UAE residents rush to meet May 31 ID deadline

Applicants complain about long queues, overworked staff and lack of information
UAE residents rush to meet May 31 ID deadline
One resident suggested that much of the process should be able to be completed online.
By Sara Anabtawi
Thu 31 May 2012 01:26 PM

UAE residents have been hurrying to the country's typing centres in a last-ditch attempt to file their application for the mandatory Emirates ID card, with many facing queues of up to four hours.

Applicants in one typing centre in Dubai's Knowledge Village district complained of a lack of seating and overburdened staff. Those who do not begin the process today face fines of AED20 per day from next week.

One resident suggested that much of the process should be able to be completed online.

“I came at 6.50am and I got my receipt at 10.53am, so I waited in line for almost four hours,” said Arty Mokhov, a Russian national.

“It takes around two or three minutes to fill the [application] form and another three minutes to pay for it. It is the four-hour long wait in line that is not easy,” he added.

“There are no seats, there is only one guy who is signing our forms and only two people at the cashier. Maybe they need to provide online applications, just to make it fast and easy,” he said.

Stephan Hildebrand, an Austrian national, said that there should be more typing centres through which to complete the application process.

“They need more typing offices. This is the biggest problem here. They are only accepting 300 passports today. So, it is about the quantity of the typing offices,” he said.

Others complained that there had a been a lack of information publicising the May 31 deadline.

“I did not learn about this from my HR (human resources), I was told by my friends that I have to do it by the May 31,” said Gula Rada, a Russian national.

Michal Nguyen, from Australia, said that those who had not begun the application process only had themselves to blame, however.

“It is a very easy process. I already got mine, but I am here for my wife and son, so I know that it is quite easy, but these people have left it till the last moment. When I did it two months ago, it took me 20 minutes for the whole process,” he said.

“Considering the amount of time the [government] has given everyone, and with all the extensions, I think the UAE has done a good job in handling this,” he added.

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