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Thu 13 Nov 2008 08:38 AM

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Banks 'could freeze accounts' of ID card violators

Emirates Identity Authority confirms it is in talks with banks over Dec 31 deadline.

UAE residents who fail to register for their national identity cards before the deadline of December 31 could have their bank account frozen, it was claimed on Thursday.

A top official at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) said they were working with a number of banks across the country to see how they can cooperate with the federal law requiring all UAE nationals and professional expats to hold ID cards by the end of 2008.

At present details are unclear, but Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, planning director for EIDA, told UAE daily Khaleej Times: "“Some government and private sector companies are in support of this scheme…we are working closely with banks, which are also in support of this law.”

Expatriate professionals who do not carry cards will not be fined until 2010 but may be unable to access government services such as healthcare after the deadline for registration.

The paper did not make it clear whether the account suspensions would be levied only on the accounts of UAE nationals or to expats also.

An estimated 552,000 people are still to register for the ID cards amid long queues at EIDA centres in the UAE but the authority said it has no plans to extend the deadline.

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Peter Higgins 11 years ago

That sounds like cowboy country. I wouldn't think they would dare, as it would mean a run on the banks and Dubai would definitely be dead after that. Even threatening it seems to have potentially severe repurcussions for the banks. If only someone was thinking before making these announcements!

Doug 11 years ago

Question: If I fail to get an ID card and get my bank account frozen, how am I supposed to pay to get an ID card to rectify the situation?

S G Mathew 11 years ago

This is definitely a violation of "HUMAN RIGHTS". No one can freeze the hard earned money of the expatriates. Even in the midst of this Economic Crisis, squeezing money for an Identity Card is really cruel.

padmaraj 11 years ago

This kind of action is a heavy blow, globally all are facing financial crisis, and banks not having funds. In such a situation all will try to withdraw cash from bank will lead to more complications. The only way to extend time limit and let the people to relax. If people who love the country will emerge.

Sandeep 11 years ago

Peter and Mathew, we all know that what they are saying and be doing is not right. but that's what it makes this country unique in this aspect.

AD 11 years ago

What if people decide to emptied their banks accounts and either transfer all the funds to off-shore banks or even take it back as cash. What will the banks do then? And what will the government do with less taxes they would have to collect from the banks (foreign ones)? The Authorities have been talking for years about the National ID and considering our visas are renewable every three years, it would have been logical and hassle free to register us while we submit for residency/work permit renewals.

Edward 11 years ago

EID leadership lives in a cage. They have no idea how to "manage" population and get things done. They manage with fear and short term objectives, that is typical for immature management and leadership.

Tom 11 years ago

All the information they are supposed to know about me is in the government database, can't they just collect that info, and verify it with me at a later date. After all, I am not going to stay here forever, you won't see me around in a years time, so why are you wasting my time with something I don't see necessary? Isn't the time I am spending in the traffic jam and the rest of the dysfunctional system enough????

gonzo 11 years ago

If they stick to their deadline it means that 552000 people have about 40 days left to get their ID card. (Taken into account the holidays and fridays when you cannot register.) This is 13800 people a day. I read they can process a maximum of 8000 cards a day. Conclusion: NOT POSSIBLE Seriously.

Chris 11 years ago

1) Introduce a law that requires residents to have an ID card 2) Set up an ID card registration system that doesn't work so you can't get an ID card... then 3) Freeze the bank accounts of those who do not have ID cards Is this a conspiracy to steal my money or am I just being paranoid?