UAE's Emirates ID card gets new name

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The name of the the UAE's Emirates ID card will be changed to Resident Identity card for all non-UAE citizens from February, the Gulf state's Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) said.

The cards, currently called Identity Cards for expat and Emiratis, will be changed in line with recommendations from the Federal National Council, which requested authorities distinguish between foreigners and UAE citizens.

Expats already in possession of Emirates ID cards will not need to replace them until they have expired, said EIDA.

EIDA faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE residents to sign up for mandatory identification cards, despite announcing a series of deadlines for applications.

The scheme, which began in 2005, was designed to integrate information from labour cards, visas and other ID documents, and to make government transactions easier.

Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of birth and fingerprints, and can be used as an official source of identification in the Gulf state.

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Posted by: Khulood

@ Business Man, i wonder why you and some expats become so enraged when reminded that they are mere guests in the UAE and they have countries to return to sooner or later. The UAE takes care of its own citizens as much as a mother takes care of her own children, not her neighbors... Wake up, smell the aromatic Arabian coffee and savor it.

Posted by: Saood

Whichever words you coin Pensioners Visa or Retirement Visa or Permanent Residence they all suggest the same thing. Immigration has become a significant political issue all over Europe. The Gulf has learnt great lessons from the irresponsible and liberal immigration laws of Europe.

Posted by: long time "resident"

I believe that if the government wants to differentiate between expats and citizens its fine, it will apparently be changed when renewing the visa so it probably wont cause too much of a hassle .. to all those people who say that UAE should treat long term residents (like myself) like guests and foreigners .. i disagree .. i have been here 28 years.. i love the UAE .. it provides safety good income and so on .. I consider this my homeland, but i know that if i am forced to leave my job at any point in time .. il be nothing more than an illegal resident and that affects me .. the government should not give citizenship to those that they choose not to but people who have lived here for as long as i have should atleast be given the opportunity to stay on .. it feels as though if im not employed im not contributing so get out .. plus if god forbid in the future if any wars errupt in this region .. the 88 percent of population will probably just go back .. unfortunate

Posted by: Business Man

You are absolutely correct Safwat. The situation is crystal clear so there's no point this topic cropping up every month!
The only part I would disagree with is the "loving arms" comment which is quite funny actually.

Posted by: keenobzerver

The UAE will almost never give citizenship to non-arab foreigners. However in the UAE constitution it clearly mentions that GCC nationals residing and working in the UAE for 4 years or more can apply for UAE citizenship.
Now thats out of the way, many people who have spent most of their lives here are worried about going "home" and restarting their lives back in their home lands which could now seem "foreign" to them.
I gould suggestion i have heard would be to introduce a retirement visa for long term residents, or even new arrivals who come specifically to retire in a tax free country. Look at some carribean countries, Mexico, Spain etc.
Some people in UAE do that anyway by setting up dummy companies after retirement to get an investor visa. An official Retirement Visa would be a good idea if linked with property purchase and a sizeable bank account.
Just saying..

Posted by: Safwat

Sorry but whether you stay for 30 days or 30 years, you are a welcomed guest who has a homeland to return to. Your host the UAE opened its loving arms to you and other expats as guests not permanent residents, the UAE never promised you permanent residency or citizenship ever. I suggest you try Australia, US or Canada .

Posted by: Alex TT

Here we go again, let's get this straight, ID, great idea, BAD execution,period. Expats concerns over the new ID it should how much hassle would be to go through the motions (again) and how much is going to cost (again). Typical beauracry we are wasting our working lives on paperwork, Etisalat SIM registration, banks and their paperwork etc.
As for all the locals, WE know we are all "alien" workers, only diference is most of us have choices and the region is just another choice and before anyone starts "if you don't like it........" we all will in due time so don't worry about this one.

Posted by: Burhan

No expat guest was fooled. All expat guests knew all along that they came here to work and build a future, not to become citizens or permanent settlers. Anyone who thinks the Arabian Gulf countries will become migration countries are highly mistaken and are living in a fool's paradise and deluding themselves with vain hopes and wishes. These Gulf countries cannot afford to allow immigration when their identities are all the more under threat. The expat community in Singapore, which the UAE is often compared to, forms just 25 per cent of the population while in the UAE, expat guests form 88.5 per cent of the 8.3 million population, up from 85 per cent in 2006. I am just glad this official document will clearly distinguish between the sons and daughters of this beautiful land and its resident guests.

Posted by: Bugle

Guests? Not quite. Paid workers.

Posted by: not a concerned citizen

Yes you are right that's why U.A.E is still considered part of the developing world. The law and judiciary system is still in its infancy. Human rights is still a developing concept in the U.A.E. Probably in another 15 years it will be more aligned with the developed world

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