SHARJAH — Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) enhanced the level of its services provided to customers and investors to include providing digital services or receiving customers through the reservation system of prior appointments or through service centers contracted with the Department around Sharjah.
This is base on the Department’s interest to provide all services to the customers while taking all preventive and precautionary measures during the current stage.
Thus, SEDD was able to fully meet all the requirements of the precautionary measures to confront the pandemic while ensuring the continuity of work around the clock without being affected by these measures. Such thing is thanks to the great progress it has made over the past years in developing and using advanced technical systems and applications.
Commenting on that, Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, said that Sharjah enjoys economic flexibility that enabled it to face various circumstances thanks to the elements of growth and the general climate of the economy as well as the continuous growth that supports the business sector and contributes to attracting direct investments.
He also added that the Department was able to enhance business sustainability and its flexibility to quickly adapt to new business practices created by the current situation. He pointed out that SEDD will continue to facilitate the business practices in Sharjah in line with the directives and wise leadership as well as according to the rules applied by the Government of Sharjah in the current situation, whereas it works to promote Sharjah’s economy by continuing to support the business sectors.
Al Suwaidi illustrated that the digital transformation of SEDD services reached 100% as well as its investment over the past years in establishing an advanced digital structure that contributed to maintaining the functioning of business and services in these exceptional circumstances, enabled the Department to complete all transactions digitally and through service centers. Therefore, the total number of transactions completed during the pandemic from the beginning of March until now reached 233, 499 transactions through the various service channels of the Department, while the number of completed digital transactions reached 214,785 ones, representing 92% of the total transactions completed during the pandemic. It is worth noting that the Department was keen to diversify the channels of service provision, as the Department had previously contracted with 14 service centers distributed in various cities and regions of the emirate.
These centers provide all SEDD services to customers without the need to visit one of the Department’s branches in the framework of its keenness to simplify and facilitate things on the investors. He also added that SEDD was able to maintain the continuity of its work during the period of remote work, as employees completed more than 19 thousand transactions. He stressed that such thing was due to the development of the digital structure of the Department.
On the other hand, Fahad Ahmed Al Khamiri, Director of Registration and Licensing Department at SEDD, called on customers from various sectors to take advantage of SEDD digital services and complete their transactions through its website or smart applications. Likely, he stressed that the Department seeks to reach its services to the highest levels by providing distinctive quality services through multiple channels. Additionally, he clarified that the demand on the “smart investor” service has doubled during the current year, as the number of completed digital transactions reached 146,064, which confirms the Department’s success in adopting a comprehensive digital strategy, through which it is keen to build an attractive and stimulating environment for investors in the emirate. Also, he carried on that SEDD contributes to strengthening its regional leadership and its local and global position, and plays an important role in providing the appropriate climate and the best environment for dealers and investors. In addition, it contributes to maintaining the sustainability of economic development in the emirate and enables the operating of institutions and companies in Sharjah to continue their work and activities.
In addition, Al Khamiri explained that the Department continues to receive customers through the advance reservation system, which came in the concerns of the safety of dealers and employees and as a commitment to apply preventive and precautionary measures. It should be noted that customers could set an appointment to visit the Department by filling out the visit request available on the digital services or on the Department’s website www.sedd.ae. Also, Al Khamiri pointed out that the number of requests to visit SEDD and its five branches since the start of applying this service and until the present time has reached 8227 visit requests.
It is worth mentioning that there is a noticeable decrease in the number of visits compared to the number of completed transactions is a clear indication of the extent of the Department’s success in diversifying service delivery outlets and the extent of development of its digital services.
For his part, Ali Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of Information Technology Department at SEDD, confirmed that the index of using digital platforms has increased by 34 points since the beginning of the pandemic, to reach 92% compared to 58% during the same period last year. Also, the Department created new channels communication such as hotlines to respond to customer inquiries in various fields. These lines were announced through the Department’s official social media pages, and the number of calls received through it reached more than 73,000 calls. Also, SEDD created an option to boon an appointment to visit the Department in addition to “Labeeh” services in business centers. Such thing led to a decrease in the percentage of visits SEDD branches during the pandemic, to comprise only 8% of the total workload.
In addition, Al Naqbi said that SEDD provides an access to 22 digital services that could be used without an entry ID, while developing access interfaces for services, which contributed to enriching the experience of customers and enabling them to complete their transactions easily. he also added that the Department adopted a method of taking into account the cultural level of users in designing digital services to suit all dealers. Also, new services were introduced during the current year that were not present in 2019.
Furthermore, Al Naqbi stressed that SEDD continues to develop its digital services in a way that enhances and improves the customer experience by providing and developing more services with the aim of simplifying and facilitating communication processes between all customers in order to ensure the provision of advanced quality services. He stressed that the aim of the Department’s continuous development of its digital services and smart applications is to provide all services easily and conveniently to enable economic establishments, as well as to allow individuals and investors to complete their work smoothly at all times and circumstances.