ID card deadline pushed back to end-2010

Decision taken for expat professionals 'to make life easier', says head of Emirates ID Authority.
ID card deadline pushed back to end-2010
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 16 Feb 2009 07:12 AM

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.

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