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Mon 16 Feb 2009 07:12 AM

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ID card deadline pushed back to end-2010

Decision taken for expat professionals 'to make life easier', says head of Emirates ID Authority.

The deadline for expat professionals to register for the national ID card has been put back until the end of 2010, it has been revealed.

While the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) are still recommending that expats register as soon as possible, the head of the organisation said they would not be penalised if they failed to do so. Latest figures suggest 430,000 expats have still to register for the card.

“Calm down, don’t panic. Your deadline isn’t until the end of 2010,” Darwish al Zarouni, the director general of Eida, said in comments published by UAE daily The National on Monday.

Zarouni told the paper expats would not be denied access to government services if they did not meet the original Feb. 28 deadline.

He said the decision had been taken to “make life easier” for those who had not registered.

His comments are the latest twist to a long-running saga which included chaotic scenes at registration centres with some residents queuing overnight to get an appointment, concerned about the consequences of not getting an ID card in time.

In October, expatriate professionals were told they had until Dec 31 to register or face fines and be denied access to services. That deadline was then pushed back to the end of February, with officials saying there would be no fines until 2010.

thomas 10 years ago

i simply cant believe what i have read. what happens to the expats who have already registered? they stand to loose 200 dhs till end of 2010. why would anyone still want to register now and spend money when they can wait till end of 2010. suitable extension would be 3 months or increase the fees by 50 dhs for late registration.

nikhil 10 years ago

Why not link the ID card to the renewal of ones residency Visa. in three years time, you will have all people with ID cards.

Ramesh 10 years ago

Gentlemen Fees is not the criteria for ID cards. There is a need for infrastructure to issue cards as easy as e-gate card. The present procedure is very complicated and they are giving appointments after march. So its unfair to curtail the goverment services for those who could not get the Card before Feb end. I feel the purpose of the ID card is also not clear because at the time of registration, they are collecting basic information only.

Muhammed Irfan 10 years ago

To Thomas, it was your badluck that you already registered why increase the fee for others because you have already registered. AED 50 or AED 200 is not a big amount for many in UAE but think of the people who earn AED500 to AED 700 per month and now a days not even getting that. its a good move by the Govt of Dubai.

Muhammed Azeem 10 years ago

I have the same opinion of Mr.Nikhil, the Government can make this ID card mandatory, once the expats renew their visas. So by the end of third year all the expats in the country will have it. I have applied for an appointment on November 27 2008 and till now my turn has not come. So Mr.Darwish is comforting himself, hope he is not making fun of us.

Steve 10 years ago

Having spent 7 hours yesterday waiting for my card details to be processed, I am delighted to hear that this decision has been made to spare the remaining half a million residents from more of the same. In the meantime, might I suggest that the entire system is reorganised to avoid such profligate time wastage? For example, give customers a timed appointment? As a footnote, I was also disappointed to see employees at the ID Card Processing Centre I attended mocking some clients lack of English. More customer service training is needed for some employees I feel.

Ian 10 years ago

Get an ID card with your visa? Makes perfect sense, and if they'd started like that in Jan 2008 then everyone would have been processed without all the aggravation by (guess when?) Dec 2010! Arabian Ranches does not exist as a district in the form, so for ID purposes I now live in Barsha or somewhere. Anyway I've got an appointment sometime in April in UAQ, which is handy for the Barracuda - so it won't be a complete waste of time and petrol.