x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sharjah gets more centres to process ID cards

The Emirates Identity Authority is opening more registration centres to cope with congestion at their main Sharjah office in Al Taawun Mall amid the rush to obtain national ID cards.

SHARJAH // The Emirates Identity Authority is opening more registration centres to cope with congestion at their main Sharjah office in Al Taawun Mall amid the rush to obtain national ID cards. As many as five locations are expected to be launched 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 the municipality office.

"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 Department of Naturalisation and Residency and the Hamriya and Airport free zones. The newest registration office will deal with municipal employees in the first few weeks and will then begin serving their families, said Sultan al Muallah, the director general of Sharjah Municipality.

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 Taawun 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. Only male employees are being assisted, as there are not yet facilities for female workers, he said.

The authority had previously announced that anyone without a national ID card would be denied a driving licence. Renewal of car registrations and many other services will also be withheld from those who have not registered. As a result, long queues have formed at the Al Taawun Mall registration centre. Several residents have complained that they were not 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." @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae