting over 100 employees to renew their residence visas online through the immigration’s official website. “Such type of transactions touched 299,667 in the first six months of the year,” he added. 


GDRFA News

Emiratis accounts for 95 per cent of GDRFA-Dubai staff T he Director General of General Directo-

rate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, has disclosed that the Directorate was fully dedicated to boost Emiratisation strategy and has accelerated the process and now 95 per cent of is staff comprises of locals. Of the 4,154 immigration workforce, 1,112 are women and 19 differently abled, he said. About 1,825 employees have gone through 155 specialized training courses to boost their skills academically and practically. The GDRFA established Positive Energy Section to develop skills of the staff. The Internal Audit and Risks Department aims at strengthening performance. 

GDRFA-Dubai employees donates for UAE Water Aid campaign E mployees of the General Directo-

rate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) have donated AED475,000 to the UAE Water Aid campaign. An extra 603,000 people who lack access to clean water will benefit from the UAE Water Aid campaign after it raised more than AED140 million surpassing its own targeted amount of money needed to help five million people in developing countries in particular.

The AED140,081,000 raised so far by the UAE Water Aid from government departments, companies and individuals is enough to help 5,603,000 people around the world gain access to potable water, according to the Organizing Committee of UAE Water Aid. The initiative set a goal of raising AED125 million. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has made a personal donation of AED25 mil-

lion to the UAE Water Aid campaign, on behalf of the citizens of the UAE. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed also announced a foundation would be set up to focus on water sustainability and innovation research, and a $1 million award to find sustainable and innovative solutions for water purification using solar energy. Emirates Red Crescent, which is implementing the water projects overseas, said that it has completed 177 projects to provide water to 267,960 people in Afghanistan, Ghana, India, Tanzania, and Iraq. Afghanistan was one of the first countries to benefit from the project. Seventy-three wells have been drilled to aid 15,960 people in areas that have the most difficulty accessing water.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 5


GDRFA News

30 per cent surge in UAE residency visas this year

T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has announced that the first half of 2014 saw a 30 per cent increase in the number of residency visas issued compared with the same period in 2013.There were 570,917 new residency visas issued in the first half of 2014, up from 436,993 issued in 2013. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said that the country has also seen an 8.14 per cent increase in passengers entering and exiting the UAE which reflects the growth in the country’s economy and tourism sector. In the first half of 2014, 21,865,088 passengers en-

6 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

tered and exited the country, compared with 20,219,288 in the first half of 2013. “We anticipated those increases and we increased the number and trained our employees. We also developed the e-Gate counters to make the process of entering the country smoother,” he said at a Press conference organized to announce the launch of Smart initiatives by the GDRFA-Dubai. The Directorate increased the number of counters at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2 which, he said, will make the process faster and smoother for people. Overall, Major General Al Marri said,

the GDRFA completed 31,032,662 applications in 2014, which is 8.88 per cent more than 2013. He added that there was a decrease in the number of reports of absconding domestic workers which, he said, was because of awareness campaigns that the directorate ran on social media. There were 14,150 complaints last year compared to 14,741 in 2012. In 2014, more than five million users visited the GDRFA’s website. They have 22,270 Twitter followers, 3,985 Facebook followers and 7,005 Instagram followers.“Our goal is to make our customers happy, it is the responsibility of each employee in the directorate to


GDRFA News

provide the best service to achieve this,” he said. The GDRFA-Dubai had sent 616,170 SMSs during the first half of 2014 to citizens and residents to remind them to renew their passports, residency visas and e-Gate cards. There were 6,512,465 entry visas issued in 2014, 12.05 per cent more than the 5,812,465 visas in the first half of 2013. Major General Al Marri said that the directorate played a big role in assisting event and exhibition organizers obtain visitor visas. The GDRFA centre — open 24 hours, seven days a week — in

GDRFA statistics H1 2014 • • • • • • • • • •

570917 new residency visas 515292 renewed residency visas 382045 cancelled residency visas 37583 registered contracts for domestic workers 6,512,465 entry visas 14150 reports of absconding employees 482 fake documents found 23815 new e-Gate cards issued 21,865,088 passengers entering and exiting the city 28363 ships entering and exiting the city

Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 arrivals area has helped with many emergency cases, Major General Al Marri said. The centre offers all of the GDRFA services. “Sometimes people need to travel

urgently, and, for example, if an Emirati’s passport has expired, he can get it done there. Also, if a returning resident’s visa has expired, he can get it renewed there,” he said. 

GDRFA-Dubai supports DIHQA

T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has continued its support to the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) which held its 18th annual event of Islamic lectures, Holy Quran Recitation and Memorisation contest and awards

programme during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Ibrahim Bu Melha, Chairman of the DIHQA Higher Organizing Committee, said the GDRFA-Dubai took care of entry visas for all the guests, arbitrators and contestants.

DIHQA has become an important event for the Muslims around the world during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is also one of the most widely-watched events on the television with the award activities broadcast across the world via five satellites, namely, Arab Sat, Nile Sat, Intel Sat, Galaxy and Hesba Sat. A contest for the best Holy Quran reciters and memorizers with an AED250, 000 top prize is the key element of the annual programme. The second prize winner gets AED200, 000 and the third prize winners AED150, 000. Winners from the fourth to the tenth positions were presented from AED65, 000 with Dh5, 000 less each. The rest of the participants received AED30, 000 each.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 7


GDRFA News

Smart services make visa renewal faster, smoother

General Directorate of ResidenT he cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has unveiled a package of new Smart services which Emiratis, residents and companies can access on their smartphones and tablets.

“The move is aimed to make government services available on smartphones and tablets (so) that customers can manage their applications round the clock anywhere,” said Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai. The new Smart services help customers submit their applications and follow up as conveniently and as fast as possible; yet security or privacy rules have not been compromised. 8 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

The initiative is in line with the Smart government drive initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2013. Captain Salem bin Ali, Manager of AMER Customer Care Section at the Directorate, said Emiratis may access smart services for the renewal of residence visas for their nonEmirati wives and domestic help. Residents can also apply for the renewal or extension of the residence visas of their families through the smart services. Companies can follow their transactions through the smart services, have their entry permits renewed or cancelled, apply to the Ministry of Labour (MoL), and avail of other services.

He said the faster and easily accessible services are aimed to save time, money and effort, expedite procedures, and win customers’ satisfaction. More than 100 e-Gates have been installed at Terminal 1 and 2 of Dubai International Airport while 14 smart gates have been created at Terminal 3 for residents over 17.The smart gates can read electronic passports and accept Emirates ID. The gates use facial and eye recognition technology to identify and verify the user. Once the checks are made, the gate opens automatically for travelers to pass through. The smart gates are meant to enhance passenger flow and comfort, particularly as the number of passengers expected to use the Dubai International Airport is over 78 million in 2015 and 103 million in 2020. 


Our

Message

The world shares success with us S uccesses achieved by the General

Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) are not limited to the national level but goes internationally as well. It goes without saying that strengthening and enhancing international cooperation is a key pillar of our strategy at the GDRFA. When we talk about international cooperation we do not mean just mutual visits of officials and participation in the global conferences, but about being an active player in the international cooperation network. I was honored to represent GDRFA during a number of overseas visits recently, during which I chaired the meetings of International Air Transportation Association (IATA) and Borders Control Working Force in Montreal, Canada. I have also participated in a brain storming session that included representatives from airlines and governments, in addition to attending a workshop that looked beyond the vision 2020. I was immensely privileged to showcase Dubai’s experience in borders management and control at FRONTEX, the agency which promotes, coordinates and develops border control in line with the EU fundamental rights charter. During a tour that included visits to Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong I was briefed about the best practices in customer service and the latest technologies to read passports electronically. In fact our desire to strengthen international cooperation

emanates from our deep understanding of the near impossibility of working in isolation and not looking at the changing world. We believe that the security challenges faced by borders control authorities all over the world are similar and intertwined and unless we stand firm shoulder to shoulder, loopholes and shortcomings will be utilized by the organized criminal gangs, smugglers, human traffickers and all sorts of law-breakers to pass safely. Undoubtedly, international cooperation has been a great source of knowledge to develop our policies, systems and procedures. Documents screening center at Terminal 1 of Dubai International Airport is a living testimony to the fruits of international cooperation. Today, more than 80 per cent of our staff at Dubai International Airport is highly qualified to screen documents to detect fraud and forgery. Some of them have gained world recognition as international experts and became trainers for passport officers from neighbouring countries in this domain.

Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 9


How to use UAE Smart Gate and speed through passport control in 15 seconds

Free registration at the following locations place

Location

T1 Departure

e-Gate enrollment office

T3 Departure

e-Gate enrollment office

T3 Departure

Economy class counters 1, 2, 3 & 4 Economy class counters 35, 36, 37 & 38 First & business class counters 1, 2, 3&4 Passports Service Center Al-Majlis area

T3 Departure T3 Departure T3 Arrival T3 Departure DNATA EK Al-Jaffliya

Sheikh Zayed road Emirates headquarters General Directorate for Residency & Foreigners Affairs

Smart gates at T3, arrivals

Using your passport

1

Scan your passport's personal details page in the passport reader. Door opens. 10 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

2

Stand still. Look at the camera.

3

when door opens, proceed to the baggage reclaim area


Using your smartphone (barcode is generated by GDRFA mobile application avaiable on app store)

1

Scan your passport's personal details page in the passport reader. Door opens.

2

Stand still. Look at the camera.

3

when door opens, proceed to the baggage reclaim area

Using Emirates ID Card

1 Scan your ID Card. Door opens

1

scan your UAE e-Gate card. Door opens.

2

Scan the finger appearing on the screen

2

Scan the finger appearing on the screen

3

when door opens, proceed to the baggage reclaim area

3

when door opens, proceed to the baggage reclaim area |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 11


Cover Story

Captain Khalid bin Mediya, Assistant Director General of Smart Services Sector, GDRFA-Dubai

GDRFA-Dubai to launch 30 new Smart services soon T he General Directorate of Residency

and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) aims to enlist half a million people annually for its Smart services applications over the next six years, Captain Khalid Ahmad bin Mediya Al Falasi, Assistant Director General of Smart Services Sector at GDRFA-Dubai said in an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai. He said the GDRFA-Dubai has already finished the first stage of Smart services that witnessed the launch of 28 services meant for the visitors, residents and companies. Thirty more Smart services will be launched in the second stage. Thus, a total of 58 out of 97 services delivered by GDRFA-Dubai will be Smart by the end of the second stage. Khalid stressed that Smart services, saving time and efforts and time, boosts GDRFA-Dubai’s reach, performance and delivery. He also emphasized that the protection of data confidentiality and privacy, as per the best global security standards, remains the top priority for GDRFA-Dubai.

12 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

When did GDRFA-Dubai launched the Smart services?

After His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the initiative of Smart Government in May 2013, GDRFADubai Director General Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri held a meeting and advised us to make GDRFA-Dubai a leading government organization in terms of Smart services.


Cover Story

Smart passenger services converted mobile phone into a passport to go through the Smart gates at Dubai airports

information. The company recommended to us a number of firms. We selected SAP as it had the potential to cater to most of our requirements. We prepared a proposal and published it on a commercial website to set all technical preconditions and requirements that we needed for delivering smart services. We reviewed all the offers thoroughly in co-operation with emaratech, the strategic partner of GDRFA-Dubai. We tested each application after finishing its design. The implementation of this initiative took about eight months after we held our meeting with Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri in May 2013. We launched our first phase of Smart services in the first quarter of 2014.

What were the obstacles that you had faced during the process?

The GDRFA-Dubai had smart services even before the inception of the Smart Government initiative. We had launched the visa service through mobile phones during Gitex-2009, making GDRFADubai the first governmental institution to launch such service not only in the UAE but across the Middle East. Early experience with cutting-edge technologies helped us hone our skills to tackle the challenges and technical problems. We also developed an innovative method to send the barcode as an SMS via mobile phone. While drafting a strategy to adopt Smart services, we studied the number of services delivered by us. We focused on the services like renewal of Visit and Residency visas and their cancellations. We also identified the other targeted categories and sub-categories that needed to be Smart first. Then, we located the best available platforms to design our smart applications and identified the databases that we could use for this purpose.

We learn from obstacles. We try to find solutions and gain experience to be more proactive in the future. For example, while making the registration process adaptable to smart services, we faced a lot of technical complications linked to size of files and images and how to verify the identities of applicants. We reviewed the best global practices in the relevant field and customized them as per our needs.

We hired an international company which has specialization in the assessment of smart resources on the basis of accurate, integrated and updated

How many Smart services have been launched so far? The first phase of Smart services concluded a

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 13


Cover Story

few weeks ago. It witnessed the launch of 28 services. GDRFA-Dubai will unveil 30 more Smart services in the second phase. Thus, a total of 58 out of 97 services delivered by GDRFA-Dubai will be Smart. These services will cater to and benefit all strata of the society like visitors, residents or companies. Moreover, these services will cover all operating systems used on the Smart phones such as Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry. These services received huge applause from clients. Majority of them ranked them five-star as these initiatives have helped in enhancing their lifestyles and saving their time and efforts. Smart services see 1,100 registration and 5,679 downloads of applications in the launch month

The clients have been an active party and effective partner in the smart service development project since its inception. We invited a lot of our clients to participate in the application testing and give us their feedback. We also conducted technical workshops for them. Statistics suggest that the number of clients enlisted in Smart services applications reached 1,100 until July 13. About 5,679 applications were downloaded between June 20 and the July 13. This figures covering a span of just one month. The breakdown of these downloads show 2,993 downloads were via Android smartphones, while 2,410 were iOS-based handsets, 240 had Windows and 36 used 14 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

GDRFA-Dubai launched 28 smart services in the first phase; plans 30 more in the second phase

Blackberry. As per our deal with emaratech, it will develop applications within two weeks if any new versions of operating systems for smart phones enter the market.

Are fears regarding the data confidentiality and privacy justified?

The security aspect is a crucial component of our project. We certainly care for assuring the highest level of protection of the personal and family data provided to us. We have several levels and degrees of protection, or the so-called (firewalls), to secure the data and keep their confidentiality and privacy intact. We would have launched the smart services much before the schedule. But we want a foolproof system. We want to rectify all the faults and fix all defects before a service reaches end users. We don’t want data confidentiality and privacy to be compromised by any chance. We don’t have the luxury of adopting trial and error method. We also cannot launch a product and recall it immediately in case there is some defect. Therefore, we assure and reassure that a smart service is foolproof before we launch it. The registration system may illustrate this better. A person who wants to be registered must use the same phone number mentioned in his file as a pre-

condition. This enforces a lot of users to update their files and data. This precondition has also benefited the system in general too. After the user fulfills this precondition, we send him his own PIN that allows him to get registered with the application. Then he is required to enter his ID number and the date of birth. If there is any mismatch in the data, the registration will not proceed. If the user enters correct ID number and birth date, the last three digits of his phone numbers registered with us will appear on the screen. Once he enters the remaining digits, he will be accepted and allowed Protection of data confidentiality and privacy are as per the best global standards

to set up an account, user name and password.

How do you evaluate the success and proliferation of Smart service?

When we speak about Smart services, we must realize that they are not restricted to smartphones. They rather include the other channels too such as Smart service booths. We should also acknowledge that the concept of smart service is still in developing mode. The smartest services are yet to arrive. The number of application downloads is for sure a very considerable indication of our success. Moreover, registration to smart services will become mandatory soon for anyone with


Cover Story

GDRFA-Dubai aims to enlist half a million people annually for the Smart services applications over the next six years

more than five dependents. We are aiming to register all the residents in Dubai before 2020. Assuming that there are three million residents in Dubai, we need to register at least half a million people annually over the next six years.

departments to make people aware about the use of their smartphones. Few days ago, we connected the application to some social media websites such as Instagram and Tweeter to raise awareness regarding the smart services and phones and create a platform for dialogue to discuss how to benefit more from it.

Do the benefits of smart services exceed the facilitation We are pursuing a series of ini- of procedures? tiatives to popularize Smart services among the general public and make them aware about their benefits. We respond to all their inquiries in this regard. We are planning to conduct promotional programmes during which raffle draws with attractive prizes will be conducted to encourage them to use these services. Beside the mass media campaigns, a van will make tours within the governmental

Facilitating and simplifying the services is a main goal of any service institution. This is no less true in case of GDRFADubai whose ultimate motto is to satisfy its clients and bring down the complaint level to zero. It is obvious that smart services open new horizons to serving the clients and visitors. For example, now a smart phone may used as a passport to go through the Smart Gates

More than 50 per cent of services delivered by GDRFA-Dubai are set to become Smart by the end of the second phase

at Dubai Airport in case it is registered in the Smart service system. Smart services also allow UAE nationals and residents alike to finish their personal transactions and procedures of their dependents even if they are outside the country. Also, we must not forget that smart services make the clients able to efficiently manage the Residency procedures for himself and his dependents in a way which helps him avoid any delay or fines. The benefits of Smart services are immense. Sparing the people from lining up in the crowded queues at service counters of government departments and saving their time and efforts are just two of them.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 15


Exclusive Interview

GDRFA-Dubai saved AED145 million through integrated financial plans K halid Abdul Karim Al Blooki, Director

of Finance at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), in an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, said the Finance Department is a key player in the Smart services transformation at the GDRFADubai through developing payment systems and adopting electronic collection methods. What are key roles of Finance Department?

The FinanceDepartment is tasked with preparing the revenues and expenses budget of theGDRFADubai. What really sets us apart from other government finance departments is that we started early in spreading the culture of rational and effective use of public financial resources. The Finance Department has grown in its stature within the organizational structure of GDRFA-Dubai. We have linked different departments’ operational plans with the financial budget so that each operational plan has its financesin place by the time they will be executed.

GDRFA-Dubai won DGEP award thrice. What are the reasons behind winning the coveted recognition?

The winning of the DGEP award three times in 2008, 2011 and 2014 was tough. Retaining the top position is harder than reaching there. Our winning was the fruit of preparing the integrated financial plan for the short term during which we have achieved 100 per cent of the operational plan and exceeded the targeted goals. For example, the savingsin the expenses budget stood at nine per cent whereas the targeted percentage stood at five per cent. Also, the increase in the revenues stood at five per cent whereas the targeted percentages were two per cent. 16 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

In fact, the winning of the DGEP award was based on important factors like the financial performance stability which means avoiding yearly fluctuations. The financial performance stability is of paramount importance for any organization as it enables effectiveness and flexible management of future plans and strategies. Worldwide, it is considered to be one of the most important criteria in assessing the success of an organization. It goes without saying that a stable financial performance cannot be achieved by luck because we have to prepare operational plans at the GDRFA-Dubai level and also at the levels of 22 outside branches that we have. We have achieved 100 per cent success in our operational plans and saved 10 per cent in our expenses budget. In fact,the distinguished performance of the Finance Department at the GDRFADubai has become a model for others to follow in terms of best practices and its experience in formu-


Exclusive Interview

GDRFA-Dubai won DGEP award three times for distinguished financial performance

lating and preparing budgets. On an average, we receive six delegations annually seeking our expertise in this domain. Our philosophy of performance excellence emanates from that of Government of Dubai’s which incorporates innovative strategies to make Dubai a global financial, commerce and tourist hub. We follow steps to achieve this philosophy and to generate additional sources of revenues through innovative and imaginative approaches to reduce expenses and create valued addition to the GDRFA-Dubai. It goes without saying that these tremendous achievements would not have been possible without the strong support of the GDRFADubai’s higher management, especially Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Major General Obaid Mohair bin Suroor, and Brigadier Awad Al Aween, Assistant Director General for Financial and Human Resources. I would like to recount what happened in our meeting with Major General ObaidMohair before we participated in the DGEP programme in the last hour. We were a little bit afraid about the intense competition from around 23 government finance departments. When we met Major General Obaid to brief him about this situation, he told us to fear nothing because for him we are the winners even if you don’t win the award. Those words of encouragement and support played tremendous psychological effect-

sin enabling us face the award’s judging panel with confidence. It was Major General Mohammed Al Marri who informed us about winning the award.

How is Finance Department impacted by the Smart services that GDRFA-Dubai has been introducing? The Finance Department is at the heart of the Smart services initiative being pursued consistently by the GDRFA-Dubai.

We carry on our part of duty in making our customers happy through developing and facilitating payment systems which is very important for the success of any Smart services project. It is useless of if you finish the procedures in GDRFA-Dubai achieved 100 per cent success in operational plans

one secondand have to stand in a long queue for an hour to pay fees. The same applies for the redeeming of guarantees. We have been able to redeem the guarantees instantly while the most-advanced governmentsin the world need a day to redeem guarantees. We have been able to achieve this through the innovative concept of auditing later on and we have been successful in transforming the collection into 100 per cent electronic system, thereby leaving no room for the manual processing of collection. We have been able to do so through strategic partnerships with national banks. In doing so, we have saved in terms of salaries of collectors, managerial cost andinsurance premiums. It is also important to mention that the elec-

15 per cent increase in GDRFADubai revenues due to contracts revision with outside parties

tronic collection has enforced our control over the managerial supervision through checking the GDRFA-Dubai data against the money collected.

How you manage reduction in the overall costs?

We have been successful in reducing the overall cost through an integrated strategy which resulted in the reduction of 10 per cent in our expenses budget. Using our partnership with outside companies, we have been able to save more than AED100 million through opening seven outside branches (of GDRFA-Dubai). Also, we have been successful in saving AED45 million as a result of opening an integrated service centre at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport which works 24 hours a day. The same goes for AMER car which we have obtained through private companies that wanted sponsorship rights without GDRFA-Dubai shouldering any costs. We have been successful in reducing the training budget through replacing external trainers with internal trainers who comparatively charges lower fees. We have increased our revenues by 15 per cent through revising contracts with outside parties. It goes without saying that all the achievements could not have been possible without the one-team spirit that governs our work at GDRFA-Dubai and the Finance Department and our sincere desire to workceaselessly to develop the professional skills of our employees.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 17


UAE News

IMF finds UAE’s economic recovery solid T he UAE has continued to benefit

from its perceived safe-haven status amid regional instability. The economic recovery has been solid, supported by the tourism and hospitality sectors, and a rebounding real estate sector, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. “While growth in oil production moderated, public projects in Abu Dhabi and buoyant growth in Dubai’s service sectors continued to underpin growth, which reached 5.2 per cent in 2013. The real estate sector has been recovering quickly in some segments, especially in the Dubai residential market,” said the IMF statement on Article IV consultation with the UAE. The Fund observed that the macroeconomic outlook is positive. Economic growth is

expected at 4.8 per cent in 2014 and about 4.5 per cent in coming years, supported by a number of megaprojects announced over the past 18 months and the successful bid for the World Expo 2020. The executive directors of the IMF agreed that

Dubai has made significant progress managing financial obligations from the 2008-2009 crises. The IMF directors welcomed the recent progress in restructuring the debt of Dubai’s government-related entities (GREs). 

UAE an attractive option for educational investors T he UAE is expected to be a major driver for invest-

ment into the region’s education sector with 30,000 new school places expected in Dubai over the next two years alone.

Alpen Capital, in its GCC Education Industry report, said it expects mergers and acquisitions in the sector to continue in a positive trend. In the UAE, new school places are mostly expected in British and Indian curriculum schools due to the country’s diversifying demographic. According to the study, the UAE has become a preferential educational destination for students, ranking 15th in terms of quality of education in a World Economic Forum (WEF) list of 148 countries. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of primary school students in UAE private institutions rose from 1,897,000 to 2,654,000, a CAGR of 6.9 per cent. The number of students at UAE educational institutions, predominantly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, are increasing partially due to families from other Middle East nations relocating due to instability in their home country. 

18 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |


UAE News

Concourse D trial operations in August

T he new terminal at Dubai Interna-

tional Airport will open for trials in August, in preparation for its official opening early next year. Concourse D will connect the 1.5km to Terminal 1 through an elevated rail system in less than two minutes, according to airport officials. Peter Moore, Head of Terminal Development at Dubai Airports, told Emirates 24/7 : “Concourse D is taking shape with the majority of the roof and external glass façade that overlooks the airfield in place and the rail link infrastructure connecting Terminal 1 progressing well. “By August the first boarding gate will be available for training purposes and enable the trial programme to begin in earnest.” The

new terminal will cater to over 100 airlines and increase Dubai International’s capacity to 90mn passengers a year when it opens in the first quarter next year.

The trial period between August and its opening next year will involve 3,500 employees and other stakeholder undergoing familiarization and training. 

UN commends Emirates ID T he United Nations has commend-

ed the Emirates Identity Authority for its world-class biometric enrolment of the entire population through the Emirates ID. The ‘e-Government Survey 2014: e-Government for the Future We Want’) report includes a special box item in which it describes the Emirates ID’s biometric enrollment programme as “one of the world’s best biometric programmes”. The study has been published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). The report said: “The deployment of the Emirates ID Biometric En-

rolment as part of the National ID Registration Programme is recognized as one of the world’s best biometric programmes.” It added that Emirates ID Authority collects fingerprints of all the citizens and legal residents above the age of 15 in the country. It is mandatory for everyone residing in the country to be registered in the National Population Register. Considering the unique demographic composition of the country where expatriates amount to nearly 90 per cent of the population, the biometric enrolment is part of the mandatory health certification for all expatriates, making it convenient for the residents.

The current database boasts of over a 105 million prints of rolled fingerprints, plan and hand side prints, in addition to over 15 million facial images. The best two fingerprints are stored in a secure, encrypted container in the Smart Card that is issued as the National ID Card. The Smart Card is provided with a Match-On-Card Applet which allows for a biometric verification and authentication enabling assertion of an individual’s identity on demand. The security on the ID card is ensured by the encrypted containers which are enabled only through the National Validation Gateway.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 19


UAE News

UAE labour cards and contracts go electronic T he Ministry of Labour has started

replacing the old plastic labour cards and paper employment contracts with electronic ones from July 13. Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said that the new process saves time and effort for the employer who is applying and creates an integrated database with the Ministry of Interior and the Emirates Identity Authority. Once the e-card and e-contract are issued, a copy is sent to the Ministry of Interior, Emirates ID Authority and General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to complete the procedures. E-cards and e-contracts will be issued electronically within 48 hours from the date of submitting the application on the ministry’s e-portal, eNetwasal. The employer first gets an initial approval for a work permit, which allows the worker to enter the country from the Minis-

try of Labour by applying through Tasheel service centre. After the worker enters the country, the employer should apply for the e-card and e-contract through eNetwasal within 60 days from the worker’s entry or else the employer will face a fine of AED1, 000.The same process applies for plastic labour cards that are due for renewal. They will be replaced by electronic ones.

He explained that the e-contract and e-card are crucial to ensure that the rights of both parties — the worker and the employer — are protected. If an employer does not apply for the card and contract within the 60-day period and does not provide a valid excuse, he will be fined and the Ministry of Labour will stop issuing any permits to that person. 

Initiative to raise awareness about official document preservation T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi (GDRFA-Abu Dhabi) has launched an initiative to raise awareness on the importance of official documents and ways to preserve and protect the validity of such documents. The initiative, which runs under the slogan, We Remind You for your Convenience, stems from the general directorate’s continuous and keen efforts to communicate with the society.

20 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

Colonel Salim Ali Al Qattam Al Zaabi, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi, said: “This initiative aims to educate citizens and residents on the importance of official documents, such as passports and identity cards, as they represent important security documents. Holders of such documents are responsible for protecting them against damage, loss or theft. Official documents must not be used

by another person, held in pledge or used for unintended purpose.” The initiative was carried out across several media outlets, social media, and the website of the general directorate. Brochures and leaflets were also printed, providing guidelines on the way to preserve official documents and highlighting their importance. Customers of service centers will receive the printed materials pertaining to the initiative. 


UAE News

UAE expats among highest earners in the world P eople holding managerial and senior

positions in the UAE are among the top ten highest paid in the world, according to Mercer’s 2014 International Geographic Salary Differentials study which looked at gross and net pay salaries of employees across all career levels in 79 countries. The study showed that the take-home pay of senior and junior professionals in the UAE last year totaled AED280, 481 ($76,362) and AED189, 154 ($51,498), respectively.s The UAE’s average net compensation for senior professionals, which breaks down to AED23,373 monthly, is the third highest in the world, while the take-home pay for junior employees, estimated at AED15,762 per month, ranks ninth

highest globally. Experts said the country’s tax-free regime has put the UAE on the top 10 list of countries that offer the most generous paychecks. The UAE also ranks second for upper-middle management net salaries, which is estimated at AED616,705 ($167,900), and third for lower-mid-

dle management, at AED415,903 ($113,231) annually. However, a significant proportion of the UAE’s working population who earn an average of AED70,434 ($19,176) a year or AED5,869 monthly, are not among the top 10 highest-paid professionals in the world. 

UAE ranks 40th in new global peace index

T he UAE is one of the most peace-

ful countries in the region and world, a global index shows. The country has not suffered from internal conflicts or terrorism and has little violent crime – the main reasons for the high ranking, according to a report in The National. The Institute for Economics and Peace, in its Global Peace Index, rates the UAE 40th out of 162 – putting the country just outside the top 25 per cent of the world’s most peaceful nations for last year. The UAE has placed a strong focus on domestic security, with consider-

able investment in maintaining a well-staffed police force. The rankings use 22 indicators to analyse each country’s level of safety and security, extent of domestic or international conflict and degree of militarization. Last year, the UAE ranked 36th, while in 2012 the country was 46th. Spending on prevention or dealing with violence was estimated at about $12 billion of the UAE’s economy last year, amounting to 4.3 per cent of gross domestic product.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 21


22 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |


Middle East News

GCC tourist visa lilcely to get nod this year T he Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

member states are expected to approve a unified tourist visa this year to diversify their economies and boost mutual trade, an official report said. A report of the Higher Advisory Commission at the

GCC stated that this would allow tourists to obtain a visa from any of the member states, to enter all six countries. However, this would be subject to the financial and employment status of the applicant. The unified tourist visa has been in consideration for the last 10 years but was cleared only recently. The major stumbling blocks for the clearance included security, and illegal immigrants who were taking undue advantage of the relaxation. However, a Muscat-based GCC official said that only citizens of select countries would be granted the unified visa. However, he refused to name these countries. “Citizens of politically stable countries, our trade partners and investors will be on top of the list. But we will be very strict on their financial status and employment background, to ensure that such tourists would not become a burden to us,” the official told Times of Oman. 

Morocco sees 16,000 immigrants applying for regularized status authorities have reported that about 16000 immigrants have M oroccan requested to be regularized under a new policy to respond to the arrival of thousands of immigrants to the country who want to enter Europe.

The Ministry of Interior’s senior official, Charki Draiss Marruecos, said the authorities have regularized over 1000 Syrian asylum applicants and around 500 have been granted protection through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). These adjustments have been made through the Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons which opened in September 2013 to regularize about 30 thousand immigrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, which are in their territory. Morocco, which for many years was a transit country for immigration to Europe, is now considered a host country. 

1,239 Tunisian guest workers hired abroad in H1 2014

A bout

1,239 Tunisian guest workers were recruited abroad in the first half of 2014, up 13.3 per cent compared to the same period of 2013.According to a statement released by the Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation (ATCT), 363 guest workers were hired in the field of education and teaching 29.2 per cent of the overall recruitment. It also pointed to the recruitment of 272 guest workers in the field of health and 220 others in the field of trade and marketing. Arab countries are the main beneficiaries of Tunisian skills with 915 recruitments - 73.8 per cent of the overall recruitment. Saudi Arabia has the lion’s share in terms of recruitment of Tunisian skills with 296 employed, or 23.8 per cent of the total hires, followed by the UAE with 285 hires and Qatar with 184 hires.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 23


Dese

rt Saf ari

24 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

servation

Online Re

System


Middle East News

Oman records 14.8 per cent growth in private jobs

C oinciding with high growth rate in the

recent years and in line with objectives outlined in the Eighth Five-Year Plan, large employment opportunities were generated both in the public and private sectors in the Sultanate of Oman. However, private sector employment registered 14.8 per cent growth in 2013 compared to 15.5 per cent in the previous year. According to Central Bank of Oman’s Annual Report for 2013, private sector em-

Kuwait urged to end labour sponsorship system

A Kuwaiti human rights organization

has urged the Arabian Gulf state to fulfill pledges to abolish the sponsorship system for foreign labour and to end the arbitrary deportation of expatriates. The Kuwait Society for Human Rights also called for measures to end abuse of thousands of domestic workers and for a final resolution to the plight of more than 100,000 stateless people. The group said that Kuwait pledged several years ago to end the sponsor system which is likened to slavery and common in Gulf States, but so far nothing has been done. 

ployment is typically dominated by expatriates constituting around 89.4 per cent of the total employment. The Eighth Five-Year Development Plan estimates to provide new employment in the range of 200,000 to 275,000 during the plan period from 2011 to 2015, with an annual increase of around 40,000 to 55,000 employment opportunities. Of the total employment in the public sec-

tor, Omanis stood at 85.8 per cent in 2012 as compared to 86.3 per cent in 2011. As the employment of expatriates in the public sector has been need-based, their share in the total public sector employment has declined over time due to conscious policy of the government, the report says. The construction sector continued to absorb the maximum number of expatriates with its share in the private sector employment over 40 per cent. Other sectors which continued to employ large expatriates include wholesale, retail trade and car repair, followed by manufacturing, private households, hotel and restaurants and agriculture and fishing. These six sectors including construction sector together accounted for more than 85 per cent of the total employment of expatriates in the private sector. 

Saudi to ease annual expat fees for SMEs

T he Kingdom of Saudi Ara-

bia’s Council of Ministers has announced that it will provide a partial exemption to small and medium enterprises on the annual fees charged for employing expats. The Cabinet announced that Saudiowned companies having a total of nine or less employees will be exempted the fees for four expat workers. The Kingdom began imposing the levy in November 2012, making it mandatory for private firms to pay a non-refundable monthly amount of SAR200 to the Human Resource Development Fund for each foreign worker they employ. The fines, which were put in place to reduce the gap between expatriate labour cost and the local labour cost, were not applicable to foreigners with Saudi mothers, GCC citizens or household help.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 25


International News

Chinese local government hives to foreign talent A group of expatriates has been hired

by the Foshan Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation on a contract basis. This is the first time a mainland government department has accepted foreigners into its internal structure. Foshan is a manufacturing base bordering Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong province. The move to hire foreigners began early last year as Foshan was trying to forge a more international and business-friendly environment, said Zhou Zhitong, the bureau’s director general. The bureau began a global recruitment by advertising the positions in China Daily last August. Applications came from around the world, including Europe, the US, Japan, Africa, Inner Mongolia and Syria. The team will work to promote investment op-

Somalia introduces new secure national ID and e-passport

T he Federal Republic of Somalia took

another step toward the establishment of law and order with the launch of two new citizen ID programmes: a new national ID card and e-passport. The introduction of these secure identity documents and supporting solutions will help the government of Somalia in its efforts to restore law and order, enhance economic development, and improve the standard of living for the citizens of Somalia. The national citizen ID documents improve the security situation in the country by enabling law enforcement agencies to verify citizens’ identities, while the e-passport facilitates international travel across borders. 

26 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

portunities to global investors and to help local businesses expand in overseas markets. They have been recruited on a one-year contract and receive over 10,000 yuan ($1,605) for their monthly salaries, social security and medical insurance, as well as an additional housing allowance, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Foshan hosts over 7,000 international companies and authorities hope to attract the world’s top 500 companies and other high-potential start-ups to come to invest in Foshan. With a shrinking local market, Foshan needs to expand its international market to maintain economic growth, they said. 

EU Court bars German tightening visa requirements for Turks

G ermany can’t require the spouses

of Turkish immigrants to show a basic knowledge of the German language before granting them visas, the European Union’s top court ruled, overturning a condition aimed at discouraging forced marriages and at promoting integration. Germany’s government has since 2007 required that the spouses of long-term immigrants from outside the EU take a language test before they are allowed to join their partners in Germany. In its ruling, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said that in the case of Turkish immigrants, the language requirement

was incompatible with a “standstill” clause in a 1973 association agreement between the EU and Turkey. That clause prohibits new restrictions on the freedom of movement between the two. Turkish citizens started moving to West Germany in large numbers in the 1960s. About half of Germany’s nearly 6.2 million foreigners are of Turkish origin. The ruling means any EU country that has imposed a language requirement for granting visas to Turkish citizens since 1973 will have to drop it, unless it was in place before that year. 


International News

Silk Road ministers agrees visa facilitation

T o mark the 20th anniversary of the

Samarkand Declaration on Silk Road Tourism, the fourth meeting of the UNWTO Silk Road Ministers, during the ITB 2014 in Berlin, discussed visa facilitation as a means to further advance tourism development along the ancient trade route. The meeting brought together 21 ministers and deputy ministers of Tourism from the Silk Road countries with representatives from the European Commission, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and United Na-

tions Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to exchange experiences and visa facilitation strategies. In Tourism Visa Openness Report for the Silk Road Countries, UNWTO research showed that while many visa barriers still remain, the global tendency towards visa facilitation can be observed also along the Silk Road. At the beginning of 2008, 87 per cent of the world population required a visa prior to departure to a Silk Road destination as compared to 73 per cent in 2013.

Sao Paulo airport to implement new ABC technology B razilian passengers from GRU

Airport – Sao Paulo International Airport – in Guarulhos may soon enjoy an innovative process of immigration, which will streamline the flow of people and reduce waiting times. In August, Terminals 2 and 3 in Guarulhos will receive the latest Automated Border Control (ABC) technology, which will allow passengers to control their own immigration and emigra-

tion processes autonomously, without the need to interact directly with the Brazilian Federal Police, provided they have a Brazilian electronic passport and are over 18 years old. 

Between 2010 and 2013, visa facilitation measures in Silk Road countries accounted for 14 per cent of all improvements made globally, with the most common measure being substituting a traditional visa requirement for a visa on arrival. 

New passport guidance for visitors to Turkey

H olidaymakers to Turkey will have to

hold a passport valid for at least 60 days from the date of expiry of their visitor visa. In new guidance for foreign travelers, passports must be valid for at least 60 days from the date of expiry of a visitor visa to be able to enter the country before December 31. Travellers without the required period of validity on passports will regrettably not be allowed entry into Turkey due to this new legal regulation, the Ministry for Culture and Tourism said. Turkey abolished visas on arrival in April and replaced this with an electronic visa application system.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 27


New Technology

New biometric capture solution targets APC kiosks & eGates F lorida-based Cross Match

Technologies, the largest independent global provider of biometric identity management solutions, has launched a new complete biometric capture solution that includes the latest 10-print technology, biometric middleware and customizable user guidance interface designed to seamlessly integrate with Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and eGates. Richard Agostinelli, CEO of Cross Match, said: “The Guardian Module leverages our industry leadership in biometric enrolment and, in particular, our Guardian line of 10-print fingerprint scanner technology and biometric middleware.”

28 28 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|August |August٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤| |

Designed to prompt the applicant/ user through an unattended imaging of their fingerprints in a simple, pictogram-based approach, the Guardian Module ensures the highest quality image capture in the shortest amount of time. The solution incorporates Cross Match’s innovative technology that enables imaging of both moist and dry fingers without conditioning of the hand, as well as its patented Auto Capture and FlexFlat features that ensure rapid high-quality print capture regardless of finger position on the platen.

ten-print scanning applications with the next generation Guardian line. With a revolutionary new user interface, enhanced optical design, and more flexible capture modes, the new Guardians provide a completely selfguided ten-print fingerprint capture process that represents a new level of adaptability to real world use.

Cross Match has over 80,000 Guardian family 10-print scanners deployed around the world, with many in very high profile continuous operation applications such as the US VISIT programme, Global Entry automated border control kiosks and the UK IDENT programme.

The new intelligent user interface and screen intuitively prompt a user through all necessary steps by indicating finger sequence, placement, and pressure; correcting typical mistakes and ensuring the rapid and accurate capture of high quality records every time. The scanner incorporates FlexFlat and FlexRoll capture modes, providing a more user-friendly way to capture both flat and rolled fingers anywhere on the platen. A new optical design allows for high quality image capture regardless of whether hands are wet or dry.

Cross Match continues to set the global standard for civil and defense

Automated Border Control (ABC) solutions are fundamentally trans-


New

forming the global travel experience. From Australia’s SmartGate’s and US Global Entry to the hundreds of eChannel gates at Hong Kong land and sea crossings, to the Automated Passport Control Kiosks rolling out across North America, and the nearly 200 eGates planned for deployment in the UK and Germany next year, ABC technology is driving the development of the 21st century international transportation infrastructure.

Technology

owner of the passport used for immigration, and the person on which the risk analysis was performed. Increasing passenger numbers makes manual checking of identity documents no longer viable without causing congestion and delays at airports.

APCs and eGates are increasingly being deployed by airport authorities to reduce passenger wait times, improve the traveller experience and secure the overall border process. Airport authorities implementing APC report reducing passport inspection processing times by 89 per cent while lowering overall airport wait times by 50 per cent.

Passengers can be processed through automated border gates in seconds. This also addresses a major cause of stress for passengers. A SITA/ATW Passenger Self-Service Survey found that 31 per cent of passengers saw the security checkpoint as their number one travel pain point.

The benefit of automated border gates for passengers is considerable. Waiting times at security checkpoints can be reduced from hours to seconds.

Biometrics are an integral part of the IATA vision. In practice, biometrics ensures that the passenger going through the checkpoint is the rightful

A study by Acuity Market Intelligence says the global market for Airport ABC eGates and Kiosks is dynamic, diverse, and highly dependent on local policies and priorities. Unlike related markets, such as ePassports, which have developed in response to very specific mandatory global requirements, Airport ABC eGates and Kiosks are voluntary programs highly influenced, but not bound by, international initiatives, and standards. Each programme reflects the unique needs, operational requirements, logistical considerations, and immigration imperatives of the Airport and the nation where they are deployed. 

World’s thinnest MRZ scanner launched ID document technology firm Elyctis unveiled its OEM Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) scanner IDx at SDW 2014 in London. The French firm says the new scanner is the thinnest static MRZ reader, and is targeted at manufacturers who need to read ID documents. Thanks to its exceptional thinness and reduced footprint, the OEM MRZ scanner IDX allows manufacturers to develop an extensive array of products for all types of applications that need to read the MRZ of ID documents. The new scanner can be associated with the Elyctis Multislot contactless reader to read the content of both MRZ and RFID chip without additional move-

ment from the user. This means that no user education is needed when deploying on a large scale. Elyctis says the scanner is 12.5mm thick, so is ideal for integration in any product. Integration into environments where energy saving is important is made easy thanks to the MRZ scanner’s low consumption combined with very short reading time and efficient detection mode. Connected to a coin battery, the scanner can also be used as a stand-alone device. Typical applications for the scanner include airport passport control, hotel check-in, self-service terminals, mobile ID verification, banking registration, SIM registration and driver license verification for car rental.  |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 29


Special Study

Global Employment Trends 2014:

Weak economic recovery does not extend to jobs T he global labour markets are still stalled

despite slow economic recovery, according to a latest global employment trends study, which calls for an urgent switch to more employment-friendly policies.

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder

weak global economic recovery has T hefailed to lead to an improvement in

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “What is urgently needed is a policy re-think. Stronger efforts are needed to accelerate employment creation and to support enterprises that create jobs.”

Around 839 million workers lived with their families on less than $2 in 2013.Some 375 million workers lived with their families on less than $1.25 a day in 2013.

The report said employment growth remains weak, unemployment continues to rise, especially among young people, and large numbers of discouraged potential workers are still outside the labour market.

The report stressed the pressing need to integrate young people into the labour force. At present, some 74.5 million men and women under the age of 25 are unemployed, a global youth unemployment rate of over 13 per cent – over two times more than the overall global unemployment rate.

Profits are being made in many sectors, but those are mainly going into asset markets and not the real economy, damaging long-term employment prospects. On current trends, an additional 200 million jobs will be created by 2018. This is less than what is required to absorb the growing number of new entrants in to the labour market.

The number of unemployed worldwide rose by 5 million in 2013 to almost 202 million, a 6 per cent unemployment rate. Some 23 million workers have dropped out of the labour market. The number of jobseekers is expected to rise by more than 13 million by 2018.Some 74.5 million people in the 15 to 24 age group were unemployed in 2013, a 13.1 per cent youth unemployment rate.

In developing countries, informal employment remains widespread, and the pace of improvements in job quality is slowing down. That means fewer people are moving out of working poverty. In 2013, the number of workers in extreme poverty – living on less than $ 1.25 a day – declined by only 2.7 per cent globally, one of the lowest rates over the past decade, with the exception of the immediate crisis years.

global labour markets, with global unemployment in 2013 reaching almost 202 million, the International Labour Organization ILO said in a new report, Global Employment Trends 2014.

30 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

Global recovery in labour markets is being held back by a deficit of aggregate demand. In many developed economies, harsh reductions in public spending and hikes in income and consumption taxes weigh heavily on private businesses and households.


Special

In addition, a lack of policy coordination between monetary and fiscal policies has substantially increased labour market uncertainty, with employers often reluctant to hire or make longterm investments. Unemployment has lengthened considerably, in some countries such as Spain and Greece, jobseekers need twice as much time before landing a new job than before the crisis. And, more and more of those potential workers are discouraged and remain outside the labour force, leading to skills degradation and obsolescence, and rising long-term unemployment, said Ekkehard Ernst, the main author of the report. Mismatch, discouragement and active labour market policies “With 23 million people estimated to have dropped out, it is imperative that active labour market policies be implemented more forcefully to address inactivity and skills mismatch,” said Ernst, who heads the Employment Trends Unit at the ILO Research Department.

economic growth and job creation, the report says. In emerging and developing countries, it is crucial to strengthen social protection floors and promote transitions to formal employment. This too would support aggregate demand and global growth. In the Developed Economies and the European Union, labour market conditions showed no signs of improvement during 2013.In Central and South-Eastern Europe (non-EU) and CIS countries, the fall in unemployment recorded since the crisis peak of 2009 was reversed in 2013. In Latin America and the Caribbean, employment growth continued to outpace labour force expansion.In East Asia, employment growth remained weak, consistent with weak labour force growth. In South-East Asia and the Pacific, employment expanded by 1.6 per cent in 2013 and is projected to outpace growth in the working age population in the coming years. In South Asia, labour markets continued to suffer from high rates of infor-

Study

mal/agricultural employment where jobs are poorly paid and unprotected. In the Middle East and North Africa, the economic growth rate in 2013 proved too low to generate sufficient employment opportunities for a fast growing population, and unemployment remained the highest in the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, paid employment opportunities are scarce and the vulnerable employment rate, at 77.4 per cent in 2013, remained the highest of all regions. Overall, the crisis-related global jobs gap that has opened up since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, over and above an already large number of jobseekers, continues to widen. In 2013, this gap reached 62 million jobs, including 32 million additional jobseekers, 23 million people that became discouraged and no longer look for jobs and seven million economically inactive people that prefer not to participate in the labour market. 

A switch to more employment-friendly policies and rising labour incomes would boost

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 31


Special Study

A Shrinking World:

Global Citizenship for Super Rich

T here is a big demand for Global Citizenship programmes from the Middle East region . Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt have the highest number of UHNW second citizenship applicants. A special report by Wealth-X and Arton Capital has revealed that nearly 60 per cent of applicants for second citizenship or second residence programmes come from the Middle East, but Asia is the new frontier with ultrawealthy Chinese and Indian nationals and non-residents likely to spur demand for these programmes in the next five years.

Second citizenship applicants have an average net worth of $205 million, compared to the global UHNW average of $135 million.

The Middle East has the highest proportion of billionaires in the world – 40 per cent of global Ultra High Net Worth (UHNWs).

The report highlights advantages a second citizenship offers to the individual and their family as well as the country they are applying to. These include: stability and security, tax efficiency, ease of travel, a higher standard of living, better quality of life, increased options for their children’s education, and more widespread investment opportunities.

Titled A Shrinking World: Global Citizenship for UHNW Individuals, the report revealed that the average net worth of a second citizenship applicant is well above the global average for UHNW individuals.

The report also revealed that applicants have better liquidity, more than $66 million per person, nearly double the global average of $35 million. This means that these individuals can easily meet all the requirements

32 |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ |

for citizenship or immigrant investor programmes with their liquid investments. The study disclosed that Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt have the highest number of UHNW second citizenship applicants, with nearly 40 per cent of all applicants worldwide coming from these three countries. The US and Russia are the fifth and sixth on the list of countries with the most applicants. Europe is the most popular region in terms of UHNW second citizenship applications, accounting for nearly half of the total number of applications. The relative affordability of these schemes can be as low as 0.1 per cent of the net worth – equivalent to 0.5 per cent of the liquid assets – of the


Special

Several countries like the US, the United Kingdom and Canada design immigration policies to attract wealthy citizens

average UHNW individual. The savings gained through participation in these schemes can be immense. For example, a UHNW individual moving from the US to Dubai can save nearly $1 million on capital gains tax alone. Billionaires are five times more likely to apply for second citizenship than an average UHNW individual. The report highlights advantages a second citizenship offers to the individual and their family as well as the country they are applying to. These including: stability and security, tax efficiency, ease of travel, a higher standard of living, better quality of life, increased options for their children’s education, and more widespread investment opportunities. There are currently almost 200,000 UHNW individuals (those with at least $30 million in net assets) globally worth a collective $27,770 billion. Billionaires account for one per cent of the world’s UHNW individuals holding 23 per cent of the collective UHNW wealth, which represents $6.5 trillion. It is predicted that by 2020 the billionaire population will grow by 80 per cent in the year 2020, an increase of 1,700 billionaires. Mykolas Rambus, Wealth-X CEO, said: “The trend of UHNW individuals applying for a second residence or citizenship looks set to continue in the coming years, particularly in Asia where trillions of dollars of new wealth will be created in the next decade and beyond.”

Armand Arton, President and CEO of Arton Capital, said: “We are witnessing the largest ever succession transition as wealth in excess of $16 trillion transfers from one generation of UHNW individuals to the next by 2044. This transition is likely to create a surge in the number of UHNW individuals deciding to change their citizenship as the next generation considers their asset portfolio by identifying the most relevant market to invest in.” The report said with nearly 90 per cent of UHNW individuals married, and an average of two children, the addressable market is four times larger at 800,000 people, and the importance of family considerations for global citizenship cannot be overstated. Often in

There are currently almost 200,000 UHNW individuals (those with at least $30 million in net assets) globally worth a collective $27,770 billion

families with UHNW individuals, the spouse may be the key decision maker at home, or the needs of the children may be prioritized. This means that it is not only the UHNW individual themselves who need to see the benefit of immigrant investor programs, but the other family members as well. Moving half way across the world is a huge decision to make, regardless of wealth, and this is why factors beyond just the investment requirements are important when comparing programmess. The likes of safety, security, quality of life and ease of travel may be more important to the other family members than they are to the UHNW individual themselves, and is why the entire family needs to be considered.

Study

The trend of UHNW individuals applying for a second residence and/ or citizenship seems to have recently gained more prominence with high profile examples such as Bernard Arnault, French businessman, contemplating switching to Belgian citizenship, French actor and film-maker, Gerard Depardieu, moving from France to Russia in early 2013, and American actress Tina Turner giving up her US citizenship in November 2013 to become Swiss. Several countries like the US, the United Kingdom and Canada design immigration policies to attract wealthy citizens. Whilst there have been many countries offering investment immigration targeted at wealthy individuals in recent years, there have also been some countries withdrawing some of these investor programmes. For example, Canada recently cancelled their immigrant investor programme whilst Singapore has made it more difficult for wealthy foreigners to gain citizenship to the city-state. Despite this, the last few years have seen more and more programmes being offered by various countries, often targeting individuals from specific regions. For example, Australia’s Significant Investor Visa has seen the most demand from Chinese individuals, whilst many Russians have used the investor programmes offered by Cyprus. Cyprus’s citizenship scheme - evaluated as one of the top 10 most attractive by the report - requires a minimum investment of just €2.5 million in real estate on the island. 

Moving half way across the world is a huge decision to make, regardless of wealth

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 33


In Focus

Smart Travel

Unlocking the economic growth and development through travel facilitation

T he World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Agenda Council on New

Models for Travel and Tourism has proposed a fully integrated Smart Travel model designed to unlock growth and job creation in the travel and tourism industry.

The Council has urged collaborative efforts among all relevant public and private stakeholders and proposed a fully integrated model to facilitate Smart Travel by including travel facilitation as a pillar of bilateral and regional trade negotiations and agreements, reviewing and streamlining current visa processes, including adopting new technology to speed up visa applications and move towards an electronic visa. 34 34 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|August |August٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

It also called for strengthening security and reviewing and enhancing border-crossing processes and security checks at key entry points, notably at airports. According to a White Paper released in June by the Geneva-based WEF, the 21st century traveler has high expectations for efficiency and a low tolerance for barriers to global mobility. Unfortunately, the infrastructure and


In

bureaucracy which that traveler must navigate are decidedly 20th century. Barriers to mobility and inefficiency are particularly notable when obtaining visas and at the airport. In 2013, an average two-thirds of the world’s populations were required to obtain a visa prior to their departure to destinations globally. These barriers operate just like any other trade barriers, impeding growth and depressing job creation in the affected industry. The council comprehensive model for Smart Travel -one that includes Smart Visas, Smart Borders, Smart Security processes and Smart Infrastructure, could revolutionize the travel and tourism sector the way Tourism, which already represents nine per cent of the world’s GDP, is growing faster than other segments of the global economy

the smartphone has transformed the telecommunications and media industries, bringing job creation and growth along with it. Tourism, which already represents nine per cent of the world’s GDP, is growing faster than other segments of the global economy. Many of the potential travelers are deterred by outdated visa application processes and cumbersome airport screening procedures. The White Paper encourages governments to facilitate travel and tourism by streamlining the visa application process as well as the airport experience for travelers. The study recommended the governments to adopt an all-encompassing solution to security and border con-

In 2013, an average two-thirds of the world’s populations were required to obtain a visa prior to their departure to destinations globally

trol that begins with the visa application process and ends once the traveler has returned to the original destination. A properly implemented Smart Travel approach should include datasharing across government agencies and countries. It will require cuttingedge technology to integrate the visa application and airport screening processes to eliminate redundancies while enhancing security. The end result would be reduced wait times for visa approvals, greater efficiency in moving travelers through security and border control, and more thorough cross-checking of passenger data against international databases. It also called for increase bilateral and regional cooperation on visa policy, culminating in an expansion of common visa areas in which travelers move freely between geographically proximate countries over the course of a trip on a single visa. Examples of existing successful collaborations include the 26-state Schengen area. Many countries around the globe are exploring similar arrangements with neighboring states, as they recognize the benefits of sharing the costs of visa processing and traveler screening, as well as how these arrangements enhance their appeal as tourist destinations. It is expected that the travel and tourism industry will become even more important for countries that apply the Smart Traveller principles to

Focus

take advantage of future trends. The global middle class will more than double in size by 2030. Passenger air transport traffic is forecast to increase 31 per cent by 2017. Annual international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. The rate of international tourism growth between 2010 and 2030 will be highest in emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Visa facilitation could create as much as 5.1 million extra jobs in G20 economies by 2015. Visa facilitation could generate $89 billion in additional international tourism receipts and 2.6 million extra jobs in APEC countries by 2016. The White Paper said visa requirements are non-tariff barriers to trade; therefore, visa regimes should become a standard topic for trade agreements. The emphasis on facilitating cross-border movement within the world trading system should prompt a thorough examination of internal, bilateral and regional visa policies and travel security infrastructure.  Removing restrictions on the free movement of travelers should receive as much attention as the abolition of other barriers to liberalized trade in goods and services. Outdated Visa Practices and Airport Experience Many visa practices currently in use around the world trace their origins to border controls imposed during the First World War. Today, much of the information collected for visa approval is superfluous to the personal data already gathered when a passenger applies for a passport. Requiring additional approval deters travelers and tourists by imposing |Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 35


In Focus

additional costs on their travel plans. These costs are not merely financial, as visa applicants sometimes are required to travel great distances to apply through a consulate of the country they wish to visit and often face long waiting periods before the visa is approved. For many travelers, visas represent the worst form of bureaucratic inefficiency, diminishing the appeal of international travel. The redundancy that contributes much of the inefficiency and needless bureaucracy in current visa practices plagues airport operations as well. Passengers wait in long queues to pass through airport security, only to get in line again to have their documents inspected by immigration and customs officers. These repetitive obstacles might be justifiable if they were part of a layering of security mechanisms designed to adequately prevent against failures in other links in the chain. Unfortunately, the redundancy in the system exists for precisely the

36 36 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|August |August٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

Additionally, modern information technologies can make the visa application process more accessible and convenient for travellers

opposite reason: a lack of a comprehensive approach to managing travel security and border control that results in inefficient and wasteful efforts by distinct government agencies with overlapping jurisdictions. The elimination of repetition and the use of advanced technology would enable passengers to be classified by risk level, reducing their travel times while enhancing security. Visa Facilitation The first and most obvious step to overcoming barriers to growth in the travel and tourism sector is to scrutinize the regulatory barriers currently in place and remove those that are found to be unnecessary or for which the costs outweigh the benefits. Additionally, modern informa-

tion technologies can make the visa application process more accessible and convenient for travellers, who may otherwise have to travel long distances to reach the closest consulate. The introduction of “visa on arrival”, “trusted traveller” and e-visa programmes further enhances convenience for travellers and creates an information infrastructure that can be linked to the security screening process. A common visa for regional trading blocs While eliminating visa requirements worldwide is unrealistic in the short term, countries can begin the visa facilitation process by building on the trusted relationships they currently have. By working together, similarly situated countries can increase their appeal to foreign travellers through the creation of common visa areas. A common visa area allows travellers to visit multiple countries on a single visa. This


In

dramatically reduces the costs in time and money for a tourist or business person making a multistate trip. It also enhances the attractiveness of the collaborating countries as either tourist destinations or potential business centres because of the ease of visiting multiple destinations on the same trip. It also allows the cooperating states to share some of the financial costs of visa processing and administration, as well as creates the groundwork for further cooperation on security and border control, leading to additional cost savings and strengthening regional security. Fully-automated Check-in, security and border Control/Smart visa Twenty-first century technology offers various innovative solutions to many of the problems that frustrate travelers and restrain growth in the travel and tourism sector. For instance, in 2013, the first 14 Smart Gates opened in Dubai International

Twenty-first century technology offers various innovative solutions to many of the problems that frustrate travelers

Airport’s Terminal 3, automating security checkpoints through biometric recognition. International organizations and industry associations have also taken concrete steps to improve the traveler’s experience through technological advancements. The IATA has developed SMARTS, a concept for an airport security system that would employ advance scanning technology with eye and face recognition protocols capable of drastically reducing time spent queuing in security lines. The ICAO is working on establishing international standards for machine-readable travel documents and creating an online platform for sharing passenger data between countries. The APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative includes plans

Focus

for cross-border cooperation on trusted traveller programmes, the use of advanced passenger information and other travel facilitation tools. In parallel, the WEF, through its Connected World project, proposes a solution that uses technology and new operational and business models to enhance the visa processing and approval structures as well as travel facilitation at immigration borders and airport security check-in. Under a streamlined process of Fully Automated Check-in, Security and Border Control and Smart Visa (ACIS), travelers would be able to submit and receive their visa approval electronically once the information has been cross-checked against the relevant databases. Visa approval would be digitally recorded and available for access by automated fingerprint or iris scanners at security checkpoints as part of a comprehensive process that includes flight check-in and security examination. 

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 37


opinion column

Passenger preclearance helps address security challenges T he Customs and Border Protection

(CBP), with 60,000 employees, is America’s frontline border security agency, responsible for protecting the US and the American people from the entry of dangerous goods and people.

By R. Gil Kerlikowske Commissioner US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, CBP processed more than 362 million passengers in the land, sea, and air environments. CBP could process more than 110 million air passengers in FY 2015, up from a record 102 million air travelers last FY. As travel volume continues to increase, we must constantly evaluate operational needs to ensure that we mitigate security risks while processing all travelers in a timely and efficient manner in order to facilitate legitimate trade and travel. In FY 2013, the total passenger volume was 6.4 percent higher than in FY 2011, and commercial air passenger arrivals during the same period increased by eight percent. CBP has proposed a $2.00 increase to the Immigration User Fee (IUF) and eliminating an exception for certain sea passengers who pay a reduced fee under current law. The IUF increase is projected to provide over $200 million in additional funding. CBP also proposes increases to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) air and sea passenger user fees, and the Express Consignment Carrier Facilities (ECCF) user fees for providing

38 38 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|August |August٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤| |

services at express consignment carrier facilities. The COBRA and ECCF user fee increases are projected to provide over $130 million in additional funding. To further facilitate rising volumes of travel, and to meet the needs of our partners and stakeholders in the travel and trade industries, CBP is pursuing opportunities to partner with the private sector. We also leverage international relationships in multiple ways. CBP currently has Attaches and advisors in 22 different countries that are responsible for covering 47 countries. This enables CBP to build and maintain international relationships that enable the success of many strategic initiatives. Preclearance operations support CBP’s extended border strategy by providing for the inspection of passengers and goods before they embark. Preclearance is a critical element of our overall effort to address security challenges facing the US and its interests. These agreements allow CBP to scrutinize travelers and their goods on foreign soil before they gain access to US bound flights, and if necessary, deny a passenger the ability to board an aircraft long before they reach our border. More specifically, these operations allow CBP to staff officers at host airports and complete the necessary inspectional processes at that location. All security requirements are completed at the preclearance location prior to travel, including immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections. 

Edited excerpts from a testimony for a House Committee on Homeland Security on CBP’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget


opinion column

Analytics at the border would increase security, convenience of the obstacles to fast and secure O neborder control is a frontier security process that has been used for hundreds of years -- and is still the basis of many border management systems. But as increasingly more people travel and global trade expands, it’s clear that effective identity management is becoming a critical issue for governments worldwide.

Ease of access and freedom of movement must be balanced with a country’s security needs. However, as is often the case, when political leaders demand tighter security, administrators tend to add more steps onto existing systems. Inevitably that means more time and greater inconvenience for international travelers, trade goods and cargo. Behind the scenes, border management systems are attempting to handle a balance of security and facilitation. The consequences of getting the balance wrong can have an immediate impact on the nation and the traveler. As such, some countries are starting to redesign border crossing procedures, especially in airports, to increase security while speeding up the process with economic vitality in mind. The trick is to identify and analyze the travelers and cargo before they get to the border – or before they board the plane. Then at immigration checkpoints, all screeners need to do is verify that the traveler is the same person who was already cleared to cross. Two-factor

verification with a passport and a biometric identifier like a fingerprint or an iris-scan is quick. It also can be easily automated. Most countries could greatly improve travelers’ experience by clearing the majority of travelers in advance. Many are already taking steps along these lines because of the economic benefits of making countries more accessible to both tourists and business travelers. Last year, Australia and Canada became the first two nations to implement pretravel screening systems based on a new standard being used by airlines worldwide.

By Charles L. Prow General Manager, Global Government IBM

Using advancements in IT like big data analytics, governments can do what those companies do: understand the patterns of a person’s behavior and know what it implies. If people – business travelers or family members, for example – travel frequently to the same places and stay for short periods before returning, they should be waved through the border the next time they come. The key to the way businesses use customer relationship systems is the ability to collect and update all data about a customer and automatically evaluate it each time a new transaction occurs. Governments can use similar big data analytics techniques to make decisions about travelers. They can collect data that airlines create in standard Passenger Name Records (PNR) as recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

Edited excerpts from a presentation on Govtech.com, an online portal about government and technology

|Manafez Dubai |August ٢٠١٤ | 39

English  
English  
Advertisement