Have you got your ID Card?

The General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council has announced that the use of an Emirates ID card will now be mandatory for all UAE residents, including foreign nationals.

The deadline for UAE citizens and their family members to obtain ID cards was the 1st November 2011.  This was confirmed in a circular issued by the Dubai Executive Council which stated:

“All Emiratis, effective from November 1, 2011, should produce and show the ID along with the passport and the UAE citizenship-like family book to finalise and get all transactions and dealings done at the work places, and enjoy the benefits,”

Foreign nationals in other parts of the Emirates should produce the ID card with effect from 1 December 2011.  However Foreign Nationals in Dubai have until the 1 June 2012 to obtain the ID card and those Foreign Nationals in Abu Dhabi have until 31 March 2012 and likewise in Sharjah until the 31 January 2012.

Children below 15 years, both Emiratis and expatriates are exempt from the condition until 1 October 2012.

The timetable for the ID card is as follows:



Foreign nationals in Dubai

May 31, 2012

Foreign nationals in Abu Dhabi

March 31, 2012

Foreign nationals in Sharjah

January 31, 2012

Foreign nationals in other Emirates

November 30, 2011

Emirati Nationals

October 31, 2011

According to a statement by the newly formed EIDA (Emirates Identity Authority), as many as 409,000 UAE nationals and residents registered for ID cards in October including around 23,000 on October 31.

The authority asked customers not to wait until the last minute to complete e-forms and added that registration through the e-form exempts applicant from paying late fees.

The authority denied the rumours spread by certain application centres (commonly referred to as ‘typing centres’) that the e-form system was not working properly.  However to deal with the high volume several new biometric centres have opened up in shopping malls within the Emirates.  It should be noted that foreign nationals in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will need to pre-register for a medical examination prior to applying for the ID card.

The EIDA announced that the e-forms for individuals and businesses would be provided via its website as part of its initiative to provide online services to customers and thus alleviate the pressure experienced at typing centres who are presently handling most of the applications.

The authority reiterated that it would not assume any responsibility for any lost or damaged passports simply left with these‘typing centres’ and called upon customers to take responsibility for their passports.  It pointed out that Emaratech’s database showed that some typing centres are working up to 24 hours a day to complete as many transactions as possible.

The authority also underlined the necessity for a customer to collect his/her ID card within 30 days from the date he/she is notified of its approval so as to avoid the card being destroyed.  Approval is usually notified speedily via a text message.

Newland Chase would recommend that all expats or Emiratis should apply for their ID card as a matter of urgency.  Given the problems presently being encountered at the ‘typing centres’ we would encourage applicants to use the E-Form system and to allow sufficient time for medical examinations to also be carried out.  Applicants should also check the deadlines for applying for the ID card which varies within the UAE depending on your area of residence.  It should be noted that the ID card will need to be produced in addition to your passport and residence visa when requested.  You will therefore be required to carry all 3 documents.

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