By Andy Sambidge
Federal National Council committee recommends expats should have labour cards instead.
A Federal National Council committee has recommended that identity cards be issued only to Emiratis rather than the entire population of the UAE.
The recommendation comes as the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) struggles in its efforts to issue five million of the cards to everyone living in the country.
The FNC committee has said that the Government should issue labour cards to foreigners living in the country, instead of the ID cards, over the next two years, reported UAE daily The National on Thursday.
“The goal is to have a comprehensive database about those who work in the country,” the committee members wrote in a report discussed this week, according to the paper.
“The ID card should only be given to citizens,” said Mohammed al Zaabi, a member of the specialised labour committee.
The FNC is expected to take up the recommendation at its next meeting in January.
If the FNC, which is an advisory body, passes the committee recommendation, it will be submitted to the Cabinet, which would decide whether to adopt it.
EIDA on Tuesday released a new definitive time guideline in a bid to avoid confusion for ID card registration in the UAE during 2009.
UAE residents and professionals working in the government and private sectors will have until Feb. 28, 2009 to apply for the card, it said.
According to the schedule, residents working in the federal and local government sector, and professional residents including their family members can register for the new national ID card from this month to the end of February.
READ CAREFULLY: ''The goal is to have a comprehensive database about those who work in the country,â€ followed by â€œThe ID card should only be given to citizens'' Citizens meaning UAE nationals in the text above. This finally confirms what I have been feeling/thinking for a while now: they want all expats to leave this country! Kicking bachelors out of their houses, firing thousands of people, increasing the minimum wage demand for sponsoring families, no more bank-loans, increasing rent prices, no increments... I've got the feeling they are trying to make it so hard for people to live here that in 2 years time no expats will be left, and UAE Nationals will be the only people here, hence the reason why only they should have an ID-card.
I strongly support the statement of the FNC Committee and infact they are 100% correct. I hope they make an end to these endless EIDA issues with the expatriates.
About time, but let's hope they decide on this ruling before many expats apply for their cards by standing in line for hours before the 28th of Feb.
We can only but hope that this comes to pass. However, I dont understand the statement "The FNC committee has said that the Government should issue labour cards to foreigners living in the country, instead of the ID cards, over the next two years". We already ARE issued with labour cards, once we get a residence permit and start working for a company. I am amazed at the amount of confusion surrounding this matter. Time and time again, it seems like the various governmental departments dont really talk to each other. Does anyone remember that the head of Dubai Police didnt know anything about Salik when the RTA introduced it?
I wonder why FNC failed to give this very logical & sensible recommendation earlier, so as to avert all the chaotic confusions linked to ID-card? There seems to be a great decision ahead!!!
Although I see Gonzo's point and can't completely dismiss it, the more I read about the FNC the more I like them. They tend to be pragmatic and direct in a culture that thrives on beating around the bush.
Perhaps ID cards and citizenship should be awarded on the basis of who has contributed what to the society and economy of the region ;-)
I can't believe that it's only NOW the government realised that expatriates don't need ID card at all. The labour and health cards are more than enough to provide all the information required. This confusion simply shows that government agencies should learn more about the significance of coordination at work.
What happens to those who already have the ID-Card and if they pass the bill that only citizens need to have an ID card? will there be a refund? or do I become a citizen since I already have the card? :)
The National ID Card is, actually a good move. The only problem is that the deadlines set were and still are ambitious. It would have been better if they were issued for new visas and visas with more than 2 years to run, which would mean that they could be issued as part of a regular renewal process. The problem is that the government in Dubai seemed more concerned with the penalties they could levy than security. Also it should have a different name such as UAE ID Card! The use of the term "National" sends shivers through the Majlis and the possibility that this might equalise the term to all when it is actually a status symbol.