90% of UAE expats still to register for ID cards

But Emirates Identity Authority says it has no plans to extend the Dec. 31 deadline.
90% of UAE expats still to register for ID cards
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 18 Nov 2008 06:31 AM

Only about 10 percent of expat professionals have so far registered for the new identity card but Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) officials have no plans to extend the Dec. 31 deadline.

Just 60,000 of the estimated 600,000 white collar expat workers have registered for the new card, Thamer Rashid Al-Qasimi, planning director and project management director at EIDA said in comments published on Tuesday.

He added that the organisation could not extend the deadline and reiterated that people who don't register before the end of 2008 will face having government-run services withheld.

"We cannot extend the deadline or say that non- registration before deadline will not attract any problems," Al-Qasimi told UAE daily Gulf News.

He said that although EIDA does not have the authority to take punitive measures like freezing bank accounts of non-registered residents, government or central bank can take any such measures if they wanted.

"Although we know that it is difficult to finish the registration of more than 500,000 expat professionals before the deadline, we cannot do anything now. People delayed it even though the newspapers published the information on expat registration on July 2," added Al-Qasimi.

He said EIDA would take all steps to ease the pressure and would also take appropriate steps if registration is not finished by December end.

He added that new software would be available on the EIDA website from Tuesday evening to allow people to access the pre-application forms for registration.

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