Dubai: An innovative call center service, the GDRFA Kids Call Center, has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at helping children navigate immigration procedures. This effort is led by Lieutenant General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, the Director-General of GDRFA.
A Service Born to Serve Children
The ‘GDRFA Kids Call Center,’ an innovative and child-friendly initiative by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai, exclusively assists children aged 7 to 12 with immigration, passport, and travel procedures. Only children can call the center at 8005111 (inside UAE) and +97143139999 (outside UAE).
Unveiled at GDRFA’s (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs) innovation center, this new call center service extends the children’s passport control initiative at Dubai’s airports. Lieutenant Colonel Salem Mohammed Ali Sultan Bin Ali, Director of the Customer Happiness Department at GDRFA, noted that the launch, inspired by feedback from young airport counter users, has been a success. Since its trial in November 2023, the service has efficiently handled hundreds of children’s inquiries, demonstrating its immediate effectiveness.
Empowering Children Minds
The call center does not answer questions from adults; it serves as a platform for kids’ minds to voice their ideas and suggestions. “Today’s kids are more informed and imaginative. We want to give them a chance to express themselves,” Lt Col Bin Ali stated, emphasizing the value GDRFA places on the perspectives of the younger generation.
A Range of Inquiries
Children have been reaching out to the center for various reasons, from seeking information about visa statuses to learning about the specifics of traveling to Dubai, especially during periods when GDRFA offers free visas for minors traveling with parents. Queries also include details about the paperwork needed for minors traveling alone and the procedures for Emirati children renewing their passports.
For Children, By Children
A unique aspect of this service is its insistence on direct communication with children, rather than through their parents. “This line is for children to engage with us directly,” Lt Col Bin Ali clarified, emphasizing the importance of empowering children to handle their own queries.
The call center operates 24×7, staffed by a team of 50 employees working in shifts, including 10 remote workers. While the video call service, used mainly for transactional procedures, is available from 7.30 am to 6 pm, the call center offers multilingual support, covering languages like Arabic, English, Urdu or Hindi, Tagalog, Farsi, Russian, and Malayalam.
Efficient and User-Friendly
With an impressive response time of three to seven seconds in the IVR system and a maximum call waiting time of one minute during off-peak hours (extending up to five minutes during peak periods), the service prioritizes efficiency and user satisfaction.
A Call to Action
Encouraging children to take responsibility for their travel-related queries, GDRFA invites children aged 7 to 12 to utilize this service. Together, we can foster a culture of knowledge and self-reliance more effectively among the upcoming generation.
This initiative by GDRFA Dubai not only simplifies immigration procedures for children but also stands as a shining example of how government agencies can innovate to cater to the needs of different demographics in society.