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Sat 6 Dec 2008 12:20 PM

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EIDA concedes defeat in hitting ID card deadline

Authority says many of 700,000 yet to register will miss deadline due to public holidays.

TheEmirates Identity Authority (EIDA) has admitted many of the 700,000 Emiratis and expatriatesyet to register for their ID cardswillmiss the Dec. 31 deadline.

EIDA said due to the public holidays there would not be enough time to register around half a million expat professionals and a quarter of a million Emiratis still to apply for their cards, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Saturday.

All federal ministries, department and entities have been given Dec. 2 to Dec. 11 off to celebrate UAE National Day, Arafat Day and Eid al-Adha, meaning the public sector will not return to work until Sunday, Dec. 13.

Only 73,000 people were registered for ID cards during the entire of last month, according to UAE daily The National.

The National reported on Saturday EIDA might extend the opening hours of registration centres in a bid to increase the number of applications processed.

Both newspapers reported EIDA would continue registration after the deadline.

Emiratis who do not register before Dec. 31 face a fine of 1,000 dirhams ($270) and will not be able to access any government services.

Expatriate professionals will not face fines until 2010, but will not be able to access some government services after the deadline.

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Niranjan 11 years ago

Dear Sirs, I submitted my and my entire family's applications to Empost on Nov. 4. Empost has been appointed as one of the service providers to handle the national ID work. Until today, Dec. 6, I have not received any information from the authorities concerned. It is not my intention to criticise how this whole process is being run, but I must say this is one exercise which is truly an embarrassment to the good work the government of Dubai has been doing over the years. In times like these, when the overall global sentiments are truly negative, anything which is being done and which is not people-friendly, is only going to add to the negativity of sentiments. Dubai, which is otherwise such an investor and people-friendly place, needs to re-examine realistic deadlines for such a serious activity. Do hope concerned authorities will view this whole exercise more positively.

Kishan Solanki 11 years ago

I like the idea of National ID card. But there are lot of hasstle in its implementation. Since, the proposed system of ID Card will be linked to Residency Visa and Labour Card, Health Card, Driving License etc, it is suggested that the system of ID Card may be implemented at the time of issuing Residence Visa or its renewal. This may result into smooth implementation of the System without any hasstle for the Government as well as expats.

Chris J 11 years ago

EIDA managed to register 97,000 people in November which was a record. How then does it really believe that it can register the remaining 700,000 in December. Stop telling the public that it is our fault that we have not registered when EIDA has not had the capacity to register all the remaining people by Dec. 31 even if it wanted to.

Ziad 11 years ago

We have to say it out loud, so that someone hopefully is reading this: We're used to chaos in Dubai. Whether it's a concert, a short rainfall, a small accident on the highway or a new government plan, standing in queues for an infinite time due to poor crisis management is second nature here. And the newest addition, the ID card. Three things I think WILL improve the scenario: - Build smaller but many more ID offices, one in every residential district. - Extend the deadline till next year, for everyone! - Fix the online appointment system! - Open till late, like Etisalat. And that without forgetting that MOST of the expats will go on holidays before the 31st DEC!!! Didn't they think about this? It's Christmas people! I'm leaving on the 22nd, how am I gonna be able to apply? I was passing by the ID centre in Barsha, I saw people camping!! Is this allowed in Dubai? The city of gold? where everything is possible? They build palms over the water but they can't add a few more ID centers? Deadlines.. they love it! But how to get there? It's always gonna be our fault.

Khatra 11 years ago

The best part in the whole messed up story is that EIDA's Kiosk issued appointments to people even during the Holidays. Imagine, I spend 4 hours on my B'day in the queue to get the Appointment on 28th Dec 2008 which later got declared as holiday. Now, when I called EIDA Call Centre, the lady said so casually that my appointment would be cancelled and I have to go again. U want me to spend another day there? U gotta be kidding. I am so fed up of all this (Driving License included) I will go back to my country. That's it guys.

No Nagging 11 years ago

Khatra, no one forced you to be in this country... Stop nagging

Mounir 11 years ago

EIDA has been asking people to register for their ID card for almost one year now. People who waited till the very last month or two have absolutly no excuse. The only thing that EIDA underestimated is the absolute laziness of people in the UAE: you knew you had to get the card, you knew what the reprecussions of not having a card were, and you knew what the deadline was. you CHOSE to wait, and now you blame EIDA?? spare me.