x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

The nation at their fingertips? There's an app for that

For government ministers, the Apple iPad is now an essential 'e-briefcase' with all the info they need to run the country.

The iPad is becoming a tool for good governance.
The iPad is becoming a tool for good governance.

Ministers left yesterday's Cabinet meeting with something extra under their arms - a brand new "e-briefcase" in the form of a fully loaded Apple iPad, with reports, statistics and information to keep them up to speed with the essential business of government.

The e-briefcases include an app that shows all the major federal projects, and are personalised to carry day-to-day updates on each minister's department.

Another app holds reports on international practices in similar ministries abroad. The tablets also have tailored news reports and analysis.

Mohamed Al Gergawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said the iPads were ordered by the Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, to "help speedy decision-making in the Federal Government".

UAE ministers are among the first in the world to have official iPads. While many politicians worldwide are already devotees - Barack Obama was among the first people to receive an iPad 2 before its release last year - a formal role has been slower in coming.

It was reported last week that British civil servants are developing a similar dedicated app for their prime minister, David Cameron.

It will give him at-a-glance information about polling, unemployment and hospital waiting lists, alongside real-time news.