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Fri 28 Nov 2008 01:50 PM

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39% call for ID card system to be scrapped

Arabian Business poll also shows further 52% want Dec. 31 deadline to be dropped.

Thirty-nine percent of Arabian Business readers have called for the controversial new ID card system in the UAE to be scrapped, according to the results of our latest online poll.

A further 52 percent of respondent called on the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) to officially forget the Dec. 31 deadline for applications amid growing concerns that thousands of residents will be unable to register in time.

Last week, a new software application that helps people to register for the new ID card in the UAE was added to the Arabian Business website in a bid to divert traffic from the official Emirates Identity Authority website which has been struggling to cope with the huge number of people trying to access the pre-registration software.

With an estimated 700,000 Emiratis and expatriates still to register for the identity card, a large majority of Arabian Business were in no doubt about what needed to be done.

More than 50 percent of people who took part urged officials at the EIDA to scrap the Dec. 31 deadline and set a new date.

The official deadline for obtaining the card is still Dec. 31, officials say, for professionals. No extension has been made but people who do not obtain the card will not be fined immediately.

On Wednesday the UAE's Ministry of Health announced that the new ID card would replace the health card to obtain services at public hospitals.

However, those who have yet to get the ID card can still obtain medical services using their health cards, he explained.

Just three percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the system for applying for the ID card and urged others to start queuing at EIDA centres rather than complaining about the deadline.

A further six percent of people called on EIDA officials to open their offices throughout the holiday period in December in a bid to deal with the long queues of applicants.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Karim 11 years ago

Security and Efficiency is essential in every civil society.The government's initiative for the ID card is a great step forward,the population has increased dramatically in the last decade this has called for drastic measures to maintain control over the incoming population and oversee the demographic imbalance that is becoming one of the greatest challenges.I applaud the government for this innovation for it will boost efficiency at all levels throughout the nation.

Mr G 11 years ago

I too believe that the idea of ID cards in the UAE is a good one. BUT: Someone has messed up badly! A couple of weeks ago, my colleagues and I calculated that if there were 15 registration centres in the UAE, each with 35 active desks processing one applicant every 10 minutes, eight hours per day, on every single working day from then until Dec. 31, it MIGHT have been possible to register all the remaining nationals and compulsory residents. However, that is far, far from the case... So, identity authority, when will someone realize that the requirement you've placed on residents is simply not achievable by the deadline - due to your own lack of allocated resources!

Marvin 11 years ago

Until very recently, I was blissfully unaware that I had to get an ID card. Even my employer had not mentioned the issue until a week or so ago. Now I find myself caught up in this hysterical panic to try to register for an appointment, let alone the registration itself. And all this to be completed by Dec 31. The question remains, as an E-Gate card holder, why couldn't this information, already held about me (fingerprints and all), be simply transferred to the ID card? "Lets make a simple task difficult shall we!" seems to be the catch-phrase here. Why the necessity for a pre-registration? And why stop there! How about a pre-pre-registration? And why did I spend hours, on eight different websites, to download the ruddy software that only enables me to print a form to pre-register with? I'm waiting for one of the Monty Python team to leap out and say "This is rather silly!"

KB 11 years ago

1. Last week I read in a newspaper that to get health cards, one has to produce an Emirates ID card. Well, I understood that I will have to carry only Emirates ID cards to access all kinds of services!!!