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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Despite range of features, government mobile app sees low usage among residents

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It’s been six months since the Ministry of Interior rolled out its Metrash 2 service, which allows both nationals and expats to access a range of government services via their smart phones. 

But only 6,000 users have signed up for it so far, possibly due to a lack of awareness about its features, or the steps that must be taken before one can use the service.

Among the offerings is a mobile application that allows expats and nationals to renew their residence permits, renew and replace driver’s licences, conduct vehicle ownership transfers, fill out visit visa applications and approvals and renew e-gate cards.

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Metrash (which means “sending someone on your behalf” in Arabic) was launched seven years ago. It sends text message updates letting people know when their residence permits and other important documents are set to expire, and when they have a traffic violation.

Col. Abdul Rahman al-Malki, Assistant Director of the MOI’s Information Systems Department, says:

“We waited for the technology to mature so that we could upgrade it and offer real and solid services. It is now possible through Metrash2 to avoid wasting time in traffic jams while heading towards the MoI’s service centres. Instead, all this could be done through a smartphone from anywhere, anytime.”

Smart ID required

To use the services, there are a few hoops to jump through. First, a smart ID card is required. It costs QR100, and can be obtained from the Immigration Department in Gharafa, or any at any of the 15 MOI service centers across the country.

After obtaining one of these, you can register for the service at one of the MOI’s self service kiosks, which are located at the main Post Office, Landmark, Villaggio, Royal Plaza, the airport Passport Department, LuLu Airport, the Traffic Department at Madinat Khalifa, Al Meera in Wakrah, the Museum of Islamic Art and Qatar Foundation. 

Metrash is currently only available to Ooredoo (Qtel) subscribers, although Vodafone is in talks with the MOI to also introduce the service. 

More details on how to install and use the app can be found here

Thoughts? Have you tried the service? Is it easy to use?

Credit: Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Interior’s Facebook page

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