Getting married in the Middle East has historically been a drawn out process complicated by the collecting and attesting of a number of documents to verify identity, family history and benefits. In what might be the definitive example of the internet transforming society in the 21st century that process is set to undergo a significant revision.
Couples looking to get married in Abu Dhabi now need only an Emirates ID card and to log on to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department's website and block time with a registrar to get married. The marriage registrar, ‘Maadhun' in Arabic, arrives at the designated venue armed with an iPad and Emirates ID reader through which all the necessary documents required are pulled onto the device. Both parties to the marriage need only affirm their consent digitally before a copy of the contract is sent to them to download.
The process has benefitted from the digitisation initiative undertaken by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), according to IT director and digital leader, Khawla al Qubaisi.
"No paper documents are needed because all of them have been digitised and made available as part of an ADJD programme with the Smart Government initiative," explains al Qubaisi. We can retrieve all documents without needing customers to present them, the same way we have done with land contracts and commercial licenses," she adds.
ADJD's digital journey has seen it unveil a host of other initiatives at GITEX Technology Week. With its new eye litigation app, judges can browse through cases and look into documents via iPads. The authority has also introduced a new Government Controller and Risk Management project to enhance the veracity of services.
"Full digital transformation means system to system and end to end automation. The integration has helped us with compiling accurate data, and reduced processing times as well as human error involved with manually entering information. So now, everything it takes just a few seconds," says al Qubaisi.