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Sun 2 Nov 2008 11:25 AM

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Chaos as expats flock to get ID cards

UAE expats left disappointed last week as overcrowded centres meant many could not get cards.

Expatriates across the UAE were left disappointed last week as overcrowded Emirates Identity Authority (EID) centres meant many were unable to get their mandatory national ID cards.The confusion has led to criticism of the registration system and of the EID's decision two weeks ago to bring forward the registration deadline from 2010 to Dec. 31, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.

The government plans to register approximately 400,000 expatriates by the end of 2008, however this now looks as though it will not be realised, according to the newspaper.

People that fail to obtain national ID cards on time will lose the right to use government-related services.

Contributing to the chaos was the fact that Emiratis, who have been granted months to register, have not all come forward within the given time - an estimated 200,000 have yet to apply, the newspaper said.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Ron Saldanha 11 years ago

So does everybody in Dubai has to get these by the end of the year? or is it only for the professionals which was stated in a few articles floating around?

Rainigade 11 years ago

Its not just the poor planning, unrealistic time frames and unorganised centres..... the horror begins when you try to register online. The website for this has to win the award for the most annoying ever! Every page takes eons to load - if it ever does go through, that is, and you dont get stuck with "error timed out". When it does load, the fields are very user unfriendly and obviously just translated from Arabic to English without much thought. For instance, one of the compulsory fields is "middle name". Well, I'm sorry... I dont have one. I have a first name and a last name and my parents didnt think to give me a second name. Since the field was compulsory, I put "N/A". Well guess what, when I clicked next and the following page FINALLY loaded up, it said "MyName N/A". Ohhhhh.... so they meant my FAMILY name then! Imagine my utter pleasure when I clicked back and lost all the information I had plugged in. Imagine even further pleasure when I reached that stage again (an hour later) only to lose the information YET AGAIN... when I clicked "Next" to proceed further. I have been trying to register online for a week. Now to get to my point, after all this ranting - apparently one can get a paper form at the Post Office for AED 40. Aha! It all makes sense now. Yet another money making scheme. And yes, the Post Office gets a little something-something as you have to MAIL that form back and then a "smart form" will be mailed back to you, using which you get an appointment at the Centre. And pray tell, what is the point of appointments if chaos ensues at these centres anyway?

jenny 11 years ago

ron: everyone has to get them; babies included rainigade: i share your frustration. it gets even better though. My family and i have been trying to get an appointment for what seems like forever only to be told that no more appointments are being given. Instead, you have to show up at a centre well before 7:30am and inshalla someone will be able to see you. if not, you come back the next day ... and the next ... and the next ... seemingly ad infinitum (fyi, i did try to get an appointment in other emirates ... no luck there either!)

alieghkhan 11 years ago

All please note that its a waste of time going to websites , calling for appointments and trying other stunts, the only way is to pay 40dhs to the emirates post and have the job done. as this is the agreement done by the eida and empost due to which everybody is facing such frustration. i would like to know what sharia law says about this whole game. the egate cards are obsolete the system never worked but they managed to get 100dhs + 25dhs from each individual if they want to really do this , they should have done while having the Residence Visa Renewed which would have avoided this nusance

Saber El Masry 11 years ago

Ok horray ... horray after so many attempts I succeeded to Register in the internet after mid night. I printed the page with bar codes. next day I went to get appointment they said no appointments come early tomorow. Next day I went there at five a.m. 70 people I found in front of me. The gate was opened at 06:30 and we were squeezed like animals in the stair case for four hours then they took 35 people and told others to come tomorrow................ and another tomorow ...... horray