x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

500,000 ID cards undeliverable

Errors and an overwhelming number of mailings have led to delivery delays, officials say.

About 3.6 million Emiratis and expatriates have registered with the EIDA so far.  Pawan Singh / The National
About 3.6 million Emiratis and expatriates have registered with the EIDA so far. Pawan Singh / The National

ABU DHABI // More than 500,000 Emirates ID cards cannot be delivered because of incorrect contact information and overwhelmed post offices.

About 15,000 cards are produced every day but errors by applicants or in the official process mean delivery staff cannot contact recipients.

The Emirates ID Authority (EIDA) is trying to alleviate some of the problems with self-service machines that will be launched for a trial period next month.

"At the authority it takes three to five days maximum to print the cards and then up to 48 hours to deliver them to the post offices," said Dr Ali al Khouri, the EIDA's acting general director. Postal delays had slowed things down, he said.

Officials have not yet decided whether the self-service machines will be placed at ID card registration centres or in public places such as shopping malls. A new ID registration centre opened at Al Wahda Mall a few weeks ago.

"The trial will continue for a few months, because we also need to see how much people will accept the idea of self service," he said.

Dr al Khouri, speaking at the ID World Abu Dhabi 2011 conference yesterday, said residency visas would be linked with ID cards in Abu Dhabi from June; the remaining emirates would follow by the end of the year.