SharePoint Internet Web Portal for Dubai Customs

Completed in 2012 Application Development About Dubai Customs Dubai Customs is one of the earliest government departments known as “Al Furdha”, a classic Arabic term for “berth” i.e. the designated location in a port or harbor used for mooring ships when they are not at sea.

Dubai Customs is a government agency that facilitates free trade and helps secure the integrity of Dubai’s borders. The agency had a requirement to upgrade its existing public website from CMS 2003 to a SharePoint 2010 environment, as well as to relocate the website hosting to Dubai Smart Government’s (eHost) sandbox platform. The website upgrade required data migration and a complete redesign of the enterprise website with the look and feel, accessibility and usability that strictly followed the guidelines established by Dubai Smart Government’s (DSG’s) “Dubai Government Website Excellence Model (GWEM).” In addition, the website needed bilingual versions (English and Arabic) to accommodate the various website stakeholders. In order to provide the best web experience and eServices to mobile users, a new mobile version of the website was also required, reflecting the same look and feel of the new and redesigned enterprise website.

In order to meet Dubai Customs’ requirements, TEXPO developed a new website in a sandboxed SharePoint 2010 environment hosted on Dubai Smart Government’s eHost platform. Hosting a website at eHost required extremely close coordination and compliance with DSG’s IT department from project initiation due of the hosting, configuration and code restrictions of a sandbox environment. There were challenges presented because third party code could not be used and DSG performed full code review prior to any kind of deployment onto their servers. However, due to the strong synergy between TEXPO, DSG and Dubai Customs, it was noted by DSG’s IT department that the website developed by TEXPO was deployed at eHost in the least amount of time as compared to any other sandboxed website from any other IT company in the past.

During the website’s concept phase TEXPO proposed multiple website design options to Dubai Customs and enhanced the taxonomy in order to improve the user experience. The existing website content (English and Arabic) was analyzed and migrated to the new website based on the new taxonomy. If content required improvement based on the new layout and taxonomy, TEXPO provided advice to Dubai Customs to enhance the content for maximum quality and compliance. Several dynamic components were developed and the entire website was created by carefully reviewing both the GWEM website evaluation criteria as well as the compatibility requirements of various web browsers. A new mobile interface was also developed with maximum browser compatibility and the same look and feel of the full website. The mobile website offered valuable information and eServices for Dubai Customs mobile website users.

Dubai Customs new website was successfully deployed at eHost in November of 2012 and was ranked as the 2nd best Dubai government website by Dubai Smart Government in terms of quality and compliance.