The UAE recognises the use of electronic and/or digital invoicing. Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 on Electronic Commerce and Transactions applies to electronic records, documents and signatures that relate to electronic transactions and commerce and gives a legal recognition on their use. The law establishes uniform rules, regulations and standards for the authentication and validity of electronic communications, including electronic invoicing and the use of electronic signatures.
Under the law, government departments may:
accept the filing, submission, creation or retention of documents in the form of electronic records
issue any permit, licence, decision or approval in the form of electronic records
accept fees and other payments in electronic form
put out tenders and receive bids relating to government procurement by electronic means.
Ministry of Finance (MoF) uses the eProcurement system which automates the whole purchase cycle until the completion of fees payment process. The system enables suppliers to participate online in tenders and auctions submitted by the UAE’s ministries and federal entities. It allows suppliers to follow up on purchase orders and submit digital invoices.
Similarly, the electronic invoicing system of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority allows the contracted suppliers to submit invoices electronically and follow-up financial dues, purchase orders, contracts, and awarding notifications via electronic alerts.
In 2021, Dubai Smart government will go completely paper-free, eliminating more than 1 billion pieces of paper used for government transactions every year, saving time, resources and the environment. As a fully paperless government, 100 per cent of internal and customer transactions will be digitised from 2021. That means the Government will no longer issue or ask for paper documents across all of its operations. Smart Dubai is focusing on implementing the necessary technology to enable paper-free transactions and a legal framework to address digital procedures.