UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Deadline for Electronic Emirates ID Card Fast Approaching

  • United Arab Emirates
  • 06/09/2010
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) December 31, 2010 deadline is fast approaching to have the following categories of UAE residents transitioned to the electronic Emirates ID card system:

  • All UAE nationals over age 15;
  • All GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) citizens over age 15 working or residing in the UAE; and
  • All foreign UAE residents over age 15.

Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) has been implementing this initiative pursuant to the Population Registry and the Identity Card Program. The electronic Emirates ID Card is a multi-purpose card that enables UAE residents to take advantage of governmental, semi-governmental, and private services. The card currently serves as an official ID card and inter-GCC travel document for UAE nationals, and it enables UAE residents to take advantage of certain government services including online government services and electronic fingerprint services. This card will eventually serve as a health card, health insurance card, bank card, driver’s license, library card, and metro card. The government will continue to announce new features of the card as additional services become available. The government will have the discretion to deny services to individuals who do not have an electronic Emirates ID card by the December 31, 2010 deadline.

The Emirates ID effort is in line with governmental and private initiatives to increase efficiencies through electronic services and data sharing. For further information regarding the electronic ID card, please visit the EIDA website at http://www.emiratesid.ae/en/home.aspx.

BAL Comment

Foreigners in the UAE who do not already have an electronic Emirates ID Card should aim to secure one as soon as possible. The government will require foreigners to present an Emirates ID card in connection with residence visa renewal formalities.