x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

More centres open to help cope with ID registration

The Emirates Identity Authority is opening more registration centres in Sharjah to help cope with congestion at their main office.

SHARJAH// The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) is opening more registration centres in Sharjah to help cope with congestion at their main office in Al Tawoon Mall amid a rush to obtain national ID cards. As many as five locations are expected to begin service in coming weeks at different Government departments, said Ahmed Obaid al Bah, the director of the Sharjah registration centre, at the opening of a centre at Sharjah Municipality. "The departments that have been chosen are those that require the resident to have an ID card before making transactions with them," he said. They include the Sharjah traffic department, the general department of naturalisation and residency and the Hamriya and Airport free zones. The newest registration office will care for municipal employees in the first few weeks and will then begin serving their families, said Sultan al Muallah, the Sharjah Municipality director general. After that, people who want to complete transactions with the municipality, such as tenancy contract renewals, will be assisted. "We have more than 4,000 employees and half of them have not yet registered and need registration," he said. "If we are to let them go to the Al Tawoon Mall centre to register, with the long queues there it will cause a standstill in our work." The Municipality office was handling about 50 employees a day, Mr Muallah said. At present only male employees are being assisted as there are not yet facilities for female workers, he said. The traffic department centre will serve all those who want a renewal but did not register before. The same will apply to the naturalisation and residency office. EIDA had previously announced that anyone without a national ID card would be denied a driving license. Renewal of car registrations and many other services will also be withheld from those who have not registered. As a result, long queues have recently been registered at the Al Taawon Mall registration centre, with several residents complaining of not being able to register for two days. "I had been in the queue from morning and by midday, after failing to see any prospect of registering, I decided to go to work and return on another day," said one resident who requested anonymity. "On the second day I was only able to register after four hours of waiting." ykakande@thenational.ae