The smart typing centres in Dubai are under tight inspection by immigration officers to avoid flaws in the services.
There has been no increase in visa application fees since the introduction of the one-stop Amer centres for residency-related services, immigration officers have confirmed.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Major Salem Mohammad bin Ali, director of Amer Client Happiness Centre at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), denied claims that visa application fees have gone up since the smart typing centres were introduced across Dubai.
“The fee for printing a visa application form has always been a Dh100, following a 2014 ministerial decision. However, the system is now supervised by the GDRFA to ensure that customers are charged the same amount,” said Bin Ali.
He said in the past, typing centres introduced different prices to attract customers, often violating the system. The fee, unified among all Amer centres, will not be increased for the next three years as per the earlier federal decision that announced a stable expense to public services.
Introducing Amer centres that allow people to finish visa-related transactions and other government services under direct supervision of the GDRFA has been a way to promote healthy competition environment among centres managed by Emirati private investors, Bin Ali said.
Since May, the GDRFA officials have been opening up the centres that allow people renew visa, apply for an entry permit and visit visas, besides finishing visa cancellation and Emirates ID services among other related government services provided by entities like the Dubai Courts, the Dubai Municipality and the Department of Economic Development.
So far, 21 centres are opened across Dubai and that will tally up to 40 by the end of June. At the end of 2018, 70 centres will be open, providing job opportunities to over 1,000 Emiratis. Residents can also finish their visa-related transactions through more than 45 Tas’heel centres across the UAE, of which 14 are located in Dubai.
Amer centres, opened with the aim to contribute to people’s happiness, are fully operated by trained Emirati staff (a minimum of 15) and smart equipment with the capability to finish at least 6,000 transactions daily.
Customers can finish their transactions through a self-service kiosk deployed at the centre or through Amer’s app and website that eliminate the need to visit the branches.
The number of transactions carried out by Amer centres during January and February of this year reached over 89,000. Of these, 35,666 were completed in January while 51,124 transactions were carried out in February.
A tight monitoring system
Through a smart system, immigration officers keep an eye on Amer centres to avoid flaws in applications. First-Lieutenant Salem Hassan Abdulla, head of Amer Centres Section at the GDRFA, said the system monitors and notifies authorities of any application that has been reverted due to typing mistakes or missing documents.
“Mistakes are generally much lower than before when we had typing centres, and that’s because now we have a system in place that sends notifications in case something went wrong,” said Abdulla. Fines apply to these centres in cases of violation.
Abdullah said mystery shoppers are also deployed to report adherence to conditions including space, hygiene, customer service, Emiratisation and employee training.
To open up a centre, local private investors submit an application of the government services to authorities who give certain conditions including design, space, equipment, and staff training. After initial preview, an approval to start up a centre is granted. “When centres open, we make sure staff employed is fully trained,” said Abdulla.
He stated that investors are encouraged to treat Amer centres like a business that needs marketing and good management to promote healthy competition.
The aim behind Amer, Abdulla said, is to provide a monitored system that increases efficiency and saves time, thus contributing to customer happiness. He added that the centres already reduced customer visits from two touch points to one, as residents now finish their transactions in one place without having to visit the GDRFA headquarters.
Authorities are also studying reward system for centres with the best services based on customer feedback. To complete transactions smoothly, residents are urged to bring in their completed documents to avoid disruptions in the application procedure.
Source : The Khaleej Times