TRA participates in 20th Meeting of GCC e-Government Executive Committee

March 26, 2019

The UAE, represented by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, has participated in the 20th Meeting of the GCC e-Government Executive Committee, in Muscat, Oman.

The TRA delegation included Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director-General, Salem Al Housani, Deputy Director-General for Information and e-Government Sector, and Adel Al Mehairi, Senior Manager of aeCERT.

The meeting discussed two initiatives submitted by the UAE. One of them was the creation of a top-level domain (.GCC) to represent the Gulf identity. This will enhance and maintain the GCC presence in the ICT field, as well as develop and support the spread of GCC websites and providing new options for the internet community in the region.

The UAE's (.GCC) top-level domain was presented to the members of the Executive Committee. The meeting also discussed efforts needed to implement this initiative and its registration procedures. The UAE reported that a number of ICANN legislations have been amended to prevent domain registration of non-qualified parties. The presentation also discussed the importance of conducting a feasibility study for the project, followed up by a specialised GCC team, and if the study results indicated positive feasibility, the subject should be referred to the GCC Ministerial Committee for Post and ICT for instructing on opening the ICANN registration.

The second initiative was related to the development of the GCC e- Portal, and identifying the development aspects that need to be supported as per best international practices as well as the level of development in the GCC e-presence.

The TRA working paper reviewed the status of the portal, figures of the portal visitors in 2018 compared to 2017. The working paper proposed testing the portal for user experience in a specialised lab such as the UX Lab of the UAE Centre of Digital Innovation, CoDI. It also recommended simplifying the process of obtaining information, in addition to developing the portal design in line with the latest international developments, activating the e-participation on the portal, including participatory topics such as e-Consultations, blogs, chats and a successful experiences’ corner. The paper also recommended enriching the 'Gulf data' on the e-portal by adding joint GCC data systems, adding links to all official data sites in the Gulf States, as well as publishing all data pertaining to policies, legislation, manuals, reports and working papers.

TRA Director-General commented, 'The UAE is keen on strengthening the Gulf Identity in the Arab e-presence online, thus, TRA proposed the two initiatives. The top-level domain initiative (.GCC) aims to preserve and enhance the Gulf identity. Moreover, the GCC portal initiative aims to enhance the GCC e-presence online, through the posting of information, services and GCC data on the portal.'

He added, 'We are proud to work with our brothers in the GCC to shape our future in the field of electronic and smart transformation, and to share experiences in the field, especially that the UAE has reached the sixth position globally in Online Services Index, OSI, and it is seeking to achieve the third position in the next edition of the UN E-Government Survey.'

The meeting discussed numerous initiatives proposed by the GCC countries, including a periodic report on e-government achievements, strengthening the information security framework, a benchmarking model for the implementation of the e-government guiding strategy, conducting a business continuity study in emergencies in the GCC countries, in addition to the UAE initiatives of developing the GCC e-government portal and the .GCC top-level domain.