Residents in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, whose visa
expires in 2012, will not be fined for failing to have an Emirates ID card
providing they sign up for the mandatory card when renewing their visa, the Emirates
Identity Authority (EIDA) said.
The agency also extended the renewal deadline for those with
expired Emirates ID cards to Feb 1 for residents in Sharjah, April 1 for those
in Abu Dhabi and June 1 in Dubai.
The deadline for residents whose visa expires after Dec 31,
2012 remains the same, EIDA said in a statement to state news agency WAM on
An estimated 683,000 residents are expected to reapply for
residency visas this year.
EIDA has faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE
residents to sign up for mandatory identification cards, despite announcing a
series of deadlines for applications.
The scheme, which began in 2005, was designed to integrate
information from labour cards, visas and other ID documents, and to make
government transactions easier.
Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of
birth and fingerprints, and can be used as an official source of identification
in the Gulf state.
Effective from April 1 2012, foreign residents across Dubai
will need to register for an identification card before they can complete the
medical tests needed for visa applications.
EIDA has long planned to tie the scheme to the compulsory
medical test that residents are obliged to take when their residency visas are
In November, EIDA introduced penalties for UAE nationals who failed to
apply for ID cards before the final deadline of June 30, in a bid to boost the
number of card holders.
Fines of AED20 per day were to be issued for late
registration, failure to renew cards and failure to update important
biographical data, with a maximum fee of AED 1,000.
Expatriates will face daily fines from this year for failing
to have a valid identity card. Sharjah residents will be charged from Feb 1,
Abu Dhabi from April 1 and Dubai from June 1.
The Northern Emirates applied the ruling from December 1
EIDA said in November it had seen a surge in applications for ID cards since the threat of
fines was introduced, with more than half the population registering for the
Less than AED5,000 has been issued in fines to expatriate
and Emirati residents, director general
Ali Al Khoury told Arabian Business.
“The enrolment rate was accelerated by the new process,” he
said.“Until 2009, we only enrolled about a million people - about 3,000 a day.
Today we are registering more than 17,000 people a day.
“Fines are only one of the procedures... but definitely
[they have] helped a lot in getting a large number of people registered and
giving a boost to the registration rate. Renewals are also about 7,000 a day
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