Users will only need to hold their card near to their phone and the app will read the data, says the director general of the Emirates Identity Authority.
App will let UAE residents renew Emirates ID via smartphone
ABU DHABI // Many residents will be able to renew their Emirates identification cards via their smartphones by the end of this year.
They will use Near Field Communication, a technology that allows similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them close.
"Some 80 per cent of ID cards in the market today are NFC-enabled. All cards issued from the end of 2010 until now are NFC-enabled," said Dr Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, director general of the Emirates Identity Authority.
Residents will also soon be able to conclude transactions that require Emirates ID via their phone, when the phone is linked to the ID card. This means dealings with government entities, telecoms companies, courts and more will be made easier.
Using NFC technology adds more security to transactions, Dr Al Khouri said.
"Even if one clones the national identity cards, they will not be able to use it due other security measures in place."
The UAE ID card is visa-compliant and contains 10 times more security features than ATM cards.
"The card will be used like an ATM card, too, as we are currently working with four different banks of the UAE," Dr Al Khouri said.
Dr Al Khouri said Emirates ID was keen to closely monitor progress at all registration centres across the country to ensure delivery of quality services and satisfy customers' needs.
"We want to provide more and more services to the people within the second half of 2013."
A mobile app will coordinate the ID service. Users need to hold their card near to their phone and the app will read data from the card.
The authority has issued 14,256.903 cards since it started operating in June 2005. From January until June this year, it issued 2,866,920 ID cards.
The number of people whose cards expire in 2013 is 381,371, and 156,184 in 2014.
The authority will take part in the Summit on the Global Agenda from November 18 to 20 in Abu Dhabi. It will be hosted in the Emirates in cooperation with the World Economic Forum.
Yesterday the authority also announced revised working hours at its registration centres during Ramadan. There will be two shifts - from 9am to 1pm and from 12.30pm to 5.30pm. Working hours for Emirates ID departments and office staff will be 9am to 2pm.