The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai will stop the internal collection of fees in its main office and branches in Dubai starting July 2012, transferring the entire collection process to a number of financial institutions across the UAE. The initiative is part of DED’s strategy to facilitate licensing procedures and save time and efforts of customers. Customers will have the option of paying DED fees at 200 outlets across the UAE. The DED employees now working in the fee counters will be shifted to other sections and divisions according to their job skills. Mohammad Al Shehhi, Director of Finance Division at DED, said the new initiative underlines DED’s commitment to apply best practices across all operational areas and job categories. “DED seeks to make transactions as easy as possible for businessmen and investors through offering diverse payment options such as cash, checks or credit cards. This will improve customer convenience and allow DED employees to focus on other services provided across DED branch offices in Dubai,” he explained. “Outlets of Afaq, Tasheel, Ontime, Emirates Post, Dubai Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Mashreq Bank and Noor Islamic Bank provide various DED services including fee collection and payment of fines as well as reservation of trade name, initial approval, amendment, renewal and cancellation of licenses and other services. Some of these institutions also accept online payment on their websites,” added Al Shehhi. Ali Habib, director, corporate quality and management excellence in DED, said: “The corporate quality and management division and the finance division have been working together, engaging financial institutions and service organisations to facilitate fee payment for DED customers. As a result DED already has eight agreements in place with major institutions to offer convenient payment channels. We are also in talks with seven other institutions to expand the network.” “DED constantly strives to improve the services offered through its branch offices in line with customer expectations and international standards,” added Habib. The Department of Economic Development (DED) supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth. DED and its agencies develop economic plans and policies, identify and support the growth of strategic sectors, and provide services to domestic and international investors and businesses.