x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

ID card process needs three years

The registration process for ID cards is expected to end in the next three years, Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour and board member of the Emirates Identity Authority, told the Federal National Council yesterday. The registration has been opened to the public in stages since 2005. Mr Ghobash revealed that about two million people have obtained the cards, almost half of whom are Emiratis. He said the distant deadline is because UAE residents must be seen at preventative medicine clinics as part of the visa renewal procedures.

The authority plans to make applying for the ID an obligatory part of the visa registration procedure. The cards are expected to be used in official and commercial dealings for identification. Banks have declined to accept them, but Mr Ghobash said this would change when the rest of the population obtains the cards, which will include magnetic strips. @Email:mhabboush@thenational.ae