Abu Dhabi: The Emirates ID Authority said it would finalise the registration of 95 per cent of the country's population by the end of the year. After this, government entities and private service providers will have to register transactions with residents using their ID number, the authority's director general, Dr. Ali Al Khoury, told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
So far, seven million residents have registered for their cards, Al Khoury said. According to statistics available since 2010, the country's population stands at 8.2 million.
On a monthly basis, the authority is processing an average of 600,000 applications, which is divided between renewals and first time registrations, which make up around 400,000 of the total
"On a monthly basis, the authority is processing an average of 600,000 applications, which is divided between renewals and first time registrations, which make up around 400,000 of the total," he said.
The registration deadline for ID cards has already passed for all emirates, except Dubai where it is coming up in 15 days. Also fast approaching is the deadline for the registration of individuals under the age of 15, which is October 1.
The authority has given an exception to individuals whose residency is due for renewal before the end of the year, allowing them to issue their IDs with their visa renewal.
Al Khoury said that in 2013, several entities, whether government or private, will provide services that are linked to the use of the ID card. "Once we're done with most of our registrations, there will be much focus on working with those organisations to use the ID," he said. "We're currently looking into a huge project to provide electronic readers for the IDs that could be used by different organisations."
Emirates ID has already started phase one of tying up electronically with the Ministry of Interior, with the second phase coming up in the second half of this year. Al Khoury said that the Ministry of Interior is the first of many government entities to partner with the Emirates ID Authority.
"We still haven't decided which entity will be next after the Ministry of Interior," he said.
Asked if this kind of data would ever be shared with the public, Al Khoury said that the data is classified as highly confidential. "Today, even I as a director general don't have the right to access the file of any resident. There's a team of auditors that fact-check the information…anyone who enters any data from any place and at any time would be known," he said.
Many government authorities have made the ID card mandatory to access or complete official formalities. Recently, the Ministry of Public Works announced that beneficiaries of the government housing scheme will require ID cards.
Several municipalities, courts and many other government departments across the country have also made the ID card mandatory to access their services.