The combined benefits of instant messaging, voice and video calling, business communication tools, and file-sharing capabilities have greatly improved the quality of life for residents in the Emirates.
WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, has revolutionized how we communicate with friends and family. But this app is no longer limited to getting in touch with close contacts. Public and private entities in the UAE have understood the core functionality of this instant messaging facility, allowing users to communicate with others in real-time.
Its instant messaging, voice and video call features, group chats, business communication tools, location sharing, and file sharing capabilities have collectively enhanced the lives of people in the UAE, enabling them to stay connected, collaborate, and communicate seamlessly.
Whether paying for a parking ticket, issuing a birth certificate, or reporting a crime, there are at least ten UAE government services that residents and citizens can avail of through WhatsApp.
Find below the list of services offered along with the respective contact information:
Talk to Sharjah Municipality directly
Residents and citizens in Sharjah can directly communicate with the city's Municipality director general through WhatsApp. The authority recently launched this service, allowing residents to share their feedback, complaints, or suggestions if they encounter difficulties using other communication channels. The Director General can be contacted on WhatsApp through this number: 0501617777
The Municipality issued a statement to make the announcement:
"As a testament to our commitment to delivering services that meet your expectations and overcome any challenges you may face, we have assigned a WhatsApp number that allows you to communicate directly with the Director General."
Get a birth certificate issued
UAE nationals and residents can get their children's birth certificates issued via WhatsApp service. In 2022, MoHAP said that parents can use its dedicated WhatsApp number: +97142301221, to obtain a birth certificate. However, babies born recently in the MoHAP-run hospitals are eligible for this service.
The service uses artificial intelligence to respond to customer inquiries through a virtual assistant and is end-to-end encrypted within an authenticated WhatsApp account.
It costs Dh65 to issue the document and must have an Arabic copy, according to the ministry. English copies are also available upon request. You can either choose to get the papers delivered with an additional fee or pick them up at a MoHAP public health centre. The certificate should arrive within two working days.
Pay parking fees
Motorists in Dubai can pay for parking tickets through the popular mobile app WhatsApp, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on its website.
Drivers can send a WhatsApp to RTA’s Chatbot Mahboub at +971 58 8009090 to pay for parking instead of SMS payments.
How it works:
- Plate number (space) zone number (space) duration
- It should look something like this: A00000 000A 2
- The parking ticket cost will be deducted from the digital wallet of the motorists
Pay utility bills
Dubai residents have the convenience of using WhatsApp to pay their utility bills and monitor their water and power usage. The Dubai Energy and Water Authority (Dewa) introduced the Dewa WhatsApp service in 2019, enabling customers to engage with the authority 24/7, for assistance with electricity and water-related queries.
Through the WhatsApp number +9714 6019999, customers can easily pay their utility bills by following simple instructions provided within the chat interface. Furthermore, the service allows customers to monitor their water and power usage.
By accessing the DEWA WhatsApp service, residents can receive real-time updates on their consumption, helping them track their usage patterns and make informed decisions regarding their energy consumption.
Here are the services available on Dewa’s WhatsApp account:
- Supply management
- Smart response
- Track services requests
- Consumption management
- Bill payment
- Methods of payment
- Pay for a friend
- Auto pay
- Refund service
- Billing transaction history
- Slab tariff
- Tariff calculator
Report women and child abuse
Women and children in Sharjah can report abuse and violence via WhatsApp, with the launch of the Sharjah Social Services Department's (SSSD) 24/7 chatbot service. Abuse victims can get help through WhatsApp number 0097165015995.
People can file complaints without having to deal with an officer, thus their privacy will be protected. A smart assistant named 'Salem' automatically responds to complaints and guides a user through a process that would allow him or her to get help.
When a woman chooses 'protection helpline services' in one of the messages, for example, Salem immediately asks if her life is in danger. Other vulnerable groups in the community, including the elderly, can also rely on the service.
Residents can also get in touch with the department through the main hotline 065015555. Other toll-free numbers include the child helpline at 800700; 800800700 for women's protection; 8007080 for household care; 8008007 for social welfare. They may also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report domestic violence, bullying, and human trafficking
In 2022, the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) launched a WhatsApp channel to receive reports of violence, as well as requests for psychiatric, social, or legal advice.
The new service — which aims to facilitate and speed up the provision of the foundation's services — can be obtained by texting the foundation via WhatsApp through the hotline number 971-800-111.
In addition to its website and 24-hour helpline, the DFWAC offers its services through social media channels.
Book a doctor's appointment
Seha, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, has a convenient WhatsApp booking service for patients in the emirate. With this service, residents can easily make, manage, and schedule follow-up appointments in under two minutes through the number - 02 410 2200
New patients who wish to schedule an appointment will be required to undergo an authentication process. This involves providing their Emirates ID number and phone number to verify their identity.
Once authenticated, patients can access a range of features through the WhatsApp service. They can book new appointments, manage existing ones, and create follow-up appointments with ease. Additionally, patients can view their booked appointments, access general information, and stay updated with the latest news and updates from Seha.
Abu Dhabi transport service
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) launched WhatsApp service, adding an additional communication tool for emergency cases and allowing users to obtain support and track the status of their requests.
By leveraging artificial intelligence technology, the DMT's WhatsApp service seeks to unify the department's communication channels and provide a fast and efficient response to residents' requests. It serves as a convenient platform for users to obtain support, track the status of their requests, and enhance their overall customer experience.
To subscribe to the service, Abu Dhabi residents can follow these steps:
- Add the number 02 678 8888 to their contact list on WhatsApp, saving it under a suitable name.
- Send the word "hello" to the saved contact number. This will initiate direct communication with the service and display available options.
Residents can also directly call the DMT emergency number, 993.
Contact MoHRE for any queries or complaints
Residents can contact UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) department through WhatsApp to submit any queries or complaints. The service is available in English and Arabic, and customers can reach the ministry via the number 600590000.
The new channel offers employers, employees, and domestic helpers to contact the MoHRE around the clock.
The services that residents can avail are:
- Get the establishment's account statement (especially those related to employers). The customer will be identified via the Emirates ID number by sending an authentication code to the number registered in the Ministry before sharing the statement to maintain confidentiality
- File a complaint or register a suggestion
- Request technical support
- Customer data is requested one time only
- Unemployment Insurance Law, the new Domestic Helpers Law & the update on the contract duration clause of the Labour Relations Law are now uploaded
Free mental health support
It's crucial to highlight the significance of mental health and the extensive support options available to individuals in the UAE. Those grappling with mental health issues can access assistance through various channels across the country.
The National Program for Happiness & Wellbeing, in collaboration with the National Campaign volunteers.ae, has established a dedicated mental support line accessible at 800-HOPE (8004673). Operating from 8 am to 8 pm, this helpline provides valuable assistance to residents. Additionally, individuals can also seek support by sending a message to 8004673 on WhatsApp.
For Abu Dhabi residents, the Estijaba helpline is a vital resource for psychological support. By dialing 8001717, individuals can connect with trained staff members from the Abu Dhabi health authority, Seha, who offer comprehensive services over the phone.
News Source: Khaleej Times