The right of participation and inclusion
All society members have equal rights to get digital services, participate in related decision-making processes and get educational assistance. The UAE government launched several initiatives to educate and improve digital skills of vulnerable groups. Some of the initiatives in the area of services are:
Some of the initiatives in the area of digital presence and participation are:
Other initiatives include:
Matjari (My Shop) – It is an app that connects families that make their own products with prospective customers seeking customised products. The app was launched in 2020 by General Women's Unionto enhance digital empowerment of productive families.
The app continued to support the business families to sustain during the COVID-19 pandemic as it offered a safe alternative for customers to shop.
The app is available on App Store and Google Play.
Building civic capacities in eParticipation
The Government of the UAE has given great importance to eParticipation and leveraging modern technologies and ICTs to engage all segments of its community in developing public services and future plans and strategies. To further empower civic engagement and open participatory governance, the UAE launched a free online course on eParticipation. The course aims to introduce all members of the community to the importance of public engagement and to highlight proper eParticipation practices, for effective contribution in better decision-making.
The eParticipation course addresses:
- the concept and tools of eParticipation
- the conceptual framework of eParticipation from the UN’s perspective
- eParticipation supervision in the UAE
- the way public administrations deal with the social media and social communication
- the best way to engage various social groups such as youth, people of determination and senior citizens in the process
- the pillars of the UAE’s eParticipation strategy (PDF, 500 KB) and content management.
Take the course on eParticipation.
Design the future of the UAE
The UAE Government launched a major public digital participation project titled ‘Designing the Next 50’. It aims to engage all segments of the society: public and private sectors, and citizens and residents in designing the 50 years after 2021; following the Golden Jubilee of the UAE’s formation.
The project was one of the initiatives of the year 2020 whose theme was ‘Towards the next 50’. To realise the objectives of the project, the UAE launched a digital platform, UAENext50, to gather ideas from citizens and residents.
The UAE’s ministers hold meetings with members of the society and capture their aspirations for the future of the country. Online panel discussions and brainstorming sessions bring the public sector and private sector entities with the people to work together to develop ideas and recommendations to shape the future of the UAE across the sectors of health, education, social development, economy, environment, housing, tourism, entrepreneurship, investment, skill development, societal values, culture, family relations, sports, youth, food security, science and advanced technologies.
Design your life
H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced an AED500 million drive to enhance the quality of life of citizens in residential areas based on their suggestions and ideas, and not on government plans.
He stated that the government budgets are aimed to serve citizens who know their own needs best. He urged officials to listen to the needs of their people.
Dubai Council is inviting Dubai’s citizens to propose ideas and suggestions to advance the quality of life in their neighbourhoods. All Dubai residents can request for public facilities, playgrounds, parks, jogging tracks or any other services they desire.
A Commissioner-General of the council’s citizen services pillar was assigned to develop Dubai’s societal system to ensure the best quality of life for the citizens.
H. H. Sheikh Mohammed ordered the formation of committees of retired experts in Dubai to raise citizens’ needs to Dubai Council and suggest events and initiatives to enhance the quality of life in neighbourhoods.
The 50-Year Challenge provides an opportunity for all the people in the UAE, across all emirates, to come up with innovative and practical solutions that will contribute in building the next 50 years. Everyone, from all backgrounds and age groups is invited to submit their innovative solutions to contribute in achieving the four Zero objectives which are:
- Zero accidents
- Zero carbon emissions
- Zero child obesity
- Zero plastic waste.
The 50-Year Challenge was launched as part of the UAE Innovation Month in February 2020, to contribute in designing the future and enriching the quality of life in the UAE.
National Digital Participation Plan
The UAE Government’s National Digital Participation Plan 2021-2025 aims to develop a comprehensive mechanism among federal government entities to ensure the highest level of engagement with customers and enhance their participation in policy-making and service development.
The National Digital Participation Plan has five strategic objectives. They are:
- Enhancing the UAE’s leadership in digital government
- Enhancing society happiness by engagement in policy making and service development
- Developing a central participation platform among entities
- Spreading digital participation culture to prepare the society for smart city age
- Enhancing social inclusion (leave no one behind).
Read the summary of the National Digital Participation Plan.
Digital Participation Guidelines
Social media guidelines for Emiratis
H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai tweeted a list of 10 guidelines that Emiratis should observe when using social media. The list encourages Emiratis who represent their country online to reflect the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s image and ethics, the UAE’s accomplishments and humanitarian initiatives, values of modesty, goodness, openness and love for others, a self-confident personality who accepts diversity, is prepared for the uncertainties of future positively and admires his nation. Read about the Social media guidelines for Emiratis.
Digital Participation and Social Media Guidelines for Government Entities
Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) issued a guideline to enable government entities to exploit social media optimally. The objective is to provide government entities with a documented reference that guides them through to the optimal way of using social networking tools with the aim of providing customers with better service standards, interacting more with them, and increasing their involvement in the service evaluation process. View the guidelines (PDF, 3 MB).
Guidelines to represent federal entities on social media
The UAE Cabinet also issued a guideline on how federal government entities should represent themselves on social media platform. The guideline deals with the entity’s brand, account authentication, content, security and privacy, and engagement and promotion. View the guidelines. (PDF in Arabic, 1 MB)
UAE Social Media white paper
Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) issued a set of white papers about social media. The white papers give an introduction about each social media platform, its use, and terms and conditions on privacy, security and content. View the UAE Social Media White Papers (PDF, 1 MB).
Digital literacy courses
Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) offers several courses in digital literacy aimed at supporting the reskilling, upskilling and career transformation of those whose careers were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Courses are offered for free in both English and Arabic and are self-paced. DFF also offers courses in technical and interpersonal skills.
Similarly, TDRA Virtual Academy also offers courses and training programmes to improve digital, technical and soft skills for different segments of society.
The UAE Digital Wellbeing Platform
The UAE Digital Wellbeing Platform is a portal that offers useful tools and resources to help children, parents, educators, and the elderly in leading positive and safe digital lives.
One of its main pillars is to build digital capabilities of the targeted people. It aims at raising digital literacy and awareness. Its specific aims are to:
- provide general digital awareness and education
- provide tools and information to help individuals face the challenges of the digital world
- teach how to use digital technologies, Internet and social media safely, and train on how to address digital challenges and threats through interactive boot camps.
Updated on 26 Aug 2022