39% call for ID card system to be scrapped

Arabian Business poll also shows further 52% want Dec. 31 deadline to be dropped.
39% call for ID card system to be scrapped
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 28 Nov 2008 01:50 PM

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.

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