UAE's Emirates ID card gets new name

Identity card to be rebranded as Resident Identity Card; no need to re-apply


@ 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.


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.

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

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.


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..


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 .

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.

Omar is back

Alex, until this due time comes, we need to respect this place 100% and if we cannot, leave today with dignity and respect!!!Funny how some westernersor even Asians mention bureaucracy in UAE!!!The European Scheghen visa is the biggest bureuacracy and this is why many European countries arejust now offering lifetime residencies for foriegn investors bypassing the bureaucratic European system!!The Australian or any immigration system in the west is insane bureaucracy!!!The whole complicated and moody taxation system in the west is the worst bureaucracy-one day 75% tax another day 55% then 40%!!!!The UAE ID card or SIM registration or UAE visa system are one of the smoothest in the world!!and UAE ranks high in almost all easy to do business indexes worldwide!!But again, the typical moaning character in Europe while Dubai, Singapore and many giants are overtaking the lead

James Marshall hit the nail on the spot..."Typical bureaucracy wasting our working lives"... I've been here in this country for a long time and it does seem lately that unnecessary paperwork for things that effect people lives more than they fix things are increasing... All these bureaucracy does is to create jobs for the new entrants with no results of visible productivity. Take for example, Emirates ID registration process where entire new levels of jobs were created for nationals where they spent most of their time pushing paperwork under scanners and holding people's hands onto the fingerprint readers. Had they processed the Emirates ID along with the mandatory Medical tests, they could have used half the resources and could have put the nationals talents into better use in other places. Our precious time here could also have been saved and put into spending time doing more productive work and spending with family than unnecessary wasting our lives standing in lines !!!


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.


Guests? Not quite. Paid workers.

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

Omar is back

There is no equality between an Alien resident and a citizen in any country on earth - Yes, residents rights vary between a country and another but overall UAE is NOT bad at all, although this decision represents an unfortunate set back!!! UAE has clear rules- they don't grant citizenship and this should simply be understood!!!Even in Europe laws defer, some grant after 7 years of residency, others after 13 amd others after 20 years!!!!Yes, i am against the loose Canadian citizenship system that many Asians residing in UAE love who get the Canadian passport after 4-6 years without knowing basic things about Canada!!!People coming to UAE must know once for all that they are temporary Alien Residents!!! Is it that hard??!!!Many don't want to understand bcz they wish they could become UAE citizens to get the locals' benefits-Unfortunately, this is NOT possible!!!!C'est la vie!!!


Irrespective of the nationality, no one other than the people who threw their hardearned money as "so-called investment" like to surrender their nationality to pickup an unpredictable one.

Citizenship cry is just a matter of desperate urgency to recover the wealth that we dropped it by mistake.

When you look at the volume theory, Citizenship advantage will not be financially and logically lucarative when you find it in your hand.


Thank you James Marshall... spot on. We are guests here and have no issue with it. Its a lovely little eco-system we have going - we're here for the lifestyle and tax-free salaries and the UAE hosts us for our know-how, expertise and service. Win-win all around.

Ask any European if they want the nationality and I think you'll find the answer is almost always a resounding NO.

Anyway, the point being made here is not that we mind what the card is called or that we remain residents for the duration of our time. We just want to see the card being USED somewhere! If you're going to force me to stand in line and pay money and all this constant palava... I'd like to know that it was for a worthy cause.

I haven't needed my ID card anywhere so far and the e-gate is the first worthwhile use I've seen. However, for someone like me who doesn't travel more than twice a year, that's not a great reason.

Oh well.


I doubt if anybody would be interested in UAE citizenship (or any of GCC for that matter). The serious, long term professionals and investors would probably like the concept of Permanet Residencey (PR), which fecilitates long term stay without giving rights associated with citizenship. It will promote businessmen and skilled talent to stick to UAE with long tem commitment and contribution. However, given the paranoia and quest for revenue channels, it is will remain just another thought.

Dubai Diary

Its just to show the expats that they are workers here and have limited self-respect!!! The equality part is over more than a decade back in the UAE.

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