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Mon 6 Jul 2009 09:05 AM

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Qatar to launch 'smart' ID card in 12 months

New ID card to carry a person's biometric data like their fingerprint and eye scan.

The first 'smart card' IDs for expats in Qatar will be issued in 12 months time after the government signed a QR31m ($ m) deal with a local IT firm for the project.

Itqan Holding was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Interior to issue the smart ID cards, which carry biometric data, like a person’s fingerprint or eye scan.

The new smart ID cards are already issued to Qatari nationals, according to a report by the Peninsula.

The cards, which are the size of a credit card, will serve as the official identification for both Qatari citizens, above the age of 16, and expatriates, when the scheme is implemented in 12 months, the paper said.

Each card contains a microchip which holds personal details, like a person’s name, date of birth and address, as well as a photograph, fingerprint and iris scan.

With these new features, the cardholder will be able to access e-government services, such as requesting official documents, officials say.

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