UAE | Government

Expatriates in UAE to get new identity cards

Name change designed to distinguish Emirati and expatriate identity cards

  • By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:35 January 30, 2013
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Identity cards for expatriate residents in the UAE will be referred to as ‘Resident Identity Cards’ from February 2013 onwards, the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) announced on Wednesday.

According to a sample image provided by the EIDA, the change constitutes the inclusion of the word ‘Resident’ on the top of expatriates’ cards. Until now, all issued cards have simply been labelled as ‘Identity Cards’.

The change has been implemented in line with recommendations of the Federal National Council (FNC) to reconsider the name and design of expatriate identity cards so that they can be distinguishable from those of Emiratis.

In spite of the changes, expatriates residents with valid identity cards need not replace the cards until they expire, the EIDA clarified.

In addition, although there are no changes to Emiratis’ cards at present, the EIDA is considering a design modification to distinguish them from those of expatriates. Other changes being considered include distinguishable identity cards for people with special needs.

The EIDA statement also stressed that identity cards are issued for resident expatriates in order to confirm their legal identity within the UAE population by assigning a unique personal number to each individual.

Without elaborating further, a source from the Ministry of Interior told Gulf News that the changes to expatriates’ identity cards would help enhance security in the country.

The recommendation for distinguishable identity cards was made by an FNC committee in 2008, which was declared as the Year for National Identity. The committee had said that the identity cards should be issued for Emiratis only, and separate cards, such as labour cards, be provided for expatriates.

Identity cards were introduced in the UAE in 2005 to facilitate governmental services and provide necessary demographic information. The deadline to apply for the cards expired for Emiratis in October 2011, whereas the deadlines for expatriates, which were implemented in phases across different emirates, ended in 2012. The cards are now mandatory to obtain most government services in the UAE.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 15:46 January 31, 2013

    Warm welcome to new ID card.

    Imtiaz Peera, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:41 January 31, 2013

    it was posted recently on Gulf News that, the EID will serve as an e-wallet by year 2015 in coordination with Central Bank. my suggestion is why cant they just unify the cards such as (Labour card, driving license, identification card, medical card and ofcourse what's in process which is the e-wallet) , since all the issuing agencies are under 1 roof that is Dubai Government, then they can come up with a system, for e.g. each of these cards has expiration dates, so whenever for example the DL is expiring it will just notify the possessor to do the needful. A special unique # to be made for each person, enter it into the system and options will show whether which card needs to be accessed.

    Lloyd Richard Calderon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:57 January 31, 2013

    It is useful as a " proof " for any kind of registrations and renewals etc.

    Farheen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:20 January 31, 2013

    I have soo many cards in my wallet (labour card, Emirates ID, Health Card, UAE DL, Insurance, registration Card) I wouldnt mind, if I would just have one card for everything together at least labour card, emirates id and Health card should be one

    Anna, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:38 January 31, 2013

    This all process just a waste of time to expatriates, we do have residence visas on our passport. ID cards should only be meant for citizens only?

    HESTON WINTER, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:02 January 31, 2013

    why not the blood Group on the ID CARDS ?

    waqar, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:21 January 31, 2013

    Everything is fine. But could somebody please tell me the use of this card?

    Rock Thomas Harry, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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