5,955,229 people visited the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in 2018 viewing and browsing 10,585,084 pages. During the same period, ICA’s website attracted 2,110,823 new visitors accounting for 27.7%, while the average time spent per each visit amounted 2 minutes and 44 seconds.
Meanwhile, ICA affirmed that this significant turnout towards its website stresses the fact that it is one of the federal entities that provides services for all segments of UAE society, including both individuals and corporates. This is further accentuated after adding new terms of reference to ICA, namely: nationality, passports, entry and residency of foreigners in the State. The website is one of the major outlets through which ICA provides its services, while constituting the basic source of information furnished in all ICA-related aspects along with its activities and initiatives. Furthermore, it is an influential far-reaching means of communication addressing a wide spectrum of audience.
Abdulaziz Al Ma’amari, Director of the Government Communication Department at ICA said that ICA’s website is constantly reviewed and periodically updated to add recent and new information about ICA’s services. Therefore, ICA’s website would always be the open window through which information would be accessible to customers and information seekers whenever and wherever they wish.
He added that ICA upgraded its website last year to correspond to its customers’ visions and tendencies. In collaboration with Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, ICA has aligned its website with the User Experience Lab, in order to develop its digital presence on the web and smartphone applications. Advanced global methodologies are being implemented to ensure that the website takes into account the desires and needs of users, while making ICA’s services more accessible to the highest levels of ease and usability.
Al Ma’amari further stated that the experiment was carried out as per a globally-tested scientific methodology to users’ stereotypic behaviours when attempting to look up information or receive digital services from ICA’s website. The experiment included real users in real-life situations where they were seeking certain services.
Al Ma’amari also noted that ICA was keen to apply all the standards of TRA and Prime Minister’s Office in relation to websites and e-services quality, thus effectively contributing to upgrading the website in terms of content and design. ICA’s website has become one of the most significant service outlets and means of communication addressing ICA’s customers.
He added that one of the improvements introduced by ICA to its website in 2018 was adding the pop-up support feature for people of determination with speech disorder and hearing impairments by using sign language. This step is meant to translate the website’s content for visitors with hearing impairments, in order to enhance communication and interaction with such group of UAE nationals, while providing support pertinent to ICA’s online services as well as the website’s diverse contents.
Moreover, Al Ma’amari explained that ICA’s website provides visitors with a smooth, user-friendly browsing of its different sections and pages, and enables visitors to access information, apply for services, and view the required steps, documents, charges and timeframe for service completion. This, on one hand, aims at bringing happiness to visitor while saving time and efforts. A successful strategy of electronic and smart transformation of the UAE Government is also pursued, on the other hand.
Al Ma’amari indicated that ICA is also keen on activating the service features of the website by highlighting those provided to individuals and corporates in the fields of identity, nationality, foreigner’s affairs and ports. The website avails an e-form, which can be used to enjoy various services including, ID issuance, renewal, and replacement, submitting delay fine exemption application, and submitting feedback. The website also provides services for corporates including data mapping, Validation Gateway transactions and the e-channels services including, for UAE nationals, all sponsored-related services, for residents, residency services (issuance, renewal and cancellation), and for GCC nationals, the services provided to their sponsors. Through the website, customers can apply for UAE entry visa for all GCC residents and those who wish to visit the State.
He further noted that ICA provides corporates with several services through the website e-channels, including applying for visa and residency permits for corporates and their sponsored employees and ID card status, whether for identity, nationality or residency services.
Al Ma’amari further illustrated that apart from ICA’s basic services, the website also provides many value-added services, which are considered points of attractions. These services include without limitation, getting directions to reach ICA’s centers, waiting time in each center, the nearest center to the customers’ location and the time taken to reach it. A special feature is customizing the website characteristics to suit the preferences of each customer, such as changing colours, night reading feature, using the search tools that provide multiple browsing options that meet users’ requirements according to the keywords they enter.
He added that the website also provides the feature of converting voice to a written text, which can be used to search in both Arabic and English. The website is also featured with the live chat service (Ask Hamad), which enables customers to directly contact ICA, ask questions, get immediate response, and handle customers’ complaints related to ICA’s services or performance in accordance with the best practices adopted in such field.