Pak consulate mulls toll-free number to improve services

Pak consulate mulls toll-free number to improve services
Pak consulate mulls toll-free number to improve services

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

The Pakistan Consulate in and Northern Emirates has announced that they were planning to get a toll-free number to add to its recently installed ‘multi-telephone-line calling centre’ with the aim of serving the community more professionally.

This was stated by Gayan Chand, acting Consul General in Dubai, while accompanying mediapersons to review the new services.

“The Consulate General in Dubai has been receiving around 500-700 calls daily from the Pakistani expat community residing in different parts of the country. Due to the limited number of lines and old telephone system, we were only able to cater for around 250 calls and the remaining were dropped. But now we have the latest technology and the deputing of five dedicated calling agents helping the community to cater for the maximum number of calls and currently we are addressing without dropping a single call,” he said.

He was addressing a media gathering in its premises on Sunday. The event was also attended by Dr Faisal Ikram, president, Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD); Ahmed Sheikhani, president, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) and officials from different sections of the consulate.

He mentioned that the call flow was seen increasing during the day between 8am to 4pm and soon the agents would be available round the clock to receive any call. “Sometimes community members need urgent assistance from the consulate during late hours in case of emergencies but we have emergency numbers to cater for such situations.,” he added.

The recently launched mobile application ‘PakInDubai’ by the Consulate General has been receiving attention from the community as so far over 15,000 had downloaded the app which was already in use by the concerned expats. “Currently the mobile app is available on Google App Store and soon it will be on Apple App Store. So far only  the English language is present but Urdu option will be live soon,” he added.

Highlighting the benefits of the mobile app, the acting Consul General said that many options are extremely useful and help community members to resolve their issues without physically visiting the consulate, especially in case of emergency and obtaining a death certificate. “Earlier, the relatives of a deceased person had to visit the consulate personally and get the death certificate after complying with necessary documents, but now this procedure has been made easy to save time and facilitate the community in such hard times. However, expats can track their documents for attestation besides getting confirmation on their job offer letters from Pakistan,” he said.

Ahmed Sheikhani, president, PBC, while addressing the gathering appreciated the officials for their services with the help of the latest technology including website, modern call centre and mobile application.

He also urged the community to avail the online portal for their regular services rather than personally visiting the consulate, especially in the time of the pandemic.

Dr Faisal Ikram, president, Pakistan Association Dubai, vowed to extend whatever support they could for the Consulate General to help serve the community residing in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

“We should adopt the latest innovation to serve the community and stand tall among other expat communities. We will also use our platform to spread the message and educate the community on using new services,” he said.

An earlier report said the Pakistan Consulate General Dubai had become the first mission for the expat community to establish a fully functioning ‘call centre’ with dedicated phone lines round the clock to help the Pakistani community in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

The former Consul General, before leaving for his new assignment last month, had announced that the call centre with a modern phone exchange would be operational soon with dedicated lines and staff to cater for the calls from the community members throughout the day.

A state-of-the-art call centre can receive multiple calls at a time, where the calling agents respond and try to resolve issues and guide callers. “This is the first of its kind among our diplomatic missions abroad.”

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