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Wed 19 Nov 2008 06:39 AM

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Expats given more time to register for ID cards

Registrations will continue into 2009 but officials warn services may still be withheld.

Expat professionals in the UAE are being given more time to register for the new ID card although officials are warning that people may still face problems if they don't meet the Dec. 31 deadline, it has been announced.

Skilled workers can continue to register for their identity cards even after the deadline of December 31, a senior Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) official said in comments published on Wedneday.

But the same rule will not apply to UAE nationals and officials insisted no services would be provided to any without the new card after Jan. 1 2009.

It issued a reprieve on Tuesday saying that although the deadline will not be changed, registration of applications will continue into 2009, UAE daily Gulf News reported.

"Although we don't extend the deadline for the professionals, we will be ready to continue their registration even after the deadline but at the cost of certain inconveniences," Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, director general of EIDA told the paper.

"But for UAE Nationals, no services shall be provided without the ID from January 1, 2009 as per law."

Thamer Rashid Al Qasimi, planning director and project management director at EIDA, added that although no punitive measures like fines or freezing of bank accounts will be imposed, EIDA will not be able to help if any organisation demands identity cards for official transactions after December 31.

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Osama 11 years ago

This is really good news, thank you! But I can't help wonder if there's a catch to this.

Rainigade 11 years ago

Can someone PLEASE let us know what services will not be provided to us after the deadline has passed?

ahmedbin 11 years ago

services wont be provided to locals not for you.you can relax and enjoys your time in my country.

Time waits for no man 11 years ago

The ID cards scheme hasn't been promoted or publicised effectively, resulting in many people still unclear on what needs to be done. As for Ahmedbin's comments, the authority has treated expatriates, the people supporting the UAE's economy, with complete disdain. Throwing people out of villas is no way to act. I look forward to the day when the Dubai bubble finally bursts. By that time, I will be long gone and you can enjoy your country in peace.

Doug 11 years ago

Given that it's the nationals who are going to suffer the most if they can't get an appointment because of expats jamming the system, surely it makes sense to extend expat registration a further six months? That way nationals can get registered in time and not lose access to services, and expats can get registered without having to spend days in EIDA offices. Everyone wins.

Arshad Awan 11 years ago

Are Expat getting free medical, transportaton or accommodation facility? What benifit you are giving to Expat gainst that National ID?

rasha 11 years ago

The website is not even working, it has been 10 days of downloading and I still haven't passed the second page out of four pages of the electronic form. The telephone number of Al Mishrif, Abu Dhabi isn't answered at working hours, and the real working hours are between 7:30 am and 2:30pm despite the fact that the hotline {800 number} says that they work till 8 pm, can we go get paper documents? will they be more flexible in their working hours or does everyone have to take one day off to stand in line?

Ashley 11 years ago

Very typical of how things work almost everywhere around here...chaotic!!

Philip 11 years ago

There are no benefits to this card in reality. Like many of the new initiatives in Dubai they are revenue generators (tax). ofcourse expats have to pay more than nationals for the card and we receive nothing essentially. In most countries this is a form of citizen ID but as we are often reminded we are only temporary workers even if you have invested in business and lived here for fourty years. You would be granted citizenship in any country in the world if you invested heavily and lived there for years giving you rights and benefits. The Gulf countries need you but only on their terms where they can have you here benefit from you and then take your hard earned money off you.

M. Siddique 11 years ago

As somebody said, National ID and the way it has been implemented is one more way of doing things in a chaotic manner. Let the Powers-that-be sit ( and the advisors who would have been compensated heavily) back and mull over how this could have been done in a better way. The following is one such way in which they could have gone about this National ID thing. The authorities would have had records of Expats who would have been issued labor cards. From the Immigration Department, it would have been easier to get the (Contact) details of the Company which has sponsored the Expatriate. (After all, we are in the age of IT Revolution). Then it is just the question of contacting (emailing?) the HR Departments with the Application software and asking them to get it circulated among the "Professional" Staff. The Employees in turn will complete the form for themselves and their families to HR Department who in turn will submit it to Emirates ID authorities. The HR Department will deduct the Fees from the Employee's Salary and remit it to Emirates ID. Though the above will appear to involve additional work for HR Departments, this would have had the following advantages: 1. There would have been less Confusion and less chaotic. 2. The Companies would not have lost productivity as employees would not be wasting their time (or their mental energy) in National ID Centres. 3. The Collection (which many suspect is the ultimate motive behind this deadline business) would have been more. 4. The Investment by authorities in this "Venture" would have been considerably less.