Dubai issues new guidelines for outsourced service centres

Guidelines cover operations, facilities, human resources and service standards

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has launched comprehensive guidelines for its outsourced centres providing business registration and licensing services in Dubai as part of its strategic objective of improving service quality and ease of doing business in Dubai.
The guidelines state service standards and requirements, unified procedures to be followed as well as roles and responsibilities of all outsourced service centres, to ensure an improved service experience to customers.
The scope of outsourcing agreements and powers granted to the outsourced centre, role and responsibility of the various sections within the outsourced centre, procedures for archiving transactions, mechanism for creating/cancelling user names, and unified service charges for the various transactions are all included in the first-of-its-kind set of guidelines.
Omar Al Mehairi, Director of Development and Follow-up Management in DED’s Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector, said the guidelines are part of evolving clear strategies for performance development and public services. “Specific guidelines and clear mechanisms for outsourcing and services provided by the outsourced centres naturally stimulates healthy competition between the service centres and integration of global best practices into their service delivery.”
Al Mehairi added that the first half of 2016 itself has witnessed a 20% increase in the number of outsourced centres providing DED services. “There are 22 outsourced service centres now and by 2017, it is expected to increase another 18% and reach 26. Such increase in the number of service providers make a clear guideline on their facilities, human resources and operations essential so that the expected improvements in service quality can be achieved.”
As per the guidelines, outsourced service centres should have no less than 500 square-metres of floor area and must provide parking facilities, include valet parking. The centre should be disabled-friendly, have a minimum of five service counters and dedicated space for the Department of Economic Development. Trained and qualified employees should be present to deal with customers and the centre should have a reception desk as well as customer service counter and call centre to answer customer queries.
Al Mehairi said the outsourced centre should provide free WiFi and mechanisms to record the waiting time as well as time taken for transactions so that the Department of Economic Development can extract a report on such data any time.
“Staff at the centre must receive training for no less than 10 days in business licensing and registration procedures and they should pass a test before being able to receive a user name on the electronic system,” Al Mehairi concluded, emphasising the need to create a motivational spirit among outsourcing centers to ensure ongoing competition and the pursuit of innovation and excellence in the provision of services.